Jurich: Women, save the worldWritten by Stacy Jurich | | email@example.com
When I was in fifth grade, my girlfriends and I used to wear shirts that said “Girl Power.” I’m not sure if those slogans are cool anymore, but the power of women never ceases to amaze me.
One of the most powerful tools a woman has is her wallet. According to The Washington Post, women spend 85 cents out of every dollar in the marketplace.
That adds up to about $5 trillion annually, which is more than half of the United States’ gross domestic product. In a country and society where the dollar all too often speaks louder than anything, that’s a lot of power.
I don’t know about you, but this sounds like fun!
Pretend that you are voting every time you make a purchase. Instead of casting your vote for an individual, you are voting on what type of products you want and what companies you want to support. Remember that our economy is driven by a supply and demand structure.
With advertising, corporations and the media try to influence and control the demand, but really, you do. Dare I say it, but your purchasing power may be more powerful than your voting power.
So how do you know who and what to vote for? Just as when preparing for an election, educate yourself on your candidates. Do your research, you’ll thank yourself. I read that about 80,000 industrial chemicals are registered for use in all of the products that we eat, touch, wear and use to furnish our homes, but fewer than 20 percent have been tested for their impact on human health and the environment!
These chemicals include ingredients in our food, household cleaners and body care products. This also includes chemicals found in toys, furniture, clothing and bed linens … pretty much everything you buy!
Last time I was at a general grocery store, I counted 35 choices of peanut butter. Thirty-five! What?! Don’t worry, we can do this. What type of peanut butter do you want to elect? Is it the brand, or the company behind the brand? Last time I checked, all you need for peanut butter is peanuts, so educate yourself about any other ingredients that might be listed in your peanut butter. Learn about the different types of oils used in commercial food products and how they may affect you and your family’s health.
A very simple way to narrow down your peanut butter choices from 35 to two or three is to change where you shop.
Support a locally owned, independent business instead of a national corporation.
The benefits of choosing local are true and deep.
One statistic shows that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 stays in the local economy, compared to only $43 when spent at a non-locally owned business.
To further help with that peanut butter decision, if you shop at a locally owned health food store, they have already done the research on the products and carefully selected
nutritional, non-toxic, natural foods for their community. Claudia’s Natural Food store on Secor Road will grind up peanuts right in front of you so you’re taking home freshly made peanut butter.
Churchill’s in Perrysburg does that, too.
Women, never feel powerless again. We control the marketplace. We are aware of the global ecological and economic crisis before us, so let’s put our money where our mouths are and do some serious changing.
Next time you’re balancing your checkbook, or looking at a bank statement, take a look at where most of your money is going. There’s no more time for excuses. “Stop bitching and start a revolution.” Here are some ideas to start, and a challenge, too.
Men, feel free to join us!
- Never again buy or drink from a plastic (water) bottle. Even if someone gives it to you for free. If you’re tempted, just think: Oil spill.
- Read the labels. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient (or if it says “Aspartame”), put it back on the shelf.
- Buy locally grown and locally produced products. You’ll be healthier for it. And you’ll make a farmer very happy.
- This holiday, use recycled wrapping paper. Or better yet, use comics from the newspaper, send e-cards, or just get creative and skip the darn wrapping paper all together.
And my favorite …
- Consume less, live more!
Here’s a head start on research to help you change the world, one dollar at a time:
E-mail Stacy Jurich at firstname.lastname@example.org.