wallet and money

You have probably heard the statement, “Vote with your dollars,” more than once – especially since the campaigns for GMO labeling began a few years ago. Many people live by this motto. Do you vote with your dollars?

When you’re first getting started, it can seem overwhelming to understand which brands you should avoid and which brands you should support. One of the main reasons it is so challenging is because so many brands we think are small brands are actually owned by so few mega-corporations.

If you’ve seen this graphic, you’ll understand what we’re talking about when we talk about corporate giants owning most brands.

gmo-brands-treeIf you haven’t seen this graphic, you may be surprised. Of course, most of us don’t carry images like this with us to the grocery store. When you’re staring at the shelves, it may seem difficult to choose a brand based upon your personal ideas.

Fortunately, there’s an app for that! Buycott is a free app available in the Google Play and Apple App Stores. Through the Buycott app, you can join campaigns that align with your beliefs. For example, you can choose;

See the full list of campaigns to find ones that align with your beliefs.

If you don’t see a campaign that fits your ideals, you can even create your own campaign. You will be able to set up all of the campaign parameters, including brands to support and brands to boycott.

Once you’ve selected the campaigns you would like to join, then you’re ready to shop! All you have to do is use this app to scan a bar code on any item at the grocery store. The Buycott app will look it up in their database to try and figure out which company owns it (if it’s not in the database, you’ll have to opportunity to add it).

Next, it will cross check the parent company with the list of companies from your campaigns to find out whether it meets your values.  A newly added feature can even provide you with recommendations on alternative choices based upon your campaign parameters.

Of course, since the Buycott app relies upon user engagement and new brands are being launched all of the time, it isn’t guaranteed to be accurate. It is however a great shopping guide you can have with you all the time to help you vote with your dollars. You can get the free Buycott app here.

What are your best tips for voting with your dollars?

Feature image courtesy of Shelah

By Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.