Posted at 12:15 PM on April 10, 2007
by Sanden Totten
So maybe the majority of my generation aren't quite the rabble-rousers our parents were. But I hear more and more from folks my age that where you spend your buck is the new political statement. You can find all sorts of examples of how shopping can be a form of activism. Buying organic and fair trade are probably the best known practices. And in some ways this is inspiring. After all, no matter what party you vote (or don't vote) for, money talks.
But sometimes I wonder how well this method works. When big companies start co-opting the style and language of fair-trade and organic products, shopping-activism can get confusing. For example, Hershey's chocolate is releasing some new bars that look suspiciously like a fair trade product, complete with little pictures of exotic countries where the cocoa was grown. But you can't find a fair-trade logo on them anywhere. It's not the first time companies have tried to confuse the market.
So if my generation is going to speak out with their pocket books, then I want to encourage them to be smart about it! Check out the products you buy if you are shopping to make a statement. If you like to take your activism to the bank, you still have to put in a little effort to make sure you're getting what you paid for.