So when you hear about things like child labor and corporate crimes and just the deterioration of the world in general, do you get this nagging feeling that you want to help but don’t know how?
Well. I have always had a guilty conscience. So I have had that feeling. I don’t know where it comes from, but no matter what happens, it’s like I always think I’m guilty until proven innocent…there’s always one more thing I could have said, one more thing I could have done…to make any situation better than how it turned out. Even if I know I was blatantly uninvolved…well, then I should have stepped right in there and changed things.
While the world’s social and economic problems seem way out of our league, Cody and I have been learning we can very practically help the situation positively. Yesterday, we got a book in the mail (I ordered it online) called The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Makes a Difference. (Check out the website: http://www.betterworldshopper.org/)
We spent probably a solid hour going through this thing. It was written by a doctoral student who wanted to track the social and environmental responsibility of businesses…companies that we do business with every day and probably don’t realize that we do. Each page is dedicated to a service or product we purchase…ice cream, cars, cereal, medication, office supplies, even banks! And he ranks most companies we are familiar with on a scale from A+ to an F…he also lists the corporate hero of that resource and tells why they are the best to buy from. Then he lists the corporate villian and why they should be avoided.
So here’s an example: JUICE
Corporate hero: Cascadian Farm
- CAM certified green business
- Socially Responsible Business Award
- Offers complete line of organic products
Corporate villian: Minute Maid (Coke)
- MM’s (Mulinational Monitor << awesome website) “Worst Corporation” list for 3 years
- Hinders clean water access abroad
- Target of major human rights boycotts
What’s awesome is that some of the companies that get A/B rankings donate ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of their profits to education and charities! Many of them support small farms and provide scholarships. And some of the worst companies refuse to disclose information and have been to court for severe abuses of human rights. For the very things we eat and drink and wear every single day!
Changing the way we shop can make a huge difference! Cody and I got so excited last night because it’s so stinkin’ easy. This book is small enough to fit in a purse. And while you may not think one budget can make a difference, think about all the money you spend on gas (yup, gas is in there), on groceries, on gifts, on your home, on your car, even your life savings and where you keep your money for safe-keeping.
Starting small can make a massive difference…even if it’s to one person halfway across the world. When God says love, He doesn’t really specify who. I think He was being all-inclusive.
“Stop doing wrong. Learn to do right. Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them…” Isaiah 1
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8