We the people have the power to lobby the government if we choose to redistribute our own funding and general availability a little bit. It’s a bit of a fancy trick, but his is the new wave of green consumerism!
This is part 2 of a 3-part blog post ?. For a the prequel to this post and a better grasp of exactly what we are going into, read THIS other post first.
As consumers, we have inadvertently gotten lost in the woods of supposedly “conscious” consumerism and small battles. We all mean well, and every motion counts. But having diverged into so many directions, we have been blinded and crippled as a positive force.
United as a whole, we have a strong voice. As individuals and families making daily choices, we have important roles as well.
The important thing for all is to look at the bigger picture, not just one specific smaller piece of it. As a mass movement, we wont be able to keep giving money to the companies that are going against what we are trying to avoid and fix in the world. And we will need to clearly communicate with them
why we are boycotting. Beyond boycott, choose your battles for how massive their impact will be, and make them far-reaching.
Your role, and choosing it:
Whatever your cause or action, choose it. Commit and make it a lifestyle. That’s how you make a difference. Sure, maybe you will have to eat off a styrofoam plate again in your life, but do your DARNDEST!
When looking at how you can truly make your best impact and still stay sane, come back to this question:
“What is the biggest difference I could make with the energy that I’m able to realistically give right now?” This means your energy, time, creativity, and also monetary and physical resources. You can give from alternating resources when one pool is low. When you can’t give time or creativity, give money! The power of properly donated money to the right cause will always be incredible, and needed for change.
Be sure to give yourself a break right off the bat, and be very realistic with yourself about what more you can fit on your plate right now. It is paramount to also ask
yourself what can you take off of your plate that you don’t even like to do- even if it will offend or inconvenience somebody else- so that you can do things that are more important to you?
This could look like finally stopping your Mary Kay delivery that your good friend “relies on you” for, to free up money for your deep reaching chosen cause or your self care freedom. Or it could look like opting out of being in the soccer mom carpool, so that you can volunteer every week to lobby against something important and far-reaching. Hey- it might look like taking your kids out of soccer altogether and teaching them how to volunteer for a big important cause instead!
Taking all of this self-love into consideration, What is the next bigger thing that you could do with the same amount of resources you’ve already been donating? Skip everything else and go for the big impact!
Think into the desired outcome of your chosen actions. Go in with the ultimate goal of bigger systematic change instead of item-by-item changes. Here is a simple example:
Does Subway changing their bread ingredients to be less chemical and horrible actually impact the industry as a whole? Not really.
Sign petitions that matter to you, for sure. And every motion counts! But you can look up bigger impacting bills that are in the works as well, and concentrate your efforts towards that instead. Like if you’re spending an hour a day signing online petitions? You could probably be making a bigger impact with a bit of thought and re-focus of your efforts. What else could you do for that hour per day to create bigger change?
Consider the Subway bread chemical case. They were so proud that they “finally” took this scary toxin out of their bread, and they got a bunch of publicity and sales from it. Yay for tiny wins and all, but We the People needed to be lobbying the FDA and other agencies to not allow these ingredients through in the first place- not just saying no to Subway alone for the dangerous ingredient. What about other restaurants’ breads? These chemicals that we are so proud of Subway for ditching are STILL LEGAL ingredients. THAT is the bigger problem to address.
Boycott the company while systematically addressing the root cause.
Read more here about the deeper action I mean when I personally talk about a “boycott”.
But worry less about directly attacking the company who is partaking in the evil practice that you’re against. Still do boycott for sure! But don’t forget to focus more on persuading the people who make these practices legal and possible in the first place to change the laws for the better. That’s what PART ONE f this post is all about. Check it out! That creates the real change. As discussed in other areas of the blog, there is a very specific action to take with this “offending companies” sector of the pyramid we are trying to crumble.
Briefly, that action is suddenly deciding to pull all of your money from them by a true, long term, committed boycott as described in this other post (previously linked to above) and telling If they change TO YOUR STANDARDS they definitely deserve a pat on the back, and it is up to you whether or not you want to trust that in the future and returned to them as a customer. Definitely wait a looong time though, and proceed with caution.
I’m feeling a 25 year probation period at minimum for the worst offending companies- and there are lots. We are going to have to find realistic, kind, and sustainable sources for our daily goods, and really back out of this consumer craziness in a serious way. It is possible!