No Kidding: These Goats are Sustainable Superstars 

This year Earth Day falls during a very challenging time. Let’s pause for a moment of levity to recognize some remarkable partners for their work in reducing environmental impact.
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Yes, they’re goats.  No, we’re not kidding.
 
Last fall, you could find these guys landscaping and doing their part to lower the carbon footprint at a few Walmart stores as a part of a unique pilot.
 
The idea was dreamed up by the Stormwater Compliance team as a sustainable and cost-effective option for managing vegetation at Walmart stores, as the animals replace equipment that produce emissions that are harmful to the environment. The goats have been piloted at three stores so far — two in Massachusetts and one in Washington state.
 
Our furry friends were employed as “mowers” at the Halifax and Tewksbury stores in Massachusetts, but really shined as sustainable superstars at Store 3537 in Lakewood, Washington.
 
Turns out, these cuties are the G.O.A.T. at clearing foliage on steep slopes that are difficult for equipment and people to navigate, finding retaining walls and fences buried in vegetation and purging blackberry brambles — an extremely invasive species that the Lakewood store has had trouble controlling in the past. The goats’ noshing neutralizes the seeds so they don’t continue to propagate, requiring routine maintenance which equals more emissions.
 
 
Bonus: they’re adorable.
 
 
“Customers loved the goats,” said Wendy Widener, Senior Manager of Stormwater Compliance. “They got the job done while providing ‘retailtainment.’”
 
Store 3537 is located next to a bus stop and Lakewood citizens were delighted to see the goats during their gig at the store. Several local senior citizen centers even made regular visits to the goats.

 

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“I heard from a lot of the families with small children that really enjoyed having them and visited them on every shopping trip they made to our store,” said Shane McNeil, Store Manager at 3537. “We heard from lots of adults as well.”
 
If it gets your goat that you haven’t seen these mammalian mowers at your local store, don’t worry — additional sites for the pilot have been identified for 2020, so they just might be coming to a Walmart store near you.
Walmart World on Social