Monday, August 13, 2012

Inquisition Monday: Boycotts

Betttina asked me about boycotts a couple of weeks ago and I wasn't sure if I wanted to make it a post or not. Firstly, I know I don't boycott as much as a should and don't want to look like a "bad" environmentalist/feminist/consumer. But on the other hand, I boycott so many thing that I'm pretty sure I'll skip a few. But here's an attempt at a list:

Nestle. I've blogged about it many times. With the outright malicious advertising and WHO code violations along with environmental and ecological issues, this is a big one on my list. I'm also very well-versed in what is Nestle from DiGiorno to Dreyer's Ice Cream to Gerber. Luckily, Nestle is so adamant about advertising themselves, you can almost always find "Nestle" marked on their products in the fine print somewhere.

I also try to boycott companies with ties to Nestle such as Hulu. And Wendy's. What is Wendy's tie to Nestle? If you buy a kid's meal and request milk, it's Nestle milk. And my kids absolutely love getting milk with kid's meals when we do fast food and it's better than carbonated cornsyrup, so having a non-Nestle milk option is important to me. So no Wendy's.

I am also sad to say that the Girl Scouts have recently teamed up with Nestle and now Nestle makes Girl Scout candy bars. I love the Girl Scouts and want to support them, so I'm going to sit down and write them a sad letter about why I can't anymore.

Along with Wendy's, I try as much as possible to avoid all fast food because of how mass-grown cows are fed and other corn subsidy issues. Sometimes it's not possible like on long trips and not being able to take long stops, so I have a little ranking of "bad" fast food. I will absolutely avoid companies with bad marketing histories (marketing to children, objectifying women and minorities, etc) like McDonald's, Carl's Jr., and Burger King.

If we go back to the baby-feeding realm, I also avoid Destination Motherhood and its related stores like Motherhood Maternity. Not only have I had issues with sales associates at Motherhood Maternity, I also am against using people's names and information to connect with other companies that send things like free formula to door steps.

I also avoid Walmart for the ways it treats employees and the loss of mom and pop stores due to the Walmart invasion. And Target is not immune from these critiques either. In fact, Target's return policy makes me so upset that it gets a double whammy from me.

I am also taking up the Hyatt boycott. I am not completely educated in the ways other hotel chains treat their workers, but I will read up. I also will avoid specific hotels if I think they are particularly wasteful. For example, on our last trip to Anaheim, the hotel we stayed at provided only styrofoam plates for the continental breakfast. I made sure that I noted on the "How did you like your stay?" card that I'd prefer if they used a compostable option like paper. Also, a hotel offering only Nestle products in their vending machines or food places will get a note from me as well.

So that's a quick run-down. I'm sure I forgot something and I know I didn't link everything. A google search for most of these will get you the information and I trust my readers know how to get to

How do I avoid these companies? Buying local. Buying second-hand. Sometimes I can't avoid companies I don't like, so I try to choose the lesser of two evils. But if we're going to pretend we have a free market, my dollars are going to be carefully allocated so that they promote what I want them to.

Do you boycott? What's on your black list?

ETA: I also avoid bottled water as much as possible. And our car-free experiment has allowed us to avoid oil companies better.

1 comment:

  1. We don't shop at Wal-Mart either. Blech. It just FEELS dirty to even go near their parking lot.

    We are really revamping our food choices and cooking more from scratch, which just tastes SOOO much better and is well worth the time. We also try to get free-range meats---after watching Food, Inc. and getting so close to tears over the mistreatment of animals, I refuse to buy anything with Tyson's name on it. It is super tricky because big companies own so many brand names---it does take a lot of extra research.


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