Supply V. Demand:
As a consumer, you may have more power than you think. Shoppers tend to think they are helpless. They believe they are at the whim of companies who sell products, the suppliers. They tell themselves there is limited selection. For example, if companies want to put chemicals or additives in food, they have to put up with it. That’s what the mainstream brands are doing. That’s what the cheapest and most convenient companies are doing. The truth is there is a lot you can do to change this. You do have a vote, whether or not your favored political candidates were chosen. You don’t have to be on the board of a company to make decisions for that company, either. I’ll give you a hint, your vote is in your wallet!
The myth that consumers are just under the foot of suppliers is simply untrue. Demand dictates supply, not the other way around. Put simply, suppliers must provide good and services that the population wants. Otherwise, nobody would buy and they would go bankrupt. That means consumers have the power to determine what goods and services are made and sold. If no one is buying the products that are toxic, they will discontinue to be manufactured. Therefore, where you spend your money is your vote for what you support.
It’s too easy to give excuses. It is easy to say you can’t buy this or that because it’s too expensive. Or, you have to do this or that because it’s your only choice. But, we need to start taking responsibility as consumers. Yes, it requires a little more energy to get the ball rolling. You may have to do some research, move your budget around, or travel to a specialty store. Underneath the excuses, it’s typically convenience that consumers are truly looking for. Stop making yourself into a victim, and start empowering your mind. I’m going to give you three easy steps you can follow to start voting for what you actually want.
Firstly, assess your values and desires. Is is health that you care about? If so, you may be aware there’s a lot of toxic additives in many products and foods you purchase. Maybe you’re more of an environmentalist. You’re healthy and fit, so your main concern is on your surroundings. What bothers you is all of the pollution and carelessness around you. Plastic is piling up in the ocean, but you don’t know how you can stop it. Or, possibly you have a great compassion for animals. It kills you to see companies getting away with inhumanity. No laws are enforcing better behavior, and animal cruelty is not being discussed by your states legislature. Make a list of the things you care about most, the places where you feel helpless to change.
Take Your Power Back:
Secondly, go through your home and do some research on the products you’ve been buying. Pay attention to which main companies you primarily purchase from. In the category of food, do research on what the ingredients actually mean. What about those strange labels? We’ve got Non-GMO, organic, pasture-raised, gluten-free, and the list goes on. Look into the background of what these labels mean. Why were they created in the first place? Someone obviously had problems with the way things were, and research could uncover the reasons why. For clothes and other products, what is the process behind their creation? A little research can uncover the environmental and humanitarian impacts of manufacturing. The distance and methods of shipping are also important. Overall, you are definitely going to want to look into the companies themselves. Where is the company located and who is profiting? Are they outsourcing labor? Do they have outstanding or previous lawsuits? Are they financing certain political parties or agendas? How do they donate money or give back to the world? Then, you will know what your vote has been supporting.
Lastly, find alternative products that can fit your lifestyle goals and values. For example, exchange plastic for glass and find products not tested on animals. Learn about new products and companies that do align with your values. Aligning with these new values may require some changes in your agenda. But, you might be pleasantly surprised. You may find that alternatives are affordable and more available than you thought. Consider your budget. What could you be willing to sacrifice for these positive changes? Maybe, cut out that soda habit in exchange for some wiggle room. Try something new, like going to local farmers market. They often have affordable products, with less processing and travel distance. I know that it’s not as convenient to do this, or shop around different locations. Usually, if something is too easy there’s a catch. The biggest rewards come with more difficulty.
Vote With Your Wallet:
Every dollar you spend every day is a vote towards what you want more of. How I see it, the dollar is a more powerful vote than even the presidential vote. Let’s be real, the market influences the presidential vote! The more you support a particular speciality product, the more the market will adapt. Suppliers will begin to develop better technology and better systems that will reduce the costs of “specialty” items over time. That’s the power these companies don’t want you to realize you possess. Think about it, how much of our reality is made up of the companies we support? Money creates power and powerful people are pulling the strings. Their influence has no boundaries. Research the backstory of products you purchase. The quality of our lives come down to the decisions we make every day. So, especially in times of political unrest and division, know that you still have power no matter the outcome.
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