Shop with a Cause #2:

Like most things, I jumped in headfirst last week in introducing my “Shop with a Cause” idea. That usually happens when I am super excited or feel strongly about something. I thought I’d take a post and introduce the mentality behind my idea before diving any further.I have several rules for myself  regarding shopping. I try to buy things only when I need them, and avoid impulse buying at all costs. I think to myself – would I rather have another bag, or this throwaway container of takeout food, or save those few dollars to go towards a trip (or another iHerb care package to myself)? Secondly, I donate 10% of whatever I buy for myself: clothes, body treatments, any small luxuries or trips, to support causes I care about. But you don’t have to make monthly donations to improve green solutions. In fact, I think it is better to make smaller donations in the form of consumer prices and still get something in return.* That is why I say “buy with a cause”.

So here’s an easy way to integrate green living into daily life: go shopping! Rather than bend over backwards to scrape up enough money for a donation or do large sum donations (not that I am discouraging that at all, but I realize it isn’t always possible to be as generous as you wish), you can easily support local and/or fair quality businesses and the products they produce by choosing carefully what you really need to buy and where you want your money to go.

When consumers let companies or businesses know that they want goods that are made sustainably and in a way that protects workers and the environment, companies respond to that consumer demand. Do yourself, your community, and your planet a favor and look for better options when shopping. Speaking of options, Japan has some amazing recycle shops (secondhand stores) where I can buy things I need for my household at a fraction of the price. As I’ve learned with the number of hand beaters and irons my family went through, after my mom’s original wedding gifts from 1981 crapped out a few years back, new is not always better. So check out your local secondhand stores!

Last weekend I bought myself a “new” dress for about $6. It’s a great way to recycle and avoid contributing any more waste materials by consumption.

Check out the Story of Stuff for a compelling reason to examine your levels of consumerism.

For any one who is interested, I just made last month’s round of donations to these organizations:

Oceana.orgsaving our oceans from being treated like a toilet (my words, not Oceana’s) and spreading the word about sustainable seafood
The Central Asia Institutecommunity-based education, especially for girls
Concern Worldwiderelief for the current food crisis in West Africa
Returning Veterans Projecthelping veterans address the physical, emotional and psychological challenges of coming home

Next Month:
Partners in Health – providing a preferential health care option for the poor
Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison, WI – one of the few FREE zoos in the country!


5 thoughts on “Shop with a Cause #2:

  1. Kate: Your ideas inspire … simplify … make a difference, one little choice/suggestion/genuine thought-of-yours at a time (all the way from the outskirts of Tokyo to right here in St. Paul, MN)! Keep writing and sharing. You rock.

    • Agreed Kate! I have been recycling my own clothing; donating to Goodwill each time I get something new—something (or 2 or 3) needs to go from my closet. Age has taught me that I have enough and honestly to buy less but of better quality then there is less waste due to less stuff and stuff that lasts a longer time. I challenge my sister to do the same thing (hee, hee—-she loves clothing more than I do I think!). Thanks for the midweek inspiration as I head out to the stores for some errand shopping and the enticement of “summer sales”!

      • Yeah sales are always a draw, but I stop and think if I actually need it – would it be useful if it wasn’t on sale??? Another thing I do is think about how I would get rid of an item before I buy it…for example: how long will I keep it? What will I do when I want to get rid of it? and so on. That usually helps narrow down purchases too

    • Thank you! I think the more we break it down, the easier lifestyle changes are to accomplish. And simplifying and de-cluttering is one of the best feelings I get from cleaning or bringing less into my home to begin with.

  2. Pingback: July Shop with a Cause Recap + Coconut Oil Giveaway! | eat, recycle, repeat

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