Voting with Your Wallet

My friend Joel sent me this today:

Ten Simple Switches From Red to Blue Companies You Can Make Today:

1. From Wal-Mart to Costco.
2. From to Powell’s
3. From Budweiser to Fat Tire
4. From McDonald’s to Subway
5. From Marriott to Hyatt
6. From Dell to Apple or Gateway
7. From Blockbuster to Netflix
8. From Guess to J.Crew
9. From Curves to Bally Total Fitness
10. From Hershey’s to Lindt’s

Boycotting has historical clout and sometimes it actually succeeds.

My favorite boycott story took place in Hawaii in the 1910’s and 20’s, when it was a territory of the USA, and billboards were just beginning to rise around Honolulu. Women couldn’t vote in those days, but they could organize, and they did. A group of women founded the Outdoor Circle, and boycotted all products advertised with billboards. Not only did the companies withdraw their billboard advertising campaigns, but, to this day, throughout the entire state of Hawaii, there are strict size limits for signs, and there are no billboards anywhere to be seen.

The 900 pound gorilla of boycott listing and green business promotion is Coop America, of which I’ve been a proud member for 20 years. Here is Coop America’s venerable program of boycotts and endorsements, which they define as “Economic action to stop corporate irresponsibility.”

Here are some interesting sites I found on Google that speak to the idea of voting with your wallet for peace, sustainability and social justice:

The Ethical Consumer: The UK’s Leading Alternative Consumer Organisation Looking at the Companies Behind the Brand Names.

The AFL-CIO’s boycott list of companies that are anti-union.

Dave Pollard’s boycott list from his enviro blog on

Hotel boycott list from UNITE HERE, which is: UNITE (formerly the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) and HERE (Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union)

Depresident’s boycott focusses on not funding the Bush cabal.

Third World Traveler looks at the heinous deeds of multi-national corporations abroad.

Salt of the Earth’s 1999 article on effective boycotting

American Politics Journal’s list of Bush campaign contributors