So, now maybe you have already switched to a credit union? Or are still planning on it? There are lots of other things you can do to make your life more aligned with your principles. Read on for some ideas....
Caveat: I am listing the websites that I am aware of. I have no vested interest in any of the sites that I mention. I make no attempt to be comprehensive. There may be better companies for some of the issues that I discuss. Please feel free to add to this list, or give your experience with them in the comments section. If you want to find out more about any of these sites, do your own research. This is a starting point only.
Just in case you still bank at one of the TBTF banks, here's how to find a better choice. Open an account at a credit union. They are all over the country, but each has its own membership requirements. They are FDIC insured and they often have agreements with other banks/stores to use their debit card with no fee. (In Fairfax County, Virginia you can do banking for Fairfax County Credit Union at all 7-11 stores for free). To find out about a credit union in your area:
I have found that a really good source of all kinds of information on green living and alternative lifestyles is:
Join it. It has tons of resources on all kinds of things. Want to get a credit card with a bank that supports your principles? It’s there. Working Assets and Brighter Planet are great concept credit cards, but did you know that Bank of America is the bank that supports them?
There's lots more over the fold:
Want to invest in funds that are socially conscious? Check out:
But, again, do your research first, Green America has some great articles on these various companies. They also have a section on responsible shopping.
Want to ditch ATT and Verizon for cellular telephone service? We have been Credo Mobile members for over a year now, their phones go over sprint lines (which means good reception) but they have their own very nice, friendly customer support (which means that they have good customer support, too!)
The company behind Credo Mobile, Working Assets also has long distance service.
Want to grocery shop at stores that support your pro-union beliefs? They exist, as the old advertisement said “Look for the union label”. One of our stores down the street has a sticker inside the front door that says the workers are unionized and provides the local number. And, of course, buy local whenever possible. A few of the stores around here have started carrying local produce.
Want to live with like-minded individuals? There are lots of options and they are growing all of the time.
Cohousing is a created community, generally runs on consensus decision-making, often liberal, sometimes has other restrictions (may be vegetarian or for certain subgroups of people). Again, you need to do the research in your area to find out about it. Cohousing generally is for folks who want to buy property, but some do have rental units, as well.
This website has information on all kinds of “intentional communities”, including ecovillages (www.ecovillages.org ).
YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Want to offset your carbon footprint? Check out:
Do you live in a big city and only need a car occasionally?
Ditch the car, sign up for:
Want to use fewer disposable items? (grocery bags, paper towels, and so on)
They even have reusable toothbrushes (you replace the bristles, but not the handle, we’ve used these for years)
Want to work for companies who may share your beliefs? Check out:
HELPING TO FEED THE HUNGRY
If you have some extra money or time and want to help feed the poor, check out local soup kitchens, donate foods to local charities or give money to:
If you want to support insurance companies who support liberal causes, the only two I am aware of are:
SHOPPING FOR GOODS AND CLOTHING
There are tons of good sites that provide information on socially conscious shopping. Here are a few:
https:/sites.google.com/site/ccarryingliberal (for gift cards)
To find out more about the stores you do shop at:
Socially conscious book stores:
Always buy American made products:
And, don't forget to buy UNION made products when you can:
BUY USED OR BARTER
If you want to stop buying new altogether, there are lots of ways to do this:
Go to your local Salvation Army or thrift store. Use your local library.
FOR ALL THINGS LOCAL:
Sorry, can’t help for general information. Ya gotta go local!
Try searching google for:
Shop local and your city name.
There are tons and tons of places to get local shopping information.
YES! You can make a difference, remember this stanza from Alice’s Restaurant:
You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin’ a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin’ a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may think it's a movement.
So, I’ve given you enough to get started. Please add to these lists with any of your own favorite sites of information or shopping.