As we struggle to realize the progressive policies we hoped would finally come to be with the elections of President Obama, we are quickly finding that change doesn't come easy. There are entrenched interests everywhere that will stand in the way. And that begs the question: how did these interests get so strong, and how do that stay so strong? An oversimplified, but very important answer is: we made them, and we keep them strong.
By consuming products and services without paying much attention to the politics of the companies we are giving our money to, we have created this monster. For example, if you care about taking on global warming, you may want to avoid any company that is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If you care about a woman's right to chose, you should probably encourage any like-minded friends to part ways with the fitness chain Curves.
It gets to be a real pain trying to avoid companies with bad politics. Fortunately, I stumbled on one that is good. I don't just mean that they don't do anything bad, I mean they've generated 60 million dollars for progressive causes like civil rights, environment, peace & international freedom, economic & social justice, and voting rights & civic participation.
Sound good? It is. Meet CREDO Mobile.
[A phone] service where 1% of your charges goes to progressive nonprofits you vote on, your bill serves as a progressive newsletter and your phone company as a progressive lobby.
Lets face it, 'corporate social responsibility' sells, and I am always on the lookout for companies that buy a lot of ads saying how much they care about climate change, and then spend like crazy to defeat a climate change bill in Congress *cough-Shell-cough*
I looked into CREDO Mobile a bit more - but they check out. Right down to their own enviro practices. Check out how they bill:
We're the only one that prints our bills with soy-based ink on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. We're the only one that plants 100 trees for every ton of paper we use (enough to make another ton of paper). And we're the only one recognized for our commitment to a greener world by the prominent environmental nonprofit Planning and Conservation League, which named us its Environmental Business of the Year in 2009.
They've got a nifty little slide show with more on their green practices here.
I had heard of CREDO Mobile before, but I just switched over last week. I got a new Blackberry for $20, they bought out my contract with Verizon, I'm paying less for service than I was before, and now instead of avoiding spending money that supports bad stuff, I'm contributing to progressive causes I support every time I pick up my phone.
If you like what you're reading, maybe you should make the switch.
Follow Nathan Havey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nhavey