Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Conscious Shopper Challenge: Get Involved

So far in the Conscious Shopper Challenge, we've looked at many personal changes we can make to live greener, more frugal lives. I believe that personal changes are extremely important, but for these last few weeks, I want to suggest a few things you can do beyond your front door. Here's this week's challenge:


You know that quote from Ghandi: Be the change you want to see in the world? For most of the Conscious Shopper Challenge, that's what we've been working on - changing ourselves. But now that you've greened yourself, it's time to make some change in the world. Get out and get involved.

If the thought that just ran through your head was "I don't have time!" don't give up just yet. You can still get involved in many ways - even with just a few minutes here and there. But I also hope you'll reconsider the time you have, how you're using it, and whether or not you could make time for something that's important.

Here's how you can complete this challenge:


  • Be an armchair activist. Sign petitions. Write, email, or call your representatives. Write letters to companies expressing your appreciation for their green or ethical policies, or asking them to change something about their products or packaging. There are many things you can do in just a few minutes. What other ideas do you have?
  • Support an organization with your wallet. The membership fees to most organizations are very small but allow those organizations to continue doing the good work we need them to do.
  • Blog. It's such a small thing that you can do without leaving your home, and yet it becomes so powerful when combined with all the other blogging voices, spreading the word about smart sustainable choices.


  • Volunteer. Find an organization that you support and volunteer a little bit of your time every month to supporting their cause.


  • Volunteer as a leader of an organization.
  • Start your own group. If there isn't already a group for the cause you believe in, start your own!

As you think about ways to get involved, I hope you'll consider joining some environmental organizations, but I also hope you won't feel like you need to limit yourself to that. I firmly believe that getting involved in our communities in whatever way we can will be good in the long run for the environmental cause.

So whether you volunteer your time with the Sierra Club, your local food bank, or just the PTA, keep up the good work!

How are you involved in your community?

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