Empowered Consumerism

By: Christina Bein

I’ve been hearing, a lot more often than I’d like, the phrases, “What I do doesn’t matter” or “What can I do to help? I’m just one person.” At times, I’ve found myself saying these phrases as well. On a macro level, it can be hard to see how one person can make a difference. It feels like a drop of water in a large bucket. 

I remind myself that when feeling this way, I have to bring my thoughts back to, “What is in my control to do?” When asked in this manner, it helps to reframe my thoughts towards looking at the possibilities of how I can make change or influence in direct ways. This can be through what I watch, the information I share with others, what I promote via brands I support, what I put my money towards, etc.

In a time where companies are often merging or being bought out by bigger ones, it can be confusing to know where or to whom your dollar may be supporting. 

To the best of my ability, I try to stay conscientious of what my hard-earned money is supporting. This is how I find empowerment in what I support when it feels like greater state or world issues are overwhelming and disempowering. In this small way of knowing where my dollar goes, it’s a direct way to feel influence, a way to feel direct impact.

Have you seen signs that say, “Buy local”? I used to think that supporting my local burger joint would help a mom-and-pop dream, then I learned that the expanded brick and mortar was made possible when a large corporation bought this business. In further research of this larger corporation, I learned that it provided mass donations to political parties and causes that are in conflict with my own values. 

In a time where I felt too small to help with world problems, this felt terrible. I have progressively worked towards keeping up-to-date with being aware and researching if certain businesses or companies are in alignment with my values. It’s not always easy to know. It’s never truly perfect, but being in community with others who have the same interest helps with staying informed.

To find empowerment in supporting local businesses or companies that are aligned with your values, check out these applications were created to support easier access to this information. Let us know if there are any resources you really love using for this purpose!

Boycat: Their mission is to support ethical shopping choices to better the planet

Truvalyou: Their mission is to help you support brands that are aligned with your values

Buycott: Uses universal product codes to let consumers know about what their money is supporting. Their motto is “Vote with your Wallet”

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