During the bi-annual family trip to everyone's favorite Swedish furniture and nicknack's store, I got the feeling that IKEA is really pushing the green. Green as in the environment.
The first indicator of IKEA's environmental leaning was out in the parking lot. Believe it or not it was reserved parking spaces for hybrid vehicles, unfortunately when we arrived the spots were vacant. Hybrids are cool.
The second (which we can all afford, unlike the hybrid), were signs asking customers to turn off their vehicles in the loading area. Or as I like to call it, hope to god that new piece of furniture will fit once it's removed from the packaging and you fill every spare crevice in your car from the glove compartment to passenger's laps area. This is a great idea (and one you can practice everywhere not just IKEA) since according to daily fuel economy tip you waste 17.5% of your car's fuel while idling.
I've always noticed IKEA's recycling bins dispersed throughout the store but now they also have a large one by the loading area so once you (hopefully) get your stuff into the car, all that packaging doesn't end up in a landfill.
IKEA has also started charging 5¢ for plastic bags. You can also buy their reusable IKEA branded bags at check out as well (like many other stores have started to do). Charging for bags has created a humorous side effect, a stream of people walking to their cars holding their purchases precariously perched in their arms. I guess they really didn't need that bag after all.
MSNBC has an interview with IKEA's head of social and environmental responsibility and talks about green stores, renewable energy and suppliers that don't agree with IKEA's green plan. And finally both IKEA's site and treehugger.com talk about their social & environmental responsibility.
But even with IKEA's environmentalism when asked what my postal code was I responded with what''s you postal code. To which the cashier quickly tapped out a series of zero's and rang up my total.