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    Let’s Act More Like Citizens and Less Like Consumers

    Some things won’t change as President Trump pulls the United States out of the Paris Accord on combating climate change. For example, you and I will still be key decision-makers in our economy. We decide which companies succeed and which ones fail.

    Our everyday purchases support the companies that make our food, clothes, home furnishings, and energy. Every one of these companies is more than just a product line. Each one represents a set of values, too, reflected in whether they pollute, ignore climate change, mistreat workers, or ignore the impact of their products on their customers’ (our) health. When we buy from companies that ignore their impact on people and the world, we endorse their values and provide financial support to their destructive business practices.

    This is the crucial vote we cast every day, not every four years. At the South by Southwest conference two years ago, Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear company, tweeted the following from Rose Marcario, its CEO:

    “If we activate citizens, not consumers … I think business can be a positive agent for change.”

    She was talking about you and me. When we think about which products to buy, which companies to support, do we think like citizens, concerned with the impact of our purchases on the world around us?

    The amazing truth captured in Rose’s statment is that our economy answers to us, to “we the people.” Of course, the President’s position has a huge impact. But so do we.

    The negative side effects of conventional business – climate change, environmental damage, social injustice, and our health, to name some big ones – are not inevitable. We don’t have to support companies whose values don’t align with ours. And if enough of us stop supporting them, they will either decline or change.

    Thousands of companies are working hard to create better ways to do business, to give us plenty of new choices for our everyday votes. We highlight some of them at GreenerDailyLife.com.

    Hand drawing diagram of people, planet, profit to explain the intersection of Sustainable Development concept

    Sometimes it takes a little research to find better companies, but here are a few great places to start looking:

    Let’s choose to put our financial power – our everyday purchases – behind companies that make the world better. It will be years before we can elect a new Federal government, but we vote every day for the kind of economy we want. Let’s take our choices seriously, every day.

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