Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Think Global Act Local

We walk around with a disconnect like our lives have nothing to do with those suffering systematic Rape and mutilation as weapons of war. We walk around like we have no responsibility to those living less fortunate. Examples like these of how our daily, mindless consumption has worldwide effects are staggering. I think they are also the most useful.

In a capitalist nation our biggest power is our buying and spending power. Companies do not operate out of compassion but out of a bottom line and our duty as citizens of the world is to make their bottom line answer to our compassion. Instead of buying a new phone every two years, keep your old one til it dies - or buy a used one on ebay to keep the demand for the metals (mined by warring terrorist groups in the Congo and sold for weaponry to fuel their fight) down. Better yet, write your phone manufacturer, tell them of your plan, and vow to continue until they institute a policy to trace the materials they use. Encourage 10 of your friends to do the same. Donate the money you would have spent on a new phone to an organization working to end sexual violence.

Instead of an ostentatious diamond ring invest the money into an engagement canoe, or a down payment for a house, or donate the money to an organization working to end domestic violence. OR make sure your diamonds are registered and traced as non-conflict (most of these would come from Canada). DO NOT buy from DeBeers.

Make sure the gold in your wedding band was mined under environmentally sound sanctions (probably out of Utah).

You have spending power - use it wisely! Make it matter!