“Vote with your dollar” is a popular expression and one I now lovingly embrace. I never gave much thought to how spending my money somewhere might actually be supporting hate or prejudice. I grew up obsessed with the newest styles and shiniest gadgets and got myself into a lot of debt that way. It’s disappointing to find out that a place I liked to shop at is actually my enemy. (I am also disappointed in my own irresponsible choices that are not good for me or others.) Wal-Mart is the most famous example. For goodness sakes, they think women should be paid less than men! Well being a woman I can’t stand for that so I will not shop there anymore. I already reduced my trips to them based on how they hurt small business owners by undercutting prices and hurt the environment by mass production of toxic manufacturing processes. Until learning about their anti-female agenda I would stop there for “emergency” supplies when other stores were too far or expensive, but that is OVER!
Other places Like Chik-Fil-A served such a bland sandwich(back when I ate meat) that I wouldn’t eat there again anyway, but once learning about their hate towards LGBTQ people they wouldn’t even be an “emergency” snack.
GAP makes comfortable classic clothing that l love for everyday, but when I read they wouldn’t support safety measures in their overseas factories I stopped shopping there. But does it count if I still buy their label at a second hand shop or charity shop? What do you think?
As the years add up my need for things lessens. I am more interested in experiences than accumulation. Still I will need to buy new clothes at some point. I need my contacts and the cleaning solution. I need new tires for my bike and if I ever own a car again I need to buy gas and oil. I need to buy food and won’t always have a local health food store or coop to pick up organic non packaged food.
Was the shirt I bought made by slave or sweat shop labor?
Am I polluting the world through toxic transportation fuels?
Was my food picked by farm hands that are forced to work with dangerous pesticides or are not protected under the law and thus easily taken advantage of by their employers?
Despite these worries, I can control a lot and am intent on making choices that are not only good for me and my wallet, but for people everywhere. Because part of living empowered is supporting others and ensuring that every one has access to healthy living standards.
When a lot of us make the same small changes those add up and WE make a difference. The first step is research. Yes I know you only have so much time in the day, but is spending a few minutes to see if what you buy is making the world better or worse really that hard? I know firsthand what it is like to want the newest and shiniest, but I made a decision to create a world I am proud of and that means changing my actions. It was harder in the beginning, but the more time I spend ensuring my peace of mind through the simple act of paying attention the simpler it is to make the right choices. It’s not easy, but with small steps YOU can stand up for your beliefs by the simple act of consuming less and voting with your dollar. You can get a Better World Shopper Guide http://www.betterworldshopper.com/ to see the impact your purchases. Not sure what you are eating and you can’t buy everything from a local organic farm? Check out the Non GMO Project http://www.nongmoproject.org/. You can look for non-corporate websites to educate yourself. You can choose to do something.
What sustainable changes have you made recently?
How are you voting with your dollar?