Products

Image courtesy of inspiredeconomist.com

Most responsible, involved citizens acknowledge that voting is a critically important act of true patriotism, and a vital contribution to democracy. In the United States, where the free market system is king, it is easy to overlook the fact that “voting with your dollar” can be even more powerful than voting in the ballot box. That is not to say that anyone should stop participating in local or national political elections. But using your every purchase to cast an extra vote is a tool that if used more consciously by more people, could turn our economy, our public health, and our environmental issues around. But conscious voting is key. Paying attention to the products we buy is extremely important. This means paying attention to the practices of the companies who make our products. It means questioning the social ethics, and the environmental impacts of those companies, and the health effects of the materials they use in manufacturing and packaging. It also means considering the embodied energy consumed in every part of the product’s life, from the natural resources that were depleted to power the machines that made it, to the future of the product: Where will it go when you are done with it and how will it be reused or disposed of? Sometimes it can be hard to find an alternative to a product that is made unsustainably. Where to begin this search? And what criteria to consider? Here we are compiling a collection of products and companies that are doing something good in the process of doing business and making things.

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