The National Retail Federation recently released its 2014 Back-to-School survey projecting and portraying just how big the scholastic shopping season is -- $74.9 billion to be exact! Now this is a grand opportunity for consumers to flex their purchasing power muscle by selecting only products that are sustainably produced ---renewable, sustainably sourced, natural, non-toxic ingredients, produced by socially responsible companies paying living wages.
This is obviously good for retail sales and businesses, but is this all necessary for their education, and even more importantly, how does this affect the future for these school children in the big picture of climate change?
For comparison, the total U.S. budget for 2014 allocated to addressing climate change is $31.65 billion -- less than half of the back-to-school spending that will take place over the 2-3 months surrounding the beginning of new school year in the United States.
These spending priorities and amounts are reflections that we are likely to be winning in the arena of making businesses sustainable for this season and quarterly returns, but we are also likely to be loosing in the overall effort to create a sustainable world for these school children in the long term.