Voting with Your Wallet

Voting with Your Wallet

Although, voting with your wallet is not the immediate solution to any issue, nor is it the panacea for reversing the current theocratic/nationalistic shift in the United States, voting with your wallet is a tool to shift power within our capitalistic society. Whether you are looking to reward companies that treat their workers humanely, provide sustainable products, or provide favorable political contributions, consumers have an unprecedented amount of power to support organizations. This power may appear minimal, but boycotts and strikes do create a noticeable and undeniable impact.

It should be stated that voting with your dollar in no way replaces your democratic duty to vote. Please continue to vote in all elections that you are eligible for participation. Also, providing funds to nonprofits and political movements are far more effective than trying to boycott the Koch brothers or Rupert Murdoch. That said, if you have already done your civic duty, but wish to reward companies that are already developing their business practices to be in line with 21st century expectations, please keep reading.

Below are some tools, tips, and warning signs to help you make more intentional choices with the products you buy.


Here are few tools to help you start identifying companies to avoid and companies to reward.


This app is a UPC Lookup service where you can easily join different movements or boycotts. You then are able to scan most barcodes in your local grocery store, drug store, or big box mega mart to determine if the parent company fits your values.

Good On You

A searchable site that ranks most clothing brands based on sustainability, labour, and animal testing. It's a great resource to check on new and flourishing brands.

B Corp

This site provides an all-encompassing certification to businesses looking to highlight their dedication to the environment, social governance, and equality. There are quite a few parameters that must be met for a company to receive the B Corporation Certification. Unfortunately, this is not a clear indicator that a company necessarily follows your values, but it is a good start to help narrow down companies that are taking active steps to pursue all forms of sustainability.

General Tips

  • Find local stores. I'm sure you have seen this a million times, but it really does provide support to businesses that may support your community in a myriad of ways.
  • Purchase secondhand. We all love something new and shiny, but used products not only limit waste, they also provide value back to members of your community.
  • Farmer's Markets. These are excellent ways to support local farms and vendors. Not only are you financially supporting your community members, but you are also limiting the carbon footprint to ship foods or goods across the country/world.

Warning Signs

  • Always stay vigilant to "Green Washing". Most organizations would like to be viewed as sustainable without the effort or financial sacrifice. Oil companies similar to Exxon would love for you to think they are sustainable, so unfortunately ensure that any claims of sustainability can be followed up with verifiable documentation and evidence when possible.
  • Keep an eye out for parent companies. Due to the overwhelming number of oligopolies and their limitless number of acquired companies, recognize that purchasing for instance Burt's Bees products actually is funneling cash into the pockets of Monsanto.
  • Lastly, don't think this a zero sum game. Most people become apathetic due to burn out. You don't have to make every single purchase intentional for the rest of your life. However, every step toward intentionality will make identifiable differences in the amount of money channeled into specific organizations. Do your best and try when you can.

Hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for reading.