Each election cycle, you vote for candidates who do political work that is aligned with your values. But that is not the only time you can support your beliefs. When you vote with your wallet for day-to-day purchases, you can also drive positive change.
When you choose to support sustainable businesses, your dollars are voting for environmentally-friendly practices, fair wages, and social change. After all, in order for a business to thrive, they need customers. Your wallet is a powerful tool for making your views known. Here are some ways you can ensure your dollars speak for your values.
To shop sustainably, seek out brands that have a mission beyond the sale of their products. For instance, you can visit the brand's website and see if they state a commitment to recycling or improving the environment. There are also certifications businesses can work to obtain, such as becoming Certified B Corporations. To achieve this, businesses must illustrate that they are balancing profit and purpose. For a company to earn B Corp certification, they need to undergo an extensive impact assessment. The assessment examines how the employees, customers, suppliers, and environment are impacted by the company.
Your dietary decisions can also help to bring change. For example, if you choose to include fish and seafood in your diet, look for certification on sustainable practices. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program provides recommendations to help you make ocean-friendly seafood choices based on where you live. There is an app for users as well.
Choose Businesses with Shared Values
Another way to vote with your wallet is to shop at small-scale stores. Local shops are generally more connected to the communities they serve and have a lower carbon footprint. Supporting locally owned businesses means more of your money stays within your community. Depending on the store type, voting with your wallet could look like supporting local nonprofits, farms, and families that share your values.
Look at Your Grocery List
The food you choose buy can also be impactful. Buying organic items, for example, supports regulations for soil quality testing and the limited use of additives. Additionally, when you opt for whole foods and make your own granola, veggie burgers, hummus, or broth, you are reducing the packaging needed to transport products. Plus, the end result is meals with fewer processed ingredients. These choices help you vote with your wallet for a better world and your own well-being.
Checklist for Sustainable Shopping
Here are a handful of tips for choosing sustainable businesses and products:
- Choose businesses that have proven their commitment to these values, such as Certified B Corporations.
- Buy personal care products made with naturally derived ingredients.
- Shop local.
- Make responsible food choices through sustainable farming and going organic.
- Reduce packaging by buying whole food ingredients.
Every day, shoppers make decisions that affect the environment and individuals, whether they are paying attention to their purchasing decisions or not. Do your research, vote with your dollar, and know your resources are being shared with organizations that share your beliefs.
For more ideas on living in an eco-friendly way, check out the @tomsofmaine Natural Inspiration Pinterest board.
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
If you are committed to sustainability, you likely vote for candidates who share your values. Day-to-day purchases can also support your beliefs. When you buy from businesses that consider how their work impacts the environment, employees, and customers, you are voting with your dollars for environmental and social sustainability.