Thursday, June 17, 2010

be a better world shopper

i have several, what i like to call, "blog life phases." right now, i'm in the "blog life phase" where i have a handful of not-fully-formed ideas floating around in my head, each with the potential of becoming a perfect post. the problem is that it takes time and energy to develop and type these perfect posts, time and energy that i'm being a bit selfish with, at the moment. actually, selfish isn't even really the right word because writing here helps me more than anyone, i'm convinced, so it's not really selfishness as much as masochism.

in any case, i took a step in the right direction this morning by creating titles for each of the perfect posts and saving them here (only i can see them until i click "publish") so that i will not forget them, and maybe, just maybe, i'll find it within myself to write them all in the near future.

by now, i'm sure you're pretty confused as to how the title of this blog is appropriate. you may have even decided that it's not. shame on you. no faith. everything i've written here so far is more of a parenthetical thought, or an FYI. the real post starts . . . right . . . now!

money is power. this, we know. so, whether you have a little bit of money or a lot, you still have some amount of power. don't fool yourself - even if you have very little money, how you use it is important. it's like a vote. sure, one vote may not matter, but if everyone acted according to that thought, then no one would vote, and then an election, which is supposed to interpret the wants of the majority, would be completely ineffective.

and in this money-spending vote, you don't have the option to abstain. i suppose it is possible to not buy anything, but for most of us, it's not considered a choice. so, we vote. we're always voting, every day we vote. every time we hand someone our credit/debit card or dollah dollah billz, we're voting in favor of that establishment.

this is beautiful and terrifying. why? the same reason that allowing every person in the country to help pick a president is beautiful and terrifying: equality is great, but it comes with a huge amount of trust, that the people with the power are going to use it responsibly. the problem arises when the trusted, powerful people don't educate themselves so that they can make an informed decision.

let's not be that person. if i'm going to vote in favor of a gas station, a grocery store, or a shampoo brand, i should probably know a little bit about it first. i wouldn't give my vote to a presidential candidate only because i thought they looked nice and so i shouldn't shop at a clothing store only because i like there clothes.

as globalization continues, large corporations gain more and more power - power we help give them, every time we buy their product. if they're not using that power responsibly, it's our duty to withdraw our support. it's the only way. but, like the presidential election, one vote doesn't matter unless it's accompanied by the majority, so let's educate ourselves and spread the word.

buying local is usually the best choice, but not always possible or practical.

of course, if i want to know about Wal-Mart's social and environmental practices, i can't really just go to their website and click on the link that says "why we're evil," i have to dig a little deeper than that. it's kind of an overwhelming and daunting task - researching every company we buy from. i completely understand this.

there are, however, some sites that make it easier for us. this is one:

that site is great place to start. i feel kind of silly writing all of this, because i'm by no means the greatest example of responsible money-voting, but i am finding it more and more important, and so appreciate resources that make it easier, like this site.

if you know of any other helpful resources, please post them for all of us aspiring responsible citizens.

happy shopping!

No comments:

Post a Comment