CONSUMER ETHICS was created to help us understand how our purchasing power can help or harm the world around us.

Members: 63
Latest Activity: Dec 18, 2014



Anyone who pays attention at all should not be surprised to learn that how we spend our money can profoundly influence social and economic justice, environmental preservation or degradation, animal welfare, and democratic freedoms—especially in third-world countries.

Of course, it is difficult to always be 100% ethical in everything we do. No one lives a blameless life, and in our capitalist culture it is very difficult to monitor and be aware of every injustice that occurs for the sake of profit. Clearly, most economic or consumer injustices take place out of sight – and therefore out of mind for most of us.

Add to that the sheer burden of just getting through the day: working, commuting, doing chores, meeting our obligations and responsibilities, etc., that it seems damn near impossible to be mindful of how, what, and even whom we consume day after day. But doesn’t mean that we can’t try to make better consumer choices as much as possible.

The Consumer Ethics group will allow us to share information that will help us understand and address the above issues and become conscientious consumers by:

  • Identifying unscrupulous corporations that exploit people or animals; or maintain and increase social poverty, inequality, and deprivation
  • Allowing us to share information on fair trade products or services
  • Exposing workplace injustices, sweatshops, and child labor violations
  • Identifying companies that value their employees and customers, that promote living wages and equality and fairness in the workplace, provide safe and healthy working environments, and maintain sustainable business and environmental practices
  • Finding products that are safe to use or healthy to consume
  • Recognizing consumer addiction and consumer propaganda
  • Understanding and voting against economic legislation that is unfair or predatory

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered. A nation can flounder as readily in the face of moral and spiritual bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy. -- Dr. Martin Luther King, April, 1967

Discussion Forum

Bangladesh's deadly building collapse: Are cheap clothes to blame?

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member May 5, 2013. 2 Replies

What Isn’t for Sale?

Started by A Former Member Apr 29, 2013. 0 Replies

The Corporation with Ethos-a time for change films to see

Started by michele ricketts. Last reply by michele ricketts Apr 29, 2013. 2 Replies

The Center for a New American Dream

Started by A Former Member Apr 29, 2013. 0 Replies

The Consumer Ethics Book List

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Apr 29, 2013. 1 Reply

The true cost of Mother's Day flowers

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Steph S. Apr 25, 2013. 1 Reply

Ethical Consumer Buyer Guides

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Joan Denoo May 30, 2012. 1 Reply

Politics of the Plate: The Price of Tomatoes

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Joan Denoo May 30, 2012. 1 Reply

Ford, Starbucks Among ‘Most Ethical Companies’

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Steph S. May 4, 2012. 1 Reply

A One-for-One Revolution

Started by A Former Member Nov 16, 2011. 0 Replies

We-First Capitalism

Started by A Former Member Sep 24, 2011. 0 Replies

What’s yours is mine

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Richard C Brown Jul 25, 2011. 1 Reply

The Cigarette Century and Beyond

Started by A Former Member Dec 30, 2010. 0 Replies

The Idea of a Local Economy

Started by A Former Member Dec 29, 2010. 0 Replies

Amazon Kindle: Now you read it, now you don't

Started by Фелч Гроган. Last reply by Daniel W Aug 31, 2010. 2 Replies

The Ethical Consumer

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Comment Wall


You need to be a member of CONSUMER ETHICS to add comments!

Comment by A Former Member on September 12, 2009 at 8:14pm
Sydni, I just watched that CRUDE trailer. Incredible that there is so much denial on the part of the oil companies. Truly sad.
Comment by A Former Member on September 12, 2009 at 6:46pm
Tell Obama's Antitrust Czar: Investigate Monsanto

Massive agrichemical and seed corporation Monsanto -- through acquisitions and cut-throat business practices -- has cornered 90% of the soy, 65% of the corn, and 70% of the cotton seed markets, all without government anti-trust officials raising an eyebrow.

Not only that, but in order to be productive, most of Monsanto's seed lines all but require the use of the herbicide Roundup, trapping farmers into buying it. Who owns Roundup? Monsanto.

Monsanto has, it seems, cornered the market on abusive monopolistic practices as well. In the middle of a recession, while farmers' incomes are dropping, Monsanto recently announced a 42% price hike on its most popular genetically modified seeds. When in many areas of the country distributors carry nothing but these seeds, this sure looks like evidence of a monopolist abusing its market position.

Take Action Today!» President Obama's antitrust chief Christine Varney has promised rigorous enforcement of antitrust law with a special focus on the agricultural sector. She should start with the worst of the worst, Monsanto.

Sign the petition to demand that Varney immediately open an investigation into Monsanto and its abusive business practices.
Comment by A Former Member on August 28, 2009 at 8:58pm
Sydni, that movie looks good, and will probably be somewhat accurate. However, as much as I like Moore, I also know he (as all directors do) will edit to make his point. I think he is basically accurate a lot of the times, but it is really hard to be totally fair and investigative in a two-hour movie.
Comment by A Former Member on July 14, 2009 at 12:00pm

I have not read this, but I ran across it today and wanted to share it. It has 56 reviews on, with practically all of them positive.

Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft o...

Was the Boston Tea Party the first WTO-style protest against transnational corporations? Did Supreme Court sell out America's citizens in the nineteenth century, with consequences lasting to this day? Is there a way for American citizens to recover democracy of, by, and for the people?

Thom Hartmann takes on these most difficult questions and tells a startling story that will forever change your understanding of American history. He begins by uncovering an original eyewitness account of the Boston Tea Party and demonstrates that it was provoked not by "taxation without representation" as is commonly suggested but by the specific actions of the East India Company, which represented the commericial interests of the British elite.

Hartmann then describes the history of the Fourteenth Amendment--created at the end of the Civil War to grant basic rights to freed slaves--and how it has been used by lawyers representing corporate interests to extend additional rights to businesses far more frequently than to freed slaves. Prior to 1886, corporations were referred to in U.S. law as "artificial persons." but in 1886, after a series of cases brought by lawyers representing the expanding railroad interests, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were "persons" and entitled to the same rights granted to people under the Bill of Rights. Since this ruling, America has lost the legal structures that allowed for people to control corporate behavior.

As a result, the largest transnational corporations fill a role today that has historically been filled by kings. They control most of the world's wealth and exert power over the lives of most of the world's citizens. Their CEOs are unapproachable and live lives of nearly unimaginable wealth and luxury. They've become the rudder that steers the ship of much human experience, and they're steering it by their prime value--growth and profit and any expense--a value that has become destructive for life on Earth. This new feudalism was not what our Founders--Federalists and Democratic Republicans alike--envisioned for America.

It's time for "we, the people" to take back our lives. Hartmann proposes specific legal remedies that could truly save the world from political, economic, and ecological disaster.
Comment by A Former Member on July 8, 2009 at 2:45pm

Comment by quietude on June 7, 2009 at 1:17pm
My son is currently reading a book called. The Plot to Save the Planet, How visionary intrepreneurs and corporate titans are creating real solutions to global warming, by Brian Dumaine. I haven't had the chance to read it myself yet but you might be interested.
Comment by A Former Member on June 7, 2009 at 1:01pm
@Sydni: I am familiar with this company. I work at an architect's office, and they use Interface carpets all the time. They have a good thing going on by the looks of it. Anderson is interviewed in several documentaries, including The Corporation and The 11th Hour. He seems like a very intelligent, thoughtful, and likable guy.
Comment by A Former Member on May 27, 2009 at 4:13pm
Comment by A Former Member on May 21, 2009 at 4:01pm
Some of you may be interested in this discussion I started in Environmental Atheists.
Comment by Фелч Гроган on May 21, 2009 at 8:53am
Felch, hope you don't mind, I'm spreading that link around...

That's why I posted it. Some dark humour to offset it (full size) -


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