The Responsible Consumer

I eat. I drink. I sleep on a bed. I own a home. I purchase furniture. I wear clothing. I use soap. I use bug spray. I drive a convertible. I, clearly, use a computer.

I rarely think about where these items come from, how they are produced, and the costs of these products outside of their dollar amount, so it is always disarming to read that many of these items are the fruits of child labor, unsafe farming, unethical social conditions, and other practices I stand against.

This article that my friend Megan passed along from the New York Times (“Death by Gadget”) provides an interesting reminder about our job as consumers to make sure we are consuming things that are produced responsibly and ethically. If I would not steal from  my six year old neighbor next door, then why should I buy a computer that has been made with stolen materials or by children not paid for their labor?  One thing I learned in 8th grade economics is the law of supply and demand.  If demand goes to zero, then eventually, supply will go to zero as well. As consumers, we are in charge of the demand. It is time for us to make sure that we demand sustainable, ethical,  products.

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About epdwilliams

Junior High English Teacher The Westminster Schools
This entry was posted in A Sustainable Life, Education, Pearls of Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Responsible Consumer

  1. nmontague says:

    Most people aren’t that aware. It’s waking people up to the world around them that is the challenge. That’s what we all need to do just to be aware. Buddhists call this “Mindfulness”. Living in the moment and being aware of everything going on.

  2. dobbsep says:

    Here is another article that shows a response from Steve Jobs (Apple) about conflict-free materials for the iPhone 4. Let’s continue to build awareness!

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/06/steve-jobs-iphone4/

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