Monday, January 14, 2013

Every Dollar Counts

(fair trade, organic, and dairy free chocolate  that has an A rating in The Better World Shopping Guide) 

Ignorance could be bliss. It could be so easy to sit back and act like I don’t care, but I just can’t do that. I do care. A LOT. I made a resolution this year to be more intentional about the purchases that I make. I feel like we as a family have made huge strides in support of the local food movement.  But what about all the other everyday purchases that we make?  I’ve learned over the past few months that even the smallest shifts in our spending can make a significant difference in the lives of people producing the products we buy. Sometimes that shift requires a bit of research or an adjustment to our finances. Sometimes it’s not as convenient and we certainly can’t change everything instantly. Transition takes time. Little by little we can use the dollars we spend on things we buy every day to help empower others in this big beautiful world of ours.

A few days ago I purchased the kindle edition of The Better World Shopping Guide. This little book packs a punch and I might never be the same. I spent the boys’ entire nap time one day reading the book from cover to cover. It’s mostly in list form, but I was anxious to know how the purchases we commonly make rank within the categories of human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice. Thankfully, since we have so dramatically changed the foods we eat and the way we now live, we don’t support most of the big companies that are causing so much harm. My goal this year is to shop with purpose more consistently. I want to help more than I hurt. You might be thinking, does my spending even matter? I think it does. I love this quote from one of my favorite bloggers, Heather Hendrick, who said it way better than I ever could, “Any time we choose to buy a fair trade product, an item second-hand, or eggs from a local farm, we've not only used our money to vote for people, environmental health, and communities - we've provoked a tangible shift in commerce.” So I’ll be searching high and low for that fair trade symbol on packages, shopping locally whenever possible, doing my research about the places I shop and the things I buy, and supporting those precious farmers who provide us with more sustainable, quality foods. I am going to do my part to try to make every dollar count!

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