Here’s a great topic to think about (quote from betterworldshopper.com) ”As citizens, on average, we might vote once ever 4 years, if at all. As consumers, we vote every single day with the purest form of power…money. The average American family spends around $18,000 each year on goods and services. Think of it as casting 18,000 votes every year for the kind of world you want to live in.”
Great idea! I love this … it’s practical, actionable and gives us power. There are organizations out there that are ranking companies and brands across numerous spending categories and helping us discern the good from the bad.
Here’s an example. Walmart celebrates themselves for offering low prices and consumers have made them one of the biggest retailers in the world. But how do they offer such low prices? They have been accused of buying from overseas suppliers engaged in sweatshop practices, and they also are notorious for not offering much in the way of benefits to their employees. Maybe that low price at Walmart is only low because their lack of values lets them engage in business practices that responsible companies won’t. Perhaps that low price has a cost somewhere else in the world, and the real price to the world is higher. I’d rather pay more and know that I’m supporting sound, environmentally sustainable, & socially responsible business practices.
Here are a couple of organizations, check them out:
The Better World Shopper (this one has an iPhone app, so you can always have the rankings with you):
Green America Responsible Shopper Guide
What do you think? Know of others that do this? Do you have any favorite ways of spending to vote your values (like do you buy organic, or from local farms, or Fair Trade products)? Let’s challenge ourselves to think of three ways we can change our spending to make the world better this month. You may have read my other entries to know that I’ve moved my banking. I’d love to hear what you’re going to do!