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IKEA Gives Green a Bad Name: Solar Panels Made in China?

Posted Oct 07 2008 7:19pm 1 Comment
A few months ago I took my first trip to IKEA. I wasn't looking for anything in particular -- just tagging along with my family. I think my mom was looking for lamps. We got there before it opened, and I was shocked at the grand opening-sized crowd, even though I'm certain that store had opened months before.

The big crowd only fueled my excitement. I'd been meaning to check out these Swedish designs for a long time, but up to this point had only seen them in ads. The store displays did not disappoint. From the furniture to the prints to the bamboo plants, I wanted everything ... that is until I saw the sticker my family and I were trying so hard to avoid -- "Made in China."

For one, we were tired of giving China all our manufacturing jobs and money. For another, the quality of their products is generally inferior to those in made in the USA. And most importantly, I'm just not interested in the manufacture of a product I buy contributing to the greenhouse gases in the most polluted place on earth!

So I couldn't help but shake my head when I read this:

"[IKEA] plans to invest some $75 million in a handful of cleantech startups, focusing on the areas of solar energy, lighting, sustainable materials, energy efficiency, and water conservation."

Apparently, they want to offer affordable solar panels in their stores, among other green things.

This kind of hypocrisy is reminiscent of Wal-Mart, a company that boasts about its record sales of compact fluorescent light bulbs so it can illuminate aisle after aisle of products mostly made in China, not to mention the monstrous meat case (the livestock industry emits more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined).

So next time you buy "Made in China," consider this -- exports from China contribute to one-third of its annual greenhouse gas emissions. For those "affordable" products we're buying at IKEA, Wal-Mart and countless other stores around the world, we're costing ourselves the future.

Every week, a new coal plant gets built in China just to meet global demand for manufacturing -- the same kind of coal plants that are being denied left and right here in the States. We don't want coal emissions dirtying up American air, but we PAY to do the same to the air over China -- air that our Olympic athletes are breathing today.

Why do we have so much trouble connecting the dots?

Related posts:

Beijing's Olympic Facade of Greenery: Killing Cats & Kicking Migrant Recyclers Out of Town

Why Gas Costs More: Demand Rising Among China's Middle Class
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Oh, so I guess making solar panels somewhere MORE expensive makes it less damaging to the environment. make solar panels where its cheapest, that way you can sell them cheaper and have MORE solar power total......thats more green.
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