Image: Person grocery shopping. They're next to a wall of bottles.

Make the World Better with Your Next Run to the Grocery Store!

What if you could have a huge impact on the world without making a drastic change to what you’re already doing? Here’s a simple trick you can bring to your already established routines that’ll make a huge global impact.

Contributing to a positive change in the world is way easier than you may think! It’s more about understanding how powerful each of us is.

Image: Person grocery shopping. They're next to a wall of bottles.
Source: Pixabay

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.”

— Dalai Lama

Everything that we do has an impact on the world, whether that’s smiling at a stranger, planting some flowers, or, as we’re going to talk about in this piece, making a purchase at the grocery store.

As an entertaining introduction to this concept, I’d like to point you to this first video created by Max Joseph (whose work we’ve featured in a recent article).

** Full disclosure, this video is an advertisement for the brand, Innocent Drinks. But it really exemplifies the global impact your simple purchase — like a drink — can have! 

Via: Max Joseph 1

Easy Ways to Join this Chain of Good!

Thankfully for all of us, there are organizations out there who have really done the leg work when it comes to identifying the brands that have a positive impact.

To find products that help keep dolphins safe, protect the rights of humans around the world, that have a minimal impact on the environment, and any of the other factors that are important to us, all we need to do is look for symbols called ecolabels.

Take a look at this next video also produced from the creative mind of  Max Joseph to see how purchasing products with these symbols can impact our lives! (It’s seriously the best—and most amusing—walk through this thought that I’ve ever seen.)

Via:  Max Joseph 2

See more work from the talented filmmaker and director, Max Joseph by visiting his personal website and giving him a follow on Facebook and Instagram! He’s created some content that has really made the EWC team think differently about our lives. Our shopping habits are surely changed forever by the way these short films have been produced, and our previous article featuring his work has entirely altered our reading habits!

He has a knack for showing us how simple making a difference in our own lives and the world as a whole can be. Thanks, Max!

So, what ecolabels should we be looking for?

There are so many great ones! But these are a few you may recognize (click on the photos for a link to learn more about them):

USDA Organic logo
Dolphin Safe / Dolphin Friendly logo
Fairtrade logo
Rainforest Alliance Certified logo
Best Ecolabels
RSPO Logo

To find a whole library of these labels to keep an eye out for, check out the Ecolabel Index. They’re tracking labels that can be found in 199 different countries! Big Green Purse has also collected 13 of them that we should keep an eye out for over on their site.

A remarkable story of success with ecolabels! 

Let’s look at the impact the Dolphin Safe labels have had. (The second symbol in that collection up above.) According to an article from Huffington Post, “prior to 1990, it’s estimated that more than 7 million dolphins were killed in tuna purse seine nets.” And that “in the late 1980s, as many as 80,000 to 100,000 dolphins were dying in tuna nets every year.” But after the Dolphin Safe program was established in 1990, “reported dolphin deaths have declined to less than 2,000 per year.” 3

This is amazing progress! Not only credited to those behind the Dolphin Safe program but each and every person making the conscious choice to check the labels of their food. When companies see what the consumers (us) want, they shift their practices to accommodate. So as consumers shifted towards purchasing products with the Dolphin Safe label, surely companies began seeing that in order to continue competing in this market, they’d have to begin changing their ways. 

Our established lifestyles don’t need to change much at all for us to be someone changing the world.

We’re going to need food and new lightbulbs anyways. And making sure that our purchases have a positive impact is as simple as checking the label! It only needs to happen once for us to choose our brands. Then before we know it, we’re a part of the Chain of Good.

The best that we can really do is try, and do what we can to make sure that what happens next is the best that we could do. It’s amazing how simple it is to keep an eye out for symbols like these?

It doesn’t take much to get that started.

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein 

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Notes:

  1. Joseph, Max. “The Chain of Good.” Vimeo, Max Joseph, 16 Jan. 2014, vimeo.com/84316636. Accessed 29 Aug. 2019.
  2. Joseph, Max. “Follow The Frog.” Vimeo, Max Joseph, 19 Sept. 2012, vimeo.com/49805510. Accessed 29 Aug. 2019. 
  3. Mark J. Palmer. “Five Myths About Dolphin Safe Tuna.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 17 Jan. 2018, www.huffpost.com/entry/five-myths-about-dolphin-safe-tuna_b_5a5fb9dfe4b0549d1a953ea7. Accessed 3 Sept. 2019.
Published: September 17, 2019

Image: Samantha Burns

Sam Burns

Former Editor-In-Chief

Sam wrote and edited hundreds of articles during her time on the Goodness Exchange team from 2016-2021. She wrote about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the Goodness Exchange, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.

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