Cast Your Vote!

Nursing BlogGuest post by Megan Gallagher

L.N. Smith’s quote has been imprinted on my heart since the day I first heard her perspective on ethical consumerism. She said, “With every dollar you spend, you cast your vote for what kind of world you want to live in.” The majority of us often waltz into a store to purchase without looking past the brand or price. We consume countless products every day but lack the true knowledge of what we are consuming. There are three main problems we have in our world today that stray us far from ethical consumerism.

The first major problem is that we are uneducated
When I started researching more about manufacturing and distribution, I was horrified. Little did I think that being “a little cheaper” would mean supporting terrible work conditions such as sweatshop factories. The headlines behind this kind of thing are swept under the rug, so we must do the research ourselves.

The second problem is we lack perspective
The harsh reality feels removed, just far away enough that it feels less personal. But, if you educate yourself, the unethical truth begins to feel more and more personal.
You start to wonder- what if this was me? What if this was my mother, brother, sister, or cousin? The tables start to turn in your mind, and the reality starts to set in. When we gain perspective, we are more motivated to change our habits.

The third problem we have as consumers is that we are selfish
Our fast pace world creates this selfishness that blinds us and makes us tell ourselves that one person can’t change anything. But that is simply not true. The average dollar spent on apparel is 12 billion dollars a year. We are a part of that number. We control where our pennies go. Every household and every person matters.

While attending a “Do Good” conference called “Yellow” in Los Angeles this past August, I was shopping ethical brands in their market. Behind each purchasable good was a mission to make a meaningful impact in the world. I thought to myself, what if every business just had one philanthropic piece? The world would change overnight!

My passion spiraled and led me to my favorite purchase
A necklace by Gems Uncovered. This organization’s mission is to rebuild lives affected by Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation by offering resources, counseling, awareness, and education in a safe, nurturing and loving environment. Every penny I spent on that beautiful necklace went towards a cause I believe in. True joy came over me as I clipped that piece of jewelry around my neck. I’ve never felt that way before about something I owned. And then I asked myself, “What if I felt this way about everything I purchased?”

You can be a part of the movement!
Buying ethically makes a true impact.You can choose to educate yourself, gain perspective, and be a little less selfish. I am making the promise to slowly replace my closet with ethical goods- to shop smart and thoughtfully. I want to leave you with a few things to think about.
In the last year, where have you spent your money? With that in mind, what kind of world did you cast your vote for? And now that you know… what kind of world are you going to vote for moving forward?

 

About the Author
Megan is a Toastmaster with American Greetings.  Her club meets every Tuesday from 11:45 AM -12:45 PM in Westlake- Crocker Park, OH.
Toastmasters has given Megan a platform to spread awareness on issues that are close to her heart in order to make a meaningful difference in the world.
American Greetings Toastmasters has been an incredible place to grow both her communication and leadership skills, as well as get incredible feedback from her club members.
Toastmasters is a great opportunity for everyone- be sure to check out a club near you!
To hear more about ethical consumerism, anti-human trafficking efforts or Toastmasters International, contact Megan at megangallagher40@gmail.com

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