I just received this from a listserv in Baltimore called ‘greencitybaltimore’. It’s worthy of passing on. It has also provoked me to think about whether I would feel comfortable sitting down with any homeless person over lunch. Give them some money, yes. But I need to look at my issues on why I’m not so comfortable sitting down with any one of them. Food for thought.
How to Fight Corporate Greed
Fight corporate greed one day at a time. There are small things you
can do to make a difference. These ten tips will help you get started.
1) Don’t let your children become marketing victims. It starts with a
Saturday morning cartoon. Strategically marketed name-brand toys (all
made in China) follow. Frisbees, pajamas, lunchboxes, and all sorts of
buzzing-and-flashing electronic gadgets. Encourage them to read story
books without copyrighted characters. Buy them at least a few
non-electronic toys, and stuffed animals that aren’t named Barbie,
Elmo, Batman, or Mr. Potato Head … dolls that they will have to give
names to themselves.
2) Shop at local businesses. This keeps the money in your community.
It also diversifies the economy and gives your town a unique sense of
place. Whether in Los Angeles or Atlanta, a Borders, Superfresh, or
Home Depot look the same. Locally-owned businesses give you a sense of
3) Stay aware of and boycott companies whose workers are on strike.
Tell organizations you belong to that they should do the same. It will
make a difference.
4) Organize a consciousness-raising activity with a friend. For
example, one person dresses up in a suit, while the other wears old
work clothes. Go out into a busy shopping district and stand about
twenty feet apart from each other. The person dressed in work clothes
carries the sign, “Will Work for Food.” The person in a suit carries
the sign, “Will Work for $500,000 Plus Benefits, a Company Car, and
Paid Vacations.” Get people thinking about the bail out!
5) Never let yourself become out of touch with poverty. The next time
a friendly-looking homeless person asks for money, treat him or her to
lunch at a nearby coffee shop. Let the person tell her story.
6) Shop fair trade or thrift. People often complain that fair trade
clothing is too expensive. But do you really want to promote sweat
shop labor just to save a few dollars? Find a fair trade store that
doesn’t cater to high-end shoppers and buy what you can afford. The
clothes you buy will be beautiful and unique. If you need more
clothing, enjoy a scavenger hunt at a local thrift store.
7) Eat locally grown food as often as you can. Some of it can come
from the local farmer’s market. Some can come from your own garden. If
you don’t have a garden space, grow a few potted veggies in your
apartment. The tomatoes will be brighter and juicier. It will be worth
8) Turn off your television. Play a card game, enjoy your fireplace,
invite your neighbors over. Delight in the art of good conversation.
It’s commercial free!
9) Get involved in local politics. Attend a few city council and
planning committee meetings. If a developer plans to build a
condominium complex or a cell phone tower in your back yard, you need
to know about it.
10) Don’t allow yourself to become cynical. When we give up trying to
make a difference, hope is lost. Distance yourself from people who are
not sincere. Let yourself stand for something. And remain an optimist.
An optimist in difficult times is a true gem.