Want to create a greener world that works for all people? One of the most important things you can do is vote with your dollars.Â Where youÂ spendÂ and invest your money is a powerful way of voting each day to support local communities,Â fair wages, and a healthy planet.
Here at Green America, weâ€™ve helped educate and mobilize consumers to use their money for a greener world, and weâ€™ve seen the resultsÂ in the growth of organic foods, fair trade products, clean energy solutions, and community banks and credit unions, just to name a few.Â Voting with our dollars works.
When we talk aboutÂ buildingÂ the green economy, it’s about more than being informed about corporationsâ€”itâ€™s about actuallyÂ supportingÂ businesses that have adopted green practices, are growing the local economies, and pay suppliers fairly. Where you shop and what you buy when you do sends a direct message to business owners.Â If many of us shift our spending at onceÂ â€“Â toÂ preference non-GMO foods, for example â€“ it can force large corporations to scramble and drop harmful ingredients from their products.Â And in the case of small businesses, it helps them stay afloat in a competitive, deal-driven market.
Green America’sÂ mission of creating a green economy that works for all â€“ one that preferencesÂ social justice, environmental preservation, and healthy communities, hasÂ been under direct threat from Washington lately, but no matter whether it’s election day or one of the hundreds of days between casting ballots, decisions we make every day cast votes for our values. When people support small businesses with forward-thinking practices, we call that #VoteWithYourDollar.Â Â VoteÂ WithÂ Your Dollars is a powerful way to build the green economy we need, without Washington.
One of the most powerful actions you can takeÂ toÂ VoteÂ with Your DollarÂ keeping yourÂ moneyÂ in your wallet, to not buy what you don’t need, and to not line the pockets of CEOs ofÂ bigÂ box stores you don’t agree with. Our culture is obsessed with deals, but those deals are paid for by the people who work low wages in factories or inÂ big-box stores. In the case of shopping on the biggest store,Â Amazon.com, well,Â its track record isn’t the cleanest.Â Every dollar youÂ don’t spend,Â is a dollar you canÂ putÂ in a community bank or credit union, where your dollars will be used to finance jobs, housing and social services that every community needs.Â Or, it can be donated to a charity that is helping those less fortunate, combating hate, orÂ taking actionÂ on climate change.
Itâ€™s unrealistic not to shop at all, and unnecessary. The money you use to buy necessities, treat yourself, or spend on gifts for others is a vote cast for your values.
Here are our tips for feeling good about not just the great thing you got, but the businesses you support as you VoteÂ WithÂ Your Dollars.
- Every time you buy at a local business, you tell the world your community is worth more than a big-box store sale.
- Every time you buy organic, you tell the world you want more farmers to grow healthy, safe food.
- Every time you buy certified fair trade, you fight poverty.
- Every time you buy from a business owned by women or people of color, you help build an inclusive economy.
- Every time you donâ€™t buy something, you tell the world you donâ€™t need more stuff to have a good life.Î¦
GreenAmerica‘s mission is to harness economic powerâ€”the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplaceâ€”to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. This GreenAmerica blog post appeared on 6/20/2017.