I am striving to be a responsible buyer. Of course budget comes into play, but knowledge is a bigger factor. Commencing my further research into this subject, I came across the Buycott app through the link in an article I was reading. I went to Google Play, and was pleased to find it was available for Android. Now I’ve had the chance to see what it’s about, I’d like to share and simplify what I can for those interested. I will give a visual overview on the basic functions to be found on the app, and then a fleeting insight into the 13 campaigns, (causes), I have chosen.
On the Home screen you will see
A feed of what other users are doing. What they will be doing is opting in or opting out of buying certain products due to personal moral reasoning, and sometimes adding their input.
When you click on the person icon the green arrow is pointing to you will see:
- Who is following you
- Who you are following
- A scrolling list of campaigns to choose from
- Below those is INCOMPLETE ACTIONS (if you don’t clarify yes or no to a product)
- MY FAVOURITES (mark products/companies you favour)
- MY SCANS (a record of what you have scanned) *I find this handy, especially since my memory is not great and I may need to go back for a reference
When you click on the gear icon in the top right hand corner you will see
- Rate Buycott
- Like on Facebook
- Follow on Instagram and Twitter
- Share Buycott
- Contact us: FAQs regrading the app and email support
- Notifications: set it so you are alerted when someone starts to follow you are likes an action
- Connected accounts: Facebook or Twitter
- Here you can also set the app to start with the scanner which I did at first so it would be all set to go. However, I changed it because I came to believe it slowed things down on my phone and possibly even crashed the app, but I am not totally certain that was the case.
- Terms (does anyone even bother to read these?! My attention span hardly allows me to read the stuff I’m actually interested in!! Maybe let’s not look at that too closely.)
Under ‘edit profile’ you will see
- Name, username, email, gender, birthday
- Make Profile Protected (only current followers and people in future who you approve will see your actions)*This is especially important for those of us who might have slightly paranoid/overly imaginative minds. Who can’t help but wonder if some sort of Big Money-hired assassin is already tracking them for using an app such as this. NO! I don’t mean ME specifically! (…seriously, I already played out in my head the bullet coming through the window as I sit at my computer and type).
When you look at a campaign you will see
- Description (summary of the campaign, more in-depth than mine listed below)
- Get Involved (shows a list of companies that are leading the way and # of people talking. This is pretty much the comment section. So depending on how you want to spend your time, you might find something useful or not)
- Activity (# of companies notified this month, and messages people sent them)
- $ (shows the amount of money spent in support)
- Category (i.e.; Animal Welfare)
- Created by (who submitted the campaign. Had to begin with someone. I get the impression you can count on this info, but if extra research is needed do
When you scan, (and I find it picks up bar code very easily), you will see
- What of your campaigns the company who produced that item supports, (is good for), and what of your campaigns it conflicts with, (is bad for) What of your campaigns the company who produced that item supports, (is good for), and what of your campaigns it conflicts with, (is bad for)
- There might be suggested alternatives
- Parent Company ( if it is one that is against something you aren’t willing to leave any wiggle room on, then you know to boycott it. You can also look at the Family Tree of companies but whoa, that can get complicated!)
- You can hit a button, will you buy this product? YES Or NO. If you hit NO you are provided with the option of sharing your choice over social media and even notifying the company, where you can type in a personal message before sending it off (It looks like you have to input the company’s email yourself?) It is the same options when you hit YES
- Product Information (FAVE it or SHARE)
- Report Inaccuracies (if you identify you know or suspect there is an error, send in an edit!)
My 13 Campaigns
There are lots of campaigns to choose from. I am not sure that if you choose too many, everything you scan will find something to conflict with. I might pick up other campaigns along the way, or I might not. I might choose to keep it simple, and just keep an eye out for the ones I know most about and feel most passionately about.
These are priorities for me. Why? Because I hate the human race, and really couldn’t care less about the injustices against people? Well, no. I happen to be a human, have a human daughter I love intensely, and even other people besides her I quite like. And no, I don’t like seeing children especially, being treated poorly. But animals still have very little in the way of rights, and animals are contributing nothing to the mess we have made of this beautiful planet. They are supreme beings in my opinion and like Nature herself, I will protect them with my every fiber. Let’s not lie here, we will not ALL feel as passionately about the same causes. We protect what we LOVE. How a person could not love an animal, child, or Nature is not something I can really grasp. And I don’t want to. But it is what it is. Our personal experiences dictate what matters most to us, and what we fight for.
Say no to Palm Oil products
Almost all of palm oil these days is produced in and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia. Rainforest is being decimated to make way for palm plantations. Orangutans and other wildlife are struggling to survive simply because of this one vegetable oil. It is in 50% of products we buy.
*I decided to install the Palm Smart app because it breaks the info down more specifically. Some may be from sustainable sources which the Buycott app doesn’t necessarily identify.
End Animal Testing
Boycotting companies that do not purchase ingredients from suppliers who test on animals, pay other companies to do animal testing for them, or test their products in any conceivable possible way on animals. Unfortunately, some still do.
End Factory Farming
End CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and factory farms.) Check out YouTube,(barf warning), if you are unsure of what factory farming looks like? Or how ‘bout just use this app?
Corporations lobbying against climate legislation
These are companies who actually FUND political parties, trade associations, lobbyists, and researchers to create doubt about the science behind our dear planet’s rising temperatures.
Remove Polluting Plastic Microbeads from facial scrubs now
This plastic has entered the Great Lakes ecosystem and is showing up in fish, marine animals, reptiles, mussels, and worms. (I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that these little balls of death never EVER break down, but I would have to do further research.)
Promote sustainable fishing
Fish stocks get depleted to unacceptable levels. Some companies take the environment and animal welfare issues into consideration while others do not. Look for the MSC label.
Climate Counts Save the Blue Marble
What companies are making substantial efforts to reduce their carbon emissions? (see Global Warming.)
Boycott chocolate produced by child slaves
Some of the cocoa-producing nations in West Africa, (especially Ivory Coast), continue to allow slavery. Children ENSLAVED. Living in horrible conditions in order for people in richer countries to put junk food in their mouths and grow fat. ‘Nough said?
Illusion of choice
Shows how a number of products we buy all go back to just 10 companies. Many of them, either through their branches or parent companies, support unethical, immoral practices. This could mean they launch misleading marketing campaigns and advertising, and/or financially support unethical and corrupt politicians. Money is their top priority. These guys are the BIG BUSINESS. They effect our right to choose, and essentially try to control the society we live in. Here they are:
- General Mills, Inc.
- The Coca Cola Company
- 3G Capital
- Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
- Mars, Inc.
- Nestle S.A
- PepsiCo Inc.
- P&G (the Proctor & Gamble Company)
- The Unilever Group
- Johnson & Johnson
What I liked in ‘illusion of choice’ is that you can find the companies listed, and then click on each company profile to see exactly what that company works for or against. It kept shutting down on both my phone and then laptop when I was trying this. (Assassins I tell you!!).
Support fair trade
Products that bear the Fair Trade Certified logo comes from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. It enables workers from developing countries to build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities. Environmental standards are part of it too; Both people and environment are taken better care of.
Boycott Trump Products
Apparently some businesses have already ditched their associations with Trump.
- Gucci and Nike still have flagship stores in Trump buildings.
- Starbucks owns coffee shops on Trump properties.
- Kitchen Aid is the named sponsor of the PGA Senior Gold Championship. This is the major tournament Trump spent years lobbying for.
Boycott Income Equality
Companies that are either overpaying executives/owners or strongly underpaying employees. i.e, Costco is an example of a low CEO pay and high employee pay.
See http://www.payscale.com/ to find out more about this subject and identify what companies are being cheap when it concerns those who work for them.
Pro-GMO or Pro-Right to know?
This is the final campaign I am listing, and also the one I know least about. The gist of it is that some companies belonging to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) including Monsanto, spent nearly $400 mil over past four years to defeat mandatory GMO labeling laws. More than 300 junk food and pesticide makers belong to the GMA. Avoiding companies that label products with GMA’s SmartLabel is also a red flag.
This is about as far into GMO as I have gone.When this was really exploding all over the news and social media, I sort of noticed, but honestly didn’t pay it too much mind. I had school and stuff to attend to. Because I have yet to research it further, it is not one of my priorities as a campaign. I feel that I need to know more before I can make an informed decision to boycott.
Can’t Always be ALL Good
Sometimes you will scan a product and it might look like this:
The campaign this one supports is that Campbells does label its products that contain GMO. But they do not support my ‘say no to palm oil products’ campaign. However, I would need to run it through my Smart Palm app to see if they use sustainable sources. I still opted to buy a different brand of pea soup until I research this further.
Obviously the app doesn’t do it all. It is not a quick fix, because there is no such thing. I will use the app as a resource, and it will help guide me in my purchasing decisions. I will also be looking at company websites, media sources, and insights from people who may be closer to the real picture. I will get it down to my own kind of science, my own kind of manageable, my own kind of what I can live with and what I can’t. I will continue to share my findings on my blog in case it can help whoever else is looking to make the same kind of changes in their lives and the world.
*the boycott app is not responding well as I write this. Technical difficulties.. I will still be giving it a chance to work.