1. Bank locally
2. Invest locally
3. Invest sustainably
4. Buy local goods
5. Buy goods made using fair labor practices
6. Buy goods made from sustainable, non-toxic materials
7. Start a business to solve a problem
8. Go to work for a company that’s solving an important problem (and refuse to go to work for companies who don’t)
9. Save for the things you need, rather than using debt
10. Buy less stuff at a higher quality
11. Repair, reuse, and recycle what you have
12. Shift to alternative energy sources to power your life
13. Give more money away
14. Pick a cause to support – and invest in it with your time, talent, and treasure
15. Tell others about the things they can do
Fifteen things any person can do to maintain more power as the consumer. To encourage more corporate responsibility and more engagement with their customers. To have influence in the way our world works.
Three person companies don’t make jet engines. There are some things in the world that can only be achieved by big corporations. And yet, public companies have done so much to damage local economies, drive wedges between us, and manipulate our decisions with marketing messages.
Are all corporations bad? Of course not. But, like anything, if we let them operate unchecked, then we lose our ability to influence. Consumer activists are an important check against unfettered corporate growth.
If we believe in positive change… if we believe corporations should take more responsibility for the communities in which they operate… if we want them to embrace stakeholder theory… then we should start by showing them we’ll do it without them if we have to.