Bringing the MOGO Principle to the Holidays: Key 3: Make Connections & Self-Reflect

As you buy gifts, food, wrapping paper, ornaments, etc., this holiday season ask yourself some questions. What are the effects of these purchase on other people, animals, and the environment? All your purchases will contribute to the economy, which is a positive effect in these hard times, but your money is your vote for the world you want. Some purchases have very negative consequences. For example, a toy made from plastic in an overseas sweatshop may contribute to pollution, human exploitation, and resource depletion, whereas a wooden toy made locally from an artisan may be more aligned with your values. Facial lotion from a company which tests its products on animals may be less aligned with your values than a lotion made by a cottage industry with natural ingredients that are known to be safe.

As you ask questions about the products you’re considering buying, you will need to make some effort to find the answers. Very little is supplied by the labels and ingredients. You’ll have to dig to find out if your purchases are truly aligned with your values. You can visit Responsible Shopper to learn about some of the larger multinational companies and their products. You can also find a wealth of resources for such research through the weblinks at the Institute for Humane Education (and in my book, Most Good, Least Harm).

After doing some research to make connections between the things you buy and their effects, self-reflect. What choices matter to you? Having learned new information, what new choices can you make that are in accordance with your values?

~ Zoe


Reposted from 12/18/08.

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