Sunday, October 19, 2008

Choose your vendors well

Robert Reich writes about our general preference for ignoring the moral implications of our spending decisions:

[A]s moral beings we want to think of ourselves as stewards of the environment, intent on protecting future generations. But as consumers, we often disregard this moral aspiration. Many of us continue to buy cars that spew carbon into the air, and some of us spend lots of time flying from one location to another in jet airplanes that have an even greater carbon footprint. And we often buy low-priced items from poor nations in which environmental standards are lax and factories spill toxic chemicals into water supplies or pollutants into the air. How do we square our moral stand on the environment with our purchasing habits? Beyond buying the occasional "eco-friendly" product, we typically don't even try.
Many of our choices as consumers are not simple A/B choices, of course, and there’s a complex web of linked effects further up the supply chain that we typically can’t even determine. But I know I feel better when I can support local producers, local farms, and small businesses.

No comments: