Health & Wellness

Wasting Less Will Save You Food, Money, and More

Imagine walking out of the grocery store with four bags full of fresh food, dropping a bag, and not bothering to stop and pick it up. Seems crazy, but that’s essentially what most of us are doing in our daily lives. The average American throws away about $30 each month in the form of uneaten food. The lettuce that went bad, the leftovers you never got around to eating, and that science experiment in the back of the fridge you’re hoping will disappear – they all add up to the approximately 15% to 25% of food you buy that typically goes uneaten.

That’s real money going straight into the garbage instead of paying off your credit card bills or going toward your savings. Think about it. If you don’t eat half of that $10/pound fish, that’s $5 you’re throwing away. The last third of that pasta sauce jar that got a little tangy? That was at least a dollar’s worth. Day by day, we’re tossing cash out with our trash.

Agriculture uses about half the land area in the United States and a full 80% of the fresh water.  In fact, it takes the same amount of water to produce a hamburger as it does to take a 90-minute shower! Being careful not to waste too much food is actually one of the most environmentally conscious things you can do.  Not to mention, we have a serious hunger problem right here in the U.S., with one out of every six people going without enough food for at least part of the year. To have this food insecurity exist alongside such massive amounts of wasted food simply doesn’t seem right.

The good news is that turning around the food waste trend is not only doable, but it can actually improve your experience with food. What can you do? 

  • Freeze things before they go bad
  • Buy smaller quantities more often
  • Use a shopping list
  • Be realistic about what you really use

Before checking out at the grocery store, compare your list with what’s in the cart. It doesn’t take a huge change – just being careful to not waste food really will make a difference for you, your wallet, and the planet. 

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U.S. Manufacturing

Helping Customers Make a Difference with Their Dollars

Today, at our home office in Bentonville we hosted our annual U.S. Manufacturing Summit and Open Call where we met with our suppliers and hundreds of potential suppliers who were here to pitch their American-made items to sell at Walmart. More than 2,000 people were registered to attend this event, and we had 800 buyer meetings scheduled as part of Open Call.

The Summit and Open Call are part of our $250 billion commitment to buy products that support American jobs. It’s having a tangible impact on communities. We’ve seen factories re-opened and jobs created in communities across America. And our customers love it because when they buy products made or assembled here, they can impact communities and be agents of change, too. They can create jobs with what they buy! This is no small thing to a busy Walmart customer. They can make a difference with their dollars.

In addition to creating jobs with what they buy, our customers can also do their part for the planet when they buy items made here. Here is a cool example: A company called Eco-tech is taking our icing containers that our in-store bakeries use to ice cakes – and they are recycling them to make pet bowls and even Easter baskets.

I love that model! It helps us run an everyday low cost business but also delivers great products for the customer that are sustainable and made here.  

And because we are making items closer to the customer, that’s fewer miles items have to travel. Once we have completed this initiative, we will have taken 2.5 million shipping containers off the water by making products closer to the point of sale.

Walmart is proud to lead this initiative. Making products here in America matters to Walmart, it matters to me and it matters to our customers. Working with our suppliers to find innovative products is what makes merchandising so fun. Look out for these great  items on our shelves and make a difference with your dollars.

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Health & Wellness

Walmart Associate Conquers North Pole Marathon

Some people will go a long way to support charity. For Dorn Wenninger, vice president of global food sourcing for Walmart U.S., not even the North Pole is too far.

Dorn was one of 56 runners from 21 countries who participated in the 14th annual North Pole Marathon on April 9. Dubbed the “World’s Coolest Marathon,” the 26.2-mile race not only challenges endurance athletes with its snow-covered, icy terrain and bone-chilling weather, it also supports a variety of worthy causes with hundreds of thousands of dollars raised each year.

Crossing the finish line after five hours and 17 minutes, Dorn captured first place and secured his spot in an exclusive group of 428 people worldwide who have completed the marathon since 2002.

This year’s competitors ran to raise money for a variety of causes worldwide. Dorn, who has been with Walmart almost six years, serves on the boards of two nonprofit organizations: Cobblestone Farm in Northwest Arkansas and Amigos de las Americas. He will continue to raise money for Cobblestone Farm, which produces organic produce that is then donated to local food banks.

“I’m passionate about healthy eating, farming and produce,” he said.

His passion also extends to running. In January, he participated in a marathon in Trinidad and Tobago, where the temperature was 130 degrees warmer than the lowest temperature he experienced while at the North Pole.

Knowing that running on snow and ice would be different, he trained for the North Pole event on dirt and gravel trails. But the terrain wasn’t his only concern. With temperatures between -25 and -43 degrees Fahrenheit, his respiration froze and built up on his face mask. He used three different masks throughout the five-hour run and ended up with early signs of frost bite on his nose.

His North Pole adventure was supposed to last one and half days, but a crack in the runway prevented Dorn from flying out for three days. Despite the delay, he said the trip was an amazing experience.

Running is a great way to deal with stress, he said – even on 6 feet of ice floating on 14,000 feet of Arctic Ocean. It also can have a positive impact on other areas of life, from personal to business.

“Achieving the seemingly impossible helps demonstrate that almost anything is possible, even when others don’t believe it is,” he said. “Determination, focus and persistence go a long way in achieving goals.”

Dorn never imagined he’d win the North Pole race, but with that victory in hand, he now has his eye on a few other challenges just as difficult – or more so.

“It's incredible what people are capable of when they put their mind to it,” he said. “The thought of running a marathon at the North Pole sounds so extreme that it's virtually unbelievable. I welcomed the challenge of proving, to myself, that it is possible.”

Photos courtesy of North Pole Marathon.

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U.S. Manufacturing

One Man’s Role in Preserving a National Pastime

When Darrell Davilla isn’t helping manufacture camping gear, he’s putting it to good use.

Darrell started enjoying the outdoors when he was a young man. And now nothing makes him happier than taking his grandkids camping on the shores of the lakes around his home in Wichita, Kansas.

He treasures the cold mornings, brewing coffee and cooking for the whole family. “Making breakfast is my favorite part,” he said, patting his stomach, “as you can probably tell.”

As much as he enjoys passing on the traditions of outdoor recreation to his grandchildren, Darrell appreciates his part in keeping alive the tradition of excellence associated with his company, Coleman. “To work for a world-class company that is a top name in the outdoor business … it means a lot.”

An inventory controller, Darrell started working at Coleman when he was just 19 years old. This is his 37th year at the company that makes everything from tents to stoves. From lanterns to furniture, all the way to apparel.  And he’s incredibly grateful for such a firm foundation on which to raise a family.

Whether he’s on a forklift, getting parts into the hands of the men and women on the assembly line, or on a computer, keeping track of inventory, Darrell feels good that quality camping gear, the very gear he uses himself, is making its way to families, often through Walmart stores.

He also appreciates that when Coleman brings manufacturing to the U.S., and when Walmart buys from U.S. companies like Coleman, that it means more jobs all over the country.

From Darrell’s perspective, that translates into more people who have the luxury to take their families on adventures in the great outdoors. Keeping traditions alive, like cooking over a roaring fire.

It’s a cherished part of Darrell’s camping trips with the grandkids.  “Except for making s’mores,” he said. “I’m not too good at that.”

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U.S. Manufacturing

A Fond Farewell to an American Craftsman

After nearly half a century of making pacifiers and sippy cups, Dick Gates is stepping away this year.

At NUK headquarters in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Dick Gates has been an integral part of designing and manufacturing baby products since 1970, when he started as a stock handler, and in just a few years, became the youngest supervisor in the company’s history.

He loved being part of a process that guaranteed quality and safety for the mothers and children all over the country, and especially in his own back yard.

“I go to church every Sunday and see my product being used,” he said, proudly.

Understanding the value of what his company was making, Dick dedicated himself to learning the nuts and bolts of the process, going to engineering school and taking night classes until his qualifications allowed him to join the engineering and product development team. He went on to develop the mechanisms that are still being used at NUK right now. Producing thousands of baby products every day, many of which are shipped immediately to Walmart.

With NUK’s dedication to keeping local jobs, and Walmart’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing, Dick gained the peace of mind he had always craved. The assurance that he would always have a job. Knowing he could put down roots in this community, confident that he wouldn’t be pulling his kids out of school and moving to another town.

“Walmart’s not going any place,” he said, “and that gave me an incredible sense of security.”

That feeling of safety allowed Dick to think of NUK headquarters as his second home. And to think of his colleagues as family. 

He enjoys his nine-mile drive every morning, watching the sun come up over the tops of the trees. He’s the first one there every day, so he turns on the lights and starts the coffee pot.

“I’m at work, but I’m at home,” he said.

He says it’s a bittersweet feeling, retiring from the company after 45 wonderful years. But he knows that the products and processes he has developed, as well as the spirit he has invested in this company, will go on for a very long time.

“It’s not just for me.  Not just for my son or my daughter.  It’s for generations to come.”

Dick’s legacy will live on in another very special way. His daughter now works on the assembly line at NUK. The child whose first possession was a NUK baby bottle manufactured by her dad is now carrying on the work of the man who made that bottle with loving care.

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