In my economics class, we have been discussing the concept of “Dollar Votes.” This theory means we have control as consumers on how businesses survive or thrive. If consumers start buying less of a product, the price may lower. Contrasting this, if consumers were to buy more of a product a company would get stronger and make more of a particular product. While it appears as though you as a single consumer would never make a difference the reality is that your purchasing choices influence the market. That is why it is more important than ever to be a conscientious consumer. Here are some tips on how you can do your part to make you purchases count.
1. Know what country you are buying a product from.
This concept is very controversial, and there are many debates between buying from the USA and allies or buying products from China, etc.
I personally like to buy my products made in the USA because I know the labor conditions and wages are fair and I am helping business directly in my country. Whichever side you are on in this debate, do your research and decide if this is a major factor for you.
2. Try your best to buy fair trade
Fair trade means that every stage, from raw materials to finished product, were processed in good faith. This indicates that workers were not being treated unfairly, farmers were given a fair deal, they were conscientious of the environment, etc. Fair trade is an easy blanket statement to use in order to find a product that is “doing good”.
3. Buy products that are all natural/ not tested on animals
A mentioned in my post, How Cruel Are You?, I discussed the importance of buying products that do not harm animals. In the same sense that you don’t want chemicals hurting animals, recognize the importance of not wanting these chemicals for you. There is a lot that I don’t know about these chemicals and their names, but I do have more of a sense of how natural ingredients will affect me. Things such as laundry detergent are not required to list the ingredients in them. Who knows what is in them and what you are putting on your body. All I know is that I would much rather prefer products that I have a sense of what is being put in them.
4. The company aligns with your values and beliefs
Especially in this political climate businesses are stating their political beliefs. Now more than ever it is important to pay attention to this in buying products. If you see a business supporting one or your beliefs, support them! But, in the same sense if a company takes a stance you don’t agree with now might be a good time to look to other products or businesses.
5. Good for the environment
Global Warming is happening. If we keep ignoring this issue we are going to get to an irreversible point of destruction. So many companies are not doing their part to help the environment by continuing to use fossil fuels, palm oil, etc. So instead, we must take a stand and not support companies that are not doing there part to change how they are manufacturing to make this world greener and cleaner.
6. Continue to buy from these businesses
Here are some articles below that might influence where you start buying from and stop. Again these are my beliefs and do not have to align with yours, but hopefully, this post will get you thinking about what matters to you when you buy a product. It is more than just simply grabbing a pretty looking shampoo bottle you are.
*Just a quick blanket statement reminder- I don’t know everything, and I do not have all the answers. While your beliefs might not align with mine, that’s ok. The important thing is to be aware that the products you buy at Target, and the restaurants you go to have an impact on your life. Put your money into a business that you feel proud to invest in. We have the power.