Every Sunday I share a bloom – a small idea of how to improve our world.
Tend the garden of humanity with me by blogging with your own idea on any Sunday.
If you do, feel free to pingback here so we can keep the conversation going.
This Week’s Bloom: Shop Conscientiously
I’ve heard it said that we all have a choice in where we spend our money. I don’t think that’s always true. We are limited by our geography, time, and budget. Still, when the opportunity arises, we should choose to shop responsibly.
Most everyone has heard of the Fair Trade Federation. Their seal of approval is on products around the globe and their commitment to equality has been spread with every purchase. 1% for the Planet is another international organization making a name for themselves. When you see their seal, it means that the manufacturer contributes at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes. Seeing either organizations’ insignia makes it easy to choose between similar products.
Sites like Shop With Meaning and Green America are great resources for finding online and local retailers who care about the social and environmental impact of their products. If you’re a reader of used books, check out Better World Books. They take book donations and rescue discarded library books to sell on their website. Every time a book is purchased on their site another book is donated to one of the hundreds of non-profits they work with. Through grants and fundraisers, they have given millions of dollars to literacy programs around the world.
Another important measure of a company is how they treat their employees. Every year, the Human Rights Campaign compiles a massive guide based on their Corporate Equality Index, which rates companies based on they treat LGBT employees. Here is a PDF of their 2015 guide. It’s a ton of information, so they have also developed handy apps for Apple and Google.
Choosing where to spend your money is only one side of the consumer coin. Choosing where not to spend your money is equally important. Boycotts have been around since the late 1800s and can have a lasting impact on the practices of companies big and small. Ethical Consumer keeps a running list of current boycotts on their website alongside their product guides and company ratings.
If you do any of your shopping online, check out Green Any Site. It is a bookmarklet that will allow you to donate a portion of your purchase cost to environmental charities at no cost to you. That’s a no-brainer if you ask me.
Do company policies have an impact on where you shop?