You want to see change in the world? Get involved. It’s up to you.
Think Walmart actually cares about the environment enough to start putting a few solar panels on the roof of their buildings?
They do it because some of their customers demand it and it makes for good PR in the news. And recently, Proctor and Gamble got some press for making their workplace “zero waste” while the newspaper completely disregarded the fact that the company’s main product – plastic, single-use disposable razors – is anything but zero waste.
Corporations are not willingly going to change their behavior for the benefit of the planet. They only change for shareholders, loss of profits, and good PR. Anything else is a wasted effort. And that’s why it’s vital that we use our voices and actions to make a difference.
Sitting at home yelling at the computer won’t do anything. Action will.
There’s a reason why The Nature Conservancy continues to take millions of dollars from Monsanto while claiming to protect the environment – because they can. No one asks them to stop. No one cancels their membership because of it. The press won’t pick it up and many environmentalists don’t want to rock the boat. But how can giving money to an environmental group help protect the environment when your money is directly competing with the likes of Monsanto?
The recent collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh got me thinking about all of this. How many human lives will it cost before we are willing to spend more than $4 on a t-shirt or $20 on a pair of jeans? How many lives are worth saving a few pennies or dollars? That incident killed 1,127 men, women, and teenagers who were toiling many, many hours a day to make clothing for the American market. They were paid around $.18 per hour so we could buy cheap clothes. Does that seem right to you?
$.18 per hour.
If we were willing to pay just a few pennies more per shirt, it would more than double the pay of those workers. That wouldn’t affect anyone’s bottom line here in America, regardless of whether the shopper were rich or poor. But it would sure make a difference for those workers. However, the only way that is going to happen is if we speak out to those brands not willing to up their prices and pay their workers more money; they aren’t going to do it willingly. And if they aren’t willing to do it, take your shopping dollars elsewhere.
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