YOUR CONSUMER POWER CHECKLIST

WORDS: KATE WEINER

COLLAGE: GARRETT BLAD

Listen, man, I'm also trying to free myself from the shackles of the capitalist system but right now? I'm grateful for the incredible power in the consumer. It's giving the people the opportunity to build the world we want by reinvesting our money, redefining "wealth," and reimagining our relationship to what we buy and how. As Arundhati Roy writes:

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling—their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability [...] Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. 

I freaking LOVE that. Because that's the truth: we do NOT have to buy what they are selling. It's understandable that we might believe we do—we're mired in a world rich in contradictions and mapped by oil. But the inherent imperfections of who we are and the world that we live in doesn't mean we can't make better choices. We have TREMENDOUS power, both when we come together as collaborators and in the context of our everyday decisions.

So herewith, FIVE ways you can exercise your power as a consumer to create tangible change, mitigate climate catastrophe, and fight social, economic, and environmental injustice. And as always, feel free to share your own solutions in the comments!

  • CULTIVATE CLEAN ENERGY: Sign up for the super simple Arcadia Power to invest in clean energy every time you pay your electricity bill. Because the fossil fuel industry can't thrive—and projects like DAPL will fail—if we move our money toward clean energy. 
  • #GRAB YOUR WALLET: Boycott these companies who are supporting Trump. When we starve the capitalist machine, big businesses are forced to listen to us. They go where the money goes and as consumers, we have the money they want. 
  • F**K FAST FASHION: The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally destructive industries in the entire world. Full stop refuse to support companies like H & M and Urban Outfitters whose "affordable" clothes come at the cost of exacerbating economic inequalities in formerly colonized countries and devastating nature ecosystems. 
  • SHOP SMALL: Buying nothing is best. Buying less, buying better, and buying from local makers is a pretty close second. Source 90% of your stuff secondhand to drastically slash your carbon footprint. 
  • DIVEST: Move your money! The rad Yes! Magazine breaks it down.