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Socially Conscious Shopping

JebusUDJebusUD Adventure!Candy IslandRegistered User regular
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I am looking to find some kind of guide book or website that has condensed research on companies and stores on their social responsibility. Basically I am trying to smarten up my shopping habits, and make sure that I am not supporting things that I would find morally reprehensible.

Any tips or pointers?

and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
but they're listening to every word I say
JebusUD on

Posts

  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Well, it's not really shopping, but for banks there's a site called "move your money," which is a search utility for local banks and credit unions (the non evil kind)

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Don't Amnesty or HRW have a list on their sites?

    VisionOfClarity on
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Well, it's not really shopping, but for banks there's a site called "move your money," which is a search utility for local banks and credit unions (the non evil kind)

    I approve of this kind of thing as well. Anything like this is welcome.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I think the Sierra club has something like this on their website? I've never looked, so I may be wrong

    Xaquin on
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    first

    make locally produced food as large a part of your diet as possible

    this is the easiest (though not necessarily cheapest) way of doing this

    MrMonroe on
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    so... does anyone have any links to anything specific? Lists or store suggestions or something?

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
  • Niceguy MyeyeNiceguy Myeye Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    For the most part, this is kind of the think that there isn't an inclusive list for. There aren't any easy answers. What you have to do is find out who is bad and then hold a grudge for life. That's one of the main problems with this. It's so much work, and companies change policies all the time.

    Take an inventory of what brands you like to buy now and then just do the research. Supposedly American Apparel is pretty decent on the labor and environmental front.

    Here's an article with some general advice:

    http://www.googobits.com/articles/p0-491-practical-ways-to-avoid-sweatshop-clothing.html

    For 2008, the official inductees of the Sweatshop Hall of Shame listed by the International Labor RightForum are: American Eagle, Carrefour, Cintas, Dickies, Disney, Guess, Hanes, New Era, Speedo, Tommy Hilfiger, Toys “R” Us, and Wal-Mart.

    You can also check here
    http://www.sweatfree.org/resources

    You're going to also have to do research on environmental aspect of it too and make your own venn diagram and see what overlaps.

    Niceguy Myeye on
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Inquisitor77 on
  • cabsycabsy the fattest rainbow unicorn Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    first

    make locally produced food as large a part of your diet as possible

    this is the easiest (though not necessarily cheapest) way of doing this

    Go trolling the internet for farmer's markets and CSAs in your area, though CSAs are ramping down for the season unless you live somewhere really temperate. Buy a chest freezer if you can and network with farmers at the farmer's market to see who sells quarter/half/whole animals for meat. If you're lucky and live near a large Amish or Mennonite community, they usually sell a ton of produce for dirt cheap, $5 will get me 6 1/2lbs of peaches or 9lbs of organically grown local tomatoes or a metric asston of zucchini, squash, cucumbers, peppers, and eggplant. Getting local produce, dairy, and meat becomes a lot about networking both online and off.

    cabsy on
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    brandkarma is a recently opened website - it's still in beta but it's a very good resource for ethical buying, using a very social-networking influenced structure

    we've also got an excellent app for this but i think it's oriented primarily to the australian market so it might not help you

    bsjezz on
    sC4Q4nq.jpg
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Also, organic is pretty much bunk. Don't necessarily shell out extra dough for organically grown or raised products. In some ways, it's actually worse for the environment, because they have to use more harmful natural pesticides, more fertilizer, and more land for the same amount of produce.

    Also apparently it doesn't taste as good as non-organic, at least according to Penn and Teller BULL@#$%'s survey.

    Terrendos on
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Terrendos wrote: »
    Also, organic is pretty much bunk. Don't necessarily shell out extra dough for organically grown or raised products. In some ways, it's actually worse for the environment, because they have to use more harmful natural pesticides, more fertilizer, and more land for the same amount of produce.

    Also apparently it doesn't taste as good as non-organic, at least according to Penn and Teller BULL@#$%'s survey.

    Yeah, I had figured as much. I think a bunch of it is about marketing stuff to hipsters at increased prices. However, I have been able to find some non-organic free range cage free chicken eggs that seem to check out.



    That better world shopping guide looks pretty nice. Maybe I will pick that up. Will also check out this brand karma thing.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    monterey bay aquarium also has a nice fish guide

    dlinfiniti on
    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
  • FeatherBladeFeatherBlade Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    For the most part, this is kind of the think that there isn't an inclusive list for. There aren't any easy answers. What you have to do is find out who is bad and then hold a grudge for life. That's one of the main problems with this. It's so much work, and companies change policies all the time.

    This. Back in the 70's and 80's Nestle was trying to encourage poor women in third-world countries to purchase infant formula, instead of breast-feeding (which is more efficient, more cost effective, and arguably safer).

    Several people I know boycotted all Nestle products because of this, and still maintain the boycott today. I don't know if Nestle has changed its practices since then, but this is the kind of dedication one needs to do something like you are trying to do.

    I, personally, am considering not purchasing any stainless steel made in China, because all the stainless steel I have bought from that country has rusted.

    Also, what Cabsy and Mr Monroe said.
    Food that you buy at a farmer's market can be slightly more expensive than food in a supermarket, but if you buy at a market, direct from the farmer, then all of the money you paid for the food goes directly to the farmer.
    If you buy from a supermarket, most of the money you pay goes to the supermarket, and to the shipping company, and the pittance left over goes to the farmer... if the grocery store even buys from small local farmers, and not the large factory farms.

    FeatherBlade on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    This website lets you compare companies according to how they've been graded in various categories (presumably by the organization behind the website). Unfortunately there's no information available as to how exacty the grading is performed, or whether the data is up to date, and so it comes down to having to do your own research anyway. Might serve as a decent starting point though, and you can get (some) detailed information by looking at the individual companies on the site (I assume the grading is based on stuff they list in the Alerts section of each company).

    Fun fact: Speaking of Nestlé, they rank Nestlé the worst company in the food industry, with the lowest score in every category (environment, human rights, labor, ethics & governance, health & safety). Apparently this summer Nestlé has started a project to advertise their products to the tribal communities of the Amazon Basin.

    Bliss 101 on
    MSL59.jpg
  • cabsycabsy the fattest rainbow unicorn Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Terrendos wrote: »
    Also, organic is pretty much bunk. Don't necessarily shell out extra dough for organically grown or raised products. In some ways, it's actually worse for the environment, because they have to use more harmful natural pesticides, more fertilizer, and more land for the same amount of produce.

    Also apparently it doesn't taste as good as non-organic, at least according to Penn and Teller BULL@#$%'s survey.

    I agree with this. The only thing I'd say you have to get organic is lemons and only if you are using the rind/zest extensively, as the rind is hard to scrub totally clean. But at a farmer's market you're mostly going to find things that end up being organic by accident; I certainly don't go looking for organic tomatoes, but most of the Amish produce just sort of turns up that way. Fun fact: in my area, the amish and mennonites sell their mass produce at auction, and kroger is a large buyer of their goods, so I can drive 30 miles to Kroger and buy the same exact "organic produce" for 4-8x as much, or I can go two miles up the road and get it for $.25 a pound. This is why networking and putting work in as far as food goes can actually save you money, depending on the area where you live.

    cabsy on
  • DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you're committed to this, you'll probably never want to buy another piece of electronics equipment. Foxconn makes components for everything, from the iPod to the Wii, and, well, they recently put nets around their buildings to prevent employee suicides.

    Delzhand on
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Apparently this summer Nestlé has started a project to advertise their products to the tribal communities of the Amazon Basin.

    Wow, um, ha, that's, uh, interesting.

    Hexmage-PA on
  • SeolSeol Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Delzhand wrote: »
    If you're committed to this, you'll probably never want to buy another piece of electronics equipment. Foxconn makes components for everything, from the iPod to the Wii, and, well, they recently put nets around their buildings to prevent employee suicides.
    Surely that's a good thing, a sensible health and safety precaution?

    Seol on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    first

    make locally produced food as large a part of your diet as possible

    this is the easiest (though not necessarily cheapest) way of doing this

    On the other hand, buying things produced in third world countries where the people make a living wage could be considered equally important from a global perspective.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Seol wrote: »
    Delzhand wrote: »
    If you're committed to this, you'll probably never want to buy another piece of electronics equipment. Foxconn makes components for everything, from the iPod to the Wii, and, well, they recently put nets around their buildings to prevent employee suicides.
    Surely that's a good thing, a sensible health and safety precaution?

    They did it because their employees were committing suicide in droves.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Lewisham on
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