Reducing is hard.
Reducing is good for the environment.
Using less is always better.
With three kids it’s really hard to use less. And frankly, as an American, using less is hard. It is ingrained in us from a young age to want more, more, and more and new everything. It is in the commercials we see on tv, the stores we pass, the conversations with friends, and on every website we visit. The American way of life is built on people buying more and throwing away the old.
I’ve had a revelation. The 2014 national elections made me angry, both because of how the general elections went, but also because an issue that is very important to me was defeated locally. I have decided that I am going to reduce what I buy by boycotting companies that make me angry.
I am very angry at the bottling industry for the $10,000,000 they poured into Massachusetts to defeat the expanded bottle bill. This was a very popular idea, to expand the nickel deposits from carbonated beverages to include all beverage bottles under 20oz, except dairy products. The added deposit has been shown to greatly reduce litter and increase recycling in the states where it has passed. The expanded bottle bill had popular support of 80% a year before the election, then in August before the election support had dropped to about 60%. By the end of the election and the beverage industry, led by the American Beverage Association, spending $10 Million to oppose the bill, it was defeated, 70% against 30% in favor on Election Day.
I will do my best to not spend any money supporting their main members, including Coca Cola and PepsiCo. This is going to be exceptionally hard because my children love Doritos and FritoLay, both of which are owned by PepsiCo. However I believe it’s important to teach children about values. They understand why I won’t buy any candy by Hershey’s. In fact, when asking for candy, they start by asking if it is made by the Hershey’s Company. I will not force them to participate in boycott, but it is my intent to not buy these products and I’ve already told my son several times that he’ll just have to find someone else to buy him Doritos, because it won’t be me. As they get older they can earn an allowance and spend their money as they choose.
Putting my money where my mouth is can be hard. I challenge you to think about your values and consider doing the same. Remember though it’s not enough to just boycott these items, you have to let others know why you are making the effort. Suffering in silence may be noble, but it doesn’t lead to real change.
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