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Karma Mechanic has a great diary going about using our economic power to change the country. Posters have been suggesting a lot of resources, so I'm compiling them here, along with some general suggestions about using your financial power for good.

Tracking money in politics: Center for Public Integrity, Corpwatch, Public Campaign,

Comparing corporations: Ethical Consumer (UK),, Responsible Shopper

Supporting responsible businesses: Local Harvest (find a farmers' market in your area), National Green Pages (a publication of Co-op America)

Socially responsible investing/shareholder activism: Innovest, Pax World Funds, the Social Investment Forum and its Advocacy & Policy Program

Tips for using your economic power:

  1. Reduce and reuse. Don't buy things you don't need; you'll save money, and maybe quit forking over so much interest money to credit card companies. Instead of replacing things that are broken, try repairing them. When you can, buy things secondhand. This is good for the environment, and it'll make it easier to avoid giving your money to large corporations.

  2. Buy from local and responsible businesses. Keep your money in your community by supporting local businesses rather than national chains. Buy from businesses that treat their workers and the environment with respect, and avoid those that use money to support politicians or policies you disagree with. Look for organic foods, recycled paper products, union-made clothing, fair trade coffee, etc.

  3. Invest responsibly. Have your checking or savings account at a local bank or credit union - they'll be more likely to lend it out locally, rather than using it support questionable projects like oil pipelines running through rainforests. Put your retirement savings and any other investments into a socially responsible investing (SRI) vehicle. Some SRI funds use their power as large shareholders in corporations to convince those corporations to adopt progressive policies; if you own stocks in individual companies, you can do the same.

  4. Encourage large corporations to improve their policies and practices. Write letters to companies about policies you'd like them to change, or join some of the many nonprofit groups that are pressuring companies to change.

What else belongs on these two lists?

Originally posted to dcvote on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 12:40 PM PST.

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