Striving for Balance

A Guest Post by ‘Shiny Bits’ blogger, Paul Merrill
Email Diamant Toothpaste, courtest the International Toothpaste Museum
I love quirky products. It’s fun to cruise our local Whole Foods Market on a Saturday and taste samples from a variety of sometimes local small companies.

Occasionally I take the plunge and buy one of their toothpastes or boxes of cereal. But for the most part, I say no – mostly due to the product costing two or four times what a national brand would. Our budget cannot stretch to cover changing wholesale to local and natural stuff.

There are a lot of reasons to buy local, which I won’t bore you with. However, one reason is talking with that smiling face who was actually involved in producing the product. There’s the good feeling of knowing that when I buy that consumable item, I am helping that real person.

But what about the real people who work for giant multi-national corporations? They have jobs too and depend on us buying their products. The connection between our non-purchase and the loss of their job is not as direct as with the little guy. But it’s still there.

And  it’s all too easy to make the giant corporation the bad guy. True, there is nothing good about a CEO getting paid enough to fund several orphanages. But often some of the big guys do have a sense of environmental responsibility and and ethical compass.

The solution? Play around. Buy some local and some multi-national. Research that giant corporation to see if they care about what’s important to you. Shake the hand of your local baker and buy their bread. Think about it sometimes and don’t just do what you’ve always done.

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