I just started a new group, Consumer Ethics. I haven't had a chance to start a discussion yet, but please check it out and join if you are interested.
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