A Grading System That Moms and Dads Will Love

November 25, 2016
Child and adult walking, holding hands

It’s enough to drive a savvy shopper crazy: every day, year after year, another news story about how a household product is exposing our families to toxic chemicals. If it isn’t baby bottles, it’s flooring, or shampoo—or toxic flame retardants in couches and electronics. But more and more, we’re seeing a new kind of headline: businesses taking action to remove toxics from their products.

For three years the Mind the Store campaign has been holding a megaphone up to concerned shoppers. And retail stores are getting our message loud and clear: we want safer products. Leading retailers have stepped up, going above and beyond our nation’s broken chemical safety system to demand safer products from the manufacturers that make the stock on their shelves.

Just in time for holiday shopping, the Mind the Store campaign’s latest Retailer Report Card takes a close look at the safer chemical policies at a variety of major stores. It’s encouraging to see stores like Walmart and Target showing real leadership. Walmart, for example, banned toxic flame retardants from the couches they sell. But even among these forward-thinking leaders, there is room for improvement: no retailer received a grade higher than a B. We’re hoping that the progress made by these stores will spur laggards to improve; the average grade among all retailers in the report was a D+.

The report card is a handy tool for shoppers that want to reward companies for good practices today. But here at HBBF, we’re also keeping an eye on companies that stand out for their future promise. Best Buy, for example, is going one step further beyond a list of chemicals that are not allowed in their products. Their policy also covers toxics used in making the product. This policy could have ripple effects for the people and communities all along the global supply chain. This report card is also a to-do list. Until every company is earning an A+ and every family can count on safe products on the shelves, we will keep working. And we’ll need your help.

We’ve seen the strength of our voices raised in unison. If we work together, we can achieve bigger and broader change within the market. Consider taking 20 seconds of your day by clicking here to make your voice heard to retailers that have the ability to make a difference once they understand how much you care.

After all, the customer is always right.

Sarah Doll
Bright Choices, Director Healthy Babies Bright Futures