Let's direct our money to helping the environment

Why is it that so many people are claiming to be environmentalists, yet the environment for humans and animals is not significantly improving?

Because when people vote at the cash register, they fail to vote green! If people claim to be pro-environment but they knowingly or unknowingly spend their money on non-eco-friendly products and services, then they are not utilizing the power of their dollars to help the environment. It seems that most people base their purchases mainly on price, function and taste. Product quality and service seem lower down the list and the environmental policies of the companies rarely enter the picture. Unfortunately, the effects of billions of dollars poorly spent cannot be counteracted by letter-writing campaigns, press releases and media events.

All corporations depend on us for their paychecks, so to speak. In effect, we are their bosses, but we have not harnessed the economic potential and purchasing power from the combined memberships of animal rights and welfare organizations, humane shelters, environmental organizations and health organizations. The strategy to support eco-purchases has unfortunately, been excluded from non-profit organization goals.

The challenge for non-profit organizations will be to overcome their fear being thought of as a "for-profit" organization or losing credibility just because they put effort into encouraging "business" (eco-friendly purchases). Secondly, non-profits may also fear losing donation revenue to the eco-friendly, for-profit businesses from whom purchases would be made.

The challenge for organization members is 1) the added expense and 2) the inconvenience of purchasing eco-friendly products. To overcome the first obstacle it may be useful to convey the idea that the extra money spent for eco-products be thought of in the same framework "as a donation to a non-profit organization" except that it is not tax-deductible. Green businesses are not exactly laughing all the way to the bank; they deserve our support just as green non-profit organizations deserve our support.

The important thing for non-profits and their members to realize is that if we keep the money "in the family," then it will circle back to the non-profits and they will have lost nothing - as green businesses grow - support for green non-profits will also grow.

http://GreenPeople.org is one of several organizations taking advantage of internet technology to provide an online directory of eco-friendly products so that people have a convenient way to make purchases based upon their pro-environmental beliefs. GreenPeople also provides free and nominally priced listings for green companies. Please visit http://www.greenpeople.org and let's start our buycott.

This text is availabe electronically at: http://www.greenpeople.org/buygreen.htm. It may be republished in full or edited form with credit and link to GreenPeople.