Monday, April 4

Consumer Conflicts

"But the truth is that we live in a society that’s complex, at best, and a cesspool of corruption at worst. It’s just about impossible to get through a day without compromise, and every time we compromise it’s difficult not to feel as though we’ve failed a little." - Samuel Smith from the article "Hard Times for the Pure of Heart"

We're on our way to Home Depot this morning. Lots of house repairs and upgrades needed and not a lot of choices when it comes to materials and supplies in this neck of the high desert. We have a good friend that makes it a practice to boycott places that are anti worker, careless about pollution, and do not meet minimum ethical standards. She avoids Walmart and Safeway, shopping at local owned stores or farmers markets. She gives a big thumbs up to Costco because they take care of their workers and have quality products, but does not buy salmon there because it is not "green." I am exhausted listening to her explain the ethical and ecological ins and outs of these places.

"Where do you get the time to continually research and monitor these consumer issues, " I asked one day.

"It only takes a few minutes on the internet. Just check out Scorecard to find out who the polluters are in our area and the Good Guide will help with groceries and stuff." she explained.

I try to spend my money where it does the most good, but like the article above explains, it's hard. I go for convenience sometimes and I feel like a hypocrite when I pass through the doors of Walmart or Target. I can't image not shopping at these places, either. Quite a conflict. The good news is that customers of these places can exert influence by letting them know we'd pay more if they pollute less and/or treat their workers better.

Meanwhile, where's the farmers market and how soon can I get there.