ViewpointsOur Company

Do your buying decisions have more influence on public policy than your vote?

Today is Earth Day, a forty year old event originally organized to raise awareness of pressing environmental problems. 1970 was also the year that the core provisions of the Clean Air Act were passed into law. The interesting and disheartening fact is that our environmental footprint is no smaller in 2010 than it was in 1970. The Washington Post has a good write up about what has transpired.

In the context of Viewpoints and our recent purchase of EcoScene, this paragraph jumped out at me:

"This year, a poll conducted by professors at George Mason, Yale and American universities showed that respondents who were most alarmed about climate change were more than eight times more likely to express their concern through shopping for "green" products than by contacting an elected official multiple times about it."

This raises a thought provoking question. Is the most effective way for an individual to affect change in public policy to change their buying habits or contact their elected officials to encourage them to enact laws that force companies to change.  Now of course, I am not arguing the two are mutually exclusive, but if you believe strongly in a cause where would you devote your time?  Changing your own buying behavior and convincing your friends to change theirs or lobbying your elected officials to enact laws?

Makes you think doesn't it?