9 small (and one big) ways that big box stores can go green

Going solar

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Wal Mart solar photo

credit: Wal Mart

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Opponents of big box stores often cite their big boxiness as one of their core objections. From pressures on land use to storm water runoff, not to mention an impact on aesthetics and the character of the built environment, they've got a point.

But that size does hold one big advantage—it's an ideal space to deploy solar power in a very big way. We've already seen Walmart gunning for solar on 75% of its California stores, and UK-based Tesco has also put big money into large solar. Slightly outside of the grocery store realm, but still very much in the big box category, IKEA is aiming to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes, with a large chunk of that coming from rooftop solar.

Does installing solar justify a rediculously large physical footprint, especially in the age of online retail? Probably not. But it sure can't hurt.