American author and poet Alice Walker has a quote I love which says, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
This is so true, and everyone I know does it — including me. It’s so much easier to pretend like a victim of __________ (whatever our current problem is), to think there’s nothing that can be done about a situation. It abdicates us of responsibility.
But it’s often not that hard to do something.
I recently watched a fascinating documentary called Food, Inc., which I highly recommend.
The most important thing I learned from this film is that we have more power than we think. It’s easy to look at something like our industrial food system, for example, and say, “That is far too big for me to impact.” But that’s not true. It is the collective consuming “us” who actually have the leverage, through the things we choose to eat and the items we decide to buy. Nobody makes us purchase anything, but through those choices, we are voting for what we believe in — because those companies are tracking every single thing we buy.
My wife and I were walking around Target this weekend getting household products (windex, toilet cleaner, etc.), and we decided to pay the extra thirty cents and go for the “natural” products. Are they completely natural? Maybe not, but it’s clearly a step in the right direction for product manufacturers. And we have the power to vote that they should make more of these kind of products, every time we buy them.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Josh Allan Dykstra. Josh Allan Dykstra said: New blog post: Saving The World, One Household Product At A Time http://wp.me/p9H4b-Hw […]
Totally agree, Josh! We have started eating more vegetarian meals in order to lessen the demand for factory farm meat. It just means being more aware and thinking about the consequences of my actions, even if I don’t see the direct result.
And yes, we switched to more natural cleaning products too.
Love it, Jen! That’s fantastic.
Josh – consumer choices definitely have the power to transform the market. I recall that just a few years ago you might have to visit 2 or 3 different stores just to find 1 “green” cleaning product! Now they’re almost everywhere.
Another cool sustainability product for the home and/or office is the “smart surge protector”. There are new models and brands popping up everywhere now that cutting energy costs and saving the planet have become consumer priorities. If you’re interested I can provide more info. I’m blogging about them this week!
I love the idea of a smart surge protector. Please do pass along more info for me and any others who may read this! Thank you!
Smart surge protectors are a great way to kill power to all of the blinky/flashy/glowy electronics in the middle of the night when you don’t need to see them.
Read more about the technology and its awesome energy/money saving benefits here: http://wp.me/p1kAA3-1u
As our choices improve, so too does our Earth’s environment. Commercial chemical cleaners are bad culprits for toxic ingredients. That’s why I prefer to make my own using household ingredients like vinegar and baking soda combined with essential oils.