Yes, I can make a difference!!
We know… the question is: how am I supposed to significantly impact the course of so many of these multi-national, multi-million (or billion!) dollar companies that are involved in all manner of harmful practices, whether it be sheer volume of carbon in the atmosphere or unlawful employment practices?
The simple answer is to vote with your dollars. Every dollar you spend at a local natural foods grocery store that supports local farmers, you vote for local, sustainable business. Every dollar you spend at McDonalds, you vote for deforestation of the rainforest, questionable food sourcing, and the proliferation of diets high in fat and calories.
- Say YES to Local ~ Shop at local farmer’s markets and support local businesses. We prefer the selection at my local toy store (Whiz Kids) over Toys ‘R Us any day!
- Use the Power of Choice ~ We can choose products based on how they effect our health (personal and planetary.) It can be tricky to navigate the world of food and product labeling, but taking a few minutes to research what do our labels mean ~~ ‘organic’ vs. ‘natural’ vs. ‘non-GMO’ can help educate both parents and children. Help Guide.org provides a great resource for this information as well as tips, resources and references.
- Talk about it ~ Shopping can become a very meaningful time to interact with their child. With each product placed in the basket, comes a teachable moment. Compare and contrast products. Read different aspects of the label. Does it say where the product comes from? Is there any information about how the product was created? Is it from organic ingredients? Are there chemicals in it? What kind of nutritional information is available? Discussing the simple facts of where a product was manufactured, how it got to the shelf, and the effect it has on your life or body can be a great way to help a child understand the potential consequence of using a product.
A simple article like this one from Mother Earth News can help inspire. And resources like the Good Guide.com that provide ‘Green, Healthy and Safe Product’ ratings and reviews. Check out the personal filters you can use on mobile apps to help you decide on the best products to choose as you shop.