We have heard a lot in recent weeks about the power of women. We’ve heard how we’ve impacted the presidential election and many close statewide races.
Today, I’m not talking about the power of women politically. I want to talk about the power of women when it comes to creating healthier homes, demanding safer products, and ultimately making manufacturers more accountable to consumers.
Whether it’s groceries or cleaning products or clothes – even big-ticket items such as appliances and furniture – women make decisions for roughly 85 cents of every dollar spent for the home. That has a big influence on what ends up on store shelves. We need to use that power to support products that won’t pollute our bodies, our children, our homes or the environment.
When you make a purchase, here are a few things to consider:
• Is it really safe? If a product is on the shelf, it must be safe to buy, right? After all, we have the FDA and the EPA to protect us. The government looks after these things, doesn’t it? This is a misconception. Chemical and personal care products are not regulated. Not all corporations use their power responsibly. Go to DoYourPart.com/Columns for more help determining what’s really in the products you buy.
• Where does this product come from? Products coming into this country often arrive with a lot of unknowns. In the case of food, for example, has the product been genetically modified? What kinds of chemicals were used in the growing process? Has it been irradiated? What are the trade practices? If you purchase products that originated outside of America, make sure you know exactly what your dollars are supporting. When given a choice, I recommend choosing products that are made in America. I believe they help protect and create jobs and are generally safer.
• Can the container and the product be recycled? Choose products made from recycled materials or from materials that you can recycle – ideally both. Choose items with less packaging to generate less waste.
How we spend our dollars tells manufacturers that we support what they are doing or that we don’t. When we choose to buy more eco-friendly items, we are making a statement and manufacturers will listen.
Terri Bennett is the author of “Do Your Part.” Send questions to terridoyourpart.com.
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