No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. --George Burns
I receive a daily email from Charityfocus. It shares a quote, and then a small paragraph about something good someone is doing in the world. One of the recent ones I read was about a book and website called Better World Shopper by Ellis Jones. The basic idea of it is this: as consumers we have the power to choose the kind of world we want to live in, by how we spend our money. The author looked at 5 criteria for the companies he reviewed and the ones that connect the most with me are human rights, the environment, and social justice.
So who are the bad guys out there? Where to start...first the good news how about:)
I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the products and services I use and like got an "A" on the scale (Silk Soy Milk, Burts Bees, American Airlines, Apple Computers, IKEA, and American Apparel). But I was also dismayed at all the products/services I've used that got "C" through "F" grades including: Continental Airlines, Gerber Baby Products, Nestle, Kraft, Nabisco, Dove, Lubriderm, Post Cereals, Twix, Skittles, M&M's, Hershey's, Toblerone (Gasp! NOT Toblerone!?!?) The Gap Clothing (no big surprise there) Covergirl and Revlon Cosmetics, Visa, Adidas, Nike, and the least surprisingly of all...Wal-Mart. There are several categories as you can see and the list goes on but I'll stop with the ones that struck me.
Now the one big grocery store we have here in Guatemala is Paiz, which is being taken over by Wal-Mart. Everytime I go now I see the Wal-Mart logo popping up on different products. BUT I can't boycott this store when it's the only place I can get whole-wheat spaghetti noodles, mushrooms, a selection of dry cereal and ( just recently) Earl Grey tea.
BUT once we live in Canada again I will happily avoid Wal-Mart and shop at Farmers Markets and Health Food Stores as much as financially possible. I really believe each individual has the power to promote change, so I will quietly do my part. And I will happily share my reasons with anyone who asks me why I choose to avoid certain products and services. Now I just have to figure out how I am going to survive without some Toblerone chocolate at Christmas...