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Ever hear about voting with your dollars? It’s true. The world we live in today is controlled by big business. I think it’s becoming more and more apparent how tight their grasp is on our current government, our media, our television, our lives. (Can anyone even remember when there used to not be any commercials before movies in the theatre?)  The money we spend lets them know if their total and complete invasion is working.

Alternatively, if we spend our money on crazy alternative, sustainable, fair trade, or all-around good for you products, there’s a good chance that big business will still listen. But, with all the greenwashing that we’re bombarded with every day (really, BP?), it’s hard to tell truth from green stretching of the truth. Here are some triee-and-true options for all of us trying to make our footprint a little lighter in our daily actions:

Ecoscene: Coming right out of my own ‘hood, Aimee Heilbrunn and Carmen Ramson-Herzing offer up reviews through their weekly e-magazine of different green products out in the market, often comparing them to their more mainstream counterpart. What I love about this website is that they offer up these reviews in a very digestible, easy to understand way, listing out the pros and cons of the product, followed by some final thoughts. All of the products they interview must be accessible to anyone through the Web as well as sustainable. These ladies are still pretty new on the scene, but I encourage everyone to sign up to get their weekly emails and even contribute, if you’re so inclined.

Co-op America: This organization has been rocking the sustainable lifestyle since 1982. Their mission is “harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.” Not only do the put on one hell of a Green Festival, but they’ve now created a Responsible Shopper website where you can search for a company profile by name or industry and get their corporate responsibility profile. Not only that, but you can sign onto campaigns to demand more responsibility and sustainability in corporate America. Easy as that!

So, next time you’re looking to make a purchase, big or small, and want to know which way your dollars will vote, make sure to check out these amazing resources. Little by little, we can start to make the results swing in our favor- Mother Earth’s favor.

Remember this number. 350 is the amount of carbon dioxide, in parts per million, that is deemed the limit for our Earth. NASA scientist James Hansen, a long-time global warming researcher (he was testifying in Congress back in the late 80’s, before we even cared about what CFCs were). For those of you who speak science, you can check out all of the supporting information here.

So, 350 is the number. We’re at about 387 right now, which means we’re a little CO2 overweight. Environmentalist, educator and all around amazing dude Bill McKibben has created the website 350 to help us understand what needs to be done to get us down to 350 ppm and to stay there. How do we do this? Says 350:

We need an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions fast. The United Nations is working on a treaty, which is supposed to be completed in December of 2009 at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. But the current plans for the treaty are much too weak to get us back to safety. This treaty needs to put a high enough price on carbon that we stop using so much. It also needs needs to make sure that poor countries are ensured a fair chance to develop.

These days, it’s all about social media, and why shouldn’t it? With the time we spend on our computers, it makes lobbying, spreading the word, and being engaged in issues a lot easier and more user friendly. With the click of a button, you can let all of your nearest and dearest (and whoever else resides in your email address book) about the awesome video that explains this issue. You can email your congressperson and let them know that you, as their constituent, want to see this issue dealt with.

So, what are you waiting for? Go to 350 now, sign up, and do your part to make sure that we keep this Earth the nice, big, beautiful place that it is and can be.

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