Mary Hunt from In Women We Trust is a tireless champion for the cause of the environment and sustainability. She particularly pushes women to marshall their incredible power as consumers to change how companies do things. Mary is the one who introduced me to the site The Big Green Purse, a site dedicated to motivating women to become green consumers.
When you read Mary's passionate post entitled Why Omen Bloggers Can Do What Washington Can't on BlogHer, you can't help but feel galvanized to change a spending habit or two, right?
And she does think it's consumer desire that is driving even companies like Wal-Mart to take notice. How are they taking notice? Well, we know they're one of the biggest purveyors of organic products now, and now they're hosting a "Live Better Sustainability Summit", which seems dedicated to helping their suppliers improve their practices.
Obviously it's easy to be suspicious when the big behemoth companies jump on any philosophical bandwagon. They're public companies driven by the profit motive, after all. And it's easy to consider it a shame if their "conversion" ends up jeopardizing the livelihoods of smaller independents who have been working to evangelize sustainability, organics, fair trade and the rest long before Wal-Mart ever figured out that the average consumer has started to care about those things.
It's also easy to see what this BlogHer commenter is concerned about when she questions whether saving the world through shopping? is really the answer.
But I'm hard pressed to want to discourage conversions toward my belief system, if they are truly followed by action, not just words. And if we believe individual actions do make a different, then changing the way we buy what we do buy, not just reducing what we buy, also is hard to discourage.
I have always believed that how I spend my money is my economic vote every single day. OK, I may not buy as much as I did pre-veg*n days, but what I do buy needs to match my principles as much as possible.
What's the alternative?