Voting with your wallet is not a new concept. It does not mean looking for additional expenditures to support causes you believe in (even though, financial contributions and donations can be a good way to support a movement you care about).
Often it boils down to two questions: Do I need or even want the thing I am buying? No? Snuggle that wallet back into your pocket. Yes? Is the provider of this thing I am buying creating, producing, and delivering it in a way that is good for the planet and the people on it? If not, is there another provider who does? As consumers we have options.
At the grocery store, which products are we grabbing off the shelves? Did we consider if the foods were produced sustainably and ethically? How far did they have to travel to reach our store? Is there a local alternative we can select and support?
This is not meant to intimidate or overwhelm. In fact, it is quite the opposite! Use the power you already have. Companies who are worth your vote are those who listen well.
Like any great leader, they are aware of and care about the impact of their decisions, not just for the select few, but for the wellbeing of everyone (and everything) involved. In statements to Reuters, Coca-Cola, UPS, Delta, Home Depot and Aflac said they were committed to voter rights. Hundreds more signed a full-page ad to show their support of voting rights legislation. “Voting with your wallet” alone won’t be the silver bullet to creating a more just, equitable and hospitable world for all – but as so many changes, they work when we act on them over and over again until they become a habit.
Three Reasons and New Allies
1. While this type of “support” may feel microscopic, voting responsibly with your dollars is something that can be done every day. How empowering is that?
2. Speaking of voting… Voting is seen as a collective activity, but each individual act and every vote affects the final result. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. If you think large corporations aren’t paying attention to consumer trends and the calls for voting rights, political correctness, environmental and social sustainability, think again.
3. Lastly, whether we buy this “practice” or not, we are still participating. We are still making purchases, correct? When we get that wallet out, we vote – and it’s one of many ways to participate in shaping your community and environment.
Recently, consumers (and voters) have been joined by traditionally fiscally conservative retailers, corporations, and businesses to make their wallets heard - a clear gesture to their customers in favor of voting rights, access to voting and laws empowering voters.
Citizens don’t have term limits!
Reuters, The Verge, Growensemble, Washington Post - Opinion, BusinessRoundTable