We at PCG are of two minds when it comes to the idea of voting with your dollars. On the one hand, it’s partially the premise for the site, right? Exercise consumer preference to help make it economically viable to build environmentally-conscious, labor-friendly businesses, and boycott businesses that don’t do that.
On the other hand, “change the world through consumer preference” is a bummer of a bumper sticker, and at best a partial solution to a bigger problem. And at worst, it enables (when used in lieu of more radical means of opposition) the destructive forces in this economy that we are so concerned about to begin with. So it is with some serious reservations that we proceed. But proceed we do, gentle reader. Proceed we do.
The Shopping or “consumer preference” section of this site is really only focused on a couple things.
This first is providing information on how a business treats its workers, its consumers and the environment.
The second is helping you decide what to do with that information, especially in instances where there are:
- Good businesses you should throw money at
- Easy alternatives to bad businesses, or
- Alternatives to bad businesses that may be less convenient or more expensive, but represent a significant improvement if you are in a position to absorb the added costs.
There is already a ton of information out there, so part of our job is just aggregating the most relevant info for you. And because we all have busy lives, we also want to offer some guidance on how to interpret and act on the information you do read.
There are a lot of tough judgment calls involved. Support Green Works because it is a real good faith effort by Clorox? Or say screw it, because you are still subsidizing a business that does a lot of damage to the environment, and the unpopular Green Works is a money loser and won’t be around much longer anyway. Best to support an actual green business that has a chance of sticking around. Which is it, man, which IS it?
As you can see, we will get into some of the philosophical dilemmas involved with shopping and being a consumer, because we are down with getting into it. Plain and simple. But we also plan to have lots of tips on simple changes you can make to help support better businesses, because our whole job is making your life easier.