TOMS Shoes

TOMS Shoes

TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple idea: With every pair of shoes you purchase TOMS will give a pair to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals for the greater good.

Most people wouldn’t think shoes when they think of basic needs, but Blake Mycoskie did when he founded TOMS in 2006. Many children in developing countries grow up without any shoes, yet these same children walk miles for food, water, shelter or medical help. Wearing shoes helps these children get to these places without harmful parasites being transmitted through cuts and open soars. In addition, shoes enable children to attend school. Many schools require shoes and without shoes they can’t attend. Thanks to TOMS over 300,000 shoes have been donated to children in need.

TOMS also operates a non-profit subsidiary, Friends of Toms. Friends of Toms works to treat people with early-stage Podoconiosis and provides volunteer opportunities to deliver TOMS Shoes to children in need. Podoconiosis is a debilitating disease that causes extreme swelling, repeated ulcers and deformity in the feet and legs. This is caused by walking barefoot in silica-heavy volcanic soil, which is common in farming regions in developing countries.

TOMS offers a wide range of shoes, such as vegan shoes, shoes for children and even wedding shoes! So, when you think of getting a pair of sneakers to wear around town, why not get a pair of TOMS and help a child in need? Now every time you step outside in your TOMS you can think of that child putting on those same shoes. It can be so simple to change a life with a simple purchase.

Written by Megan Lund

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Giovanni Organic Hair Care

Giovanni Shampoo

I recently ran out of shampoo, so naturally I thought it would be a perfect time to change from a normal store brand with lots of chemicals to something a little more earth friendly. I figured I could find something organic easily enough and gave it a try. Now I’ll admit I didn’t do any research, I just went to the store and picked out the cheapest organic shampoo I could find. It happened to be Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo and it came out to be about a dollar per word in its long name. Below is what the shampoo bottle has to say for itself.

For normal to dry hair

  • Enriched with certified organic botanicals
  • No animal by-products
  • Cruelty free
  • Protects chemically enhanced hair color
  • Adds moisture and manageability
  • Infuses shine every day, all day
  • Contains no laurel/laureth sulfates

Click the picture above to buy online at Amazon.

Nike Livestrong

Livestrong Wristband

My favorite brand of athletic clothing is Nike and it has been for a while. I like the way their products fit and I like the materials and level of comfort I get. I also like that I’ve had the same pair of shorts for six years and see no real signs of wear on them except for where I sat in some paint… but that’s not from defective production, only defective user.

Well, as a partner with Livestrong, Nike offers the same products that you would normally buy, except that some of the profits from sales help to fund cancer research. Since, 2004 Nike’s Livestrong line has raised over $80,000,000 and yes, a chunk of that is from those yellow wristbands you see everyone wearing.

Capitalism vs. Democracy

There are a number of overlays in most people minds between capitalism and democracy. In fact, I see them used either interchangeably or as alternatives to one another quite frequently, as though you have to choose between one or the other. Oftentimes this can frustrate me because they are separate ideas, as capitalism is an economic system and democracy is a political system.

With that being said, I am writing this post to illustrate the similarities I see in them. I am going to write two statements about how I believe the systems should work. I hope this will spark some discussion or insight for others.

Consumers should be the masters of capitalism, not its slave.

vs.

Citizens should be the masters of government, not its slave.

Obviously, there are a lot of similarities in the two statements and they are intentional. In the way that citizens vote to elect their government so that it may serve them, I believe consumers vote to elect their market places so that they may benefit by them. After all, entrepreneurs only, “See a need, fill a need”.

When the government starts to control or dictate how the citizens act, it is up to the citizens to elect new government or a revolution soon follows.

This is how consumers should operate. If the market places are dictating what we consume or how we consume, it is up to us to elect new businesses that will serve to benefit us. Always remember that companies are here to provide for us, not themselves.

So next time you make a purchase, ask yourself if you are getting what you want out of the deal. If all you you want or all you can afford is the absolute cheapest fast food or the trendiest pair of shoes, then by all means buy McDonalds or Nike. Just know that these corporations are responding to what you ask for and provide it by any means necessary, so judge yourself as a consumer before them.

If you ask for sustainably raised food, by buying organic or that a child gets shoes whenever you do, by buying a pair of TOMS Shoes, then companies will respond by growing these kind of business practices. I can imagine a time in the future where a business can not be profitable unless it contributes to a needy cause or follows sustainable business practices itself.

Please feel free to post comments.

Purpose: (Starbucks) RED

With this blog I am going to explore an idea that came to me the other day. It is pretty simple in theory. The idea is that just about any product a person can buy today can instead be bought in such a way that it benefits a cause, a group, or the planet in general. This idea could be tricky to understand for some, so I will illustrate it with an example.

(Starbucks) RED Card

A lot of people buy coffee. A lot of those people buy Starbucks coffee. A lot of the people buying Starbucks coffee buy it with a Starbucks Card. In addition to their Starbucks Card, they offer the Starbucks (RED) Card with the exact same rewards and benefits that their normal cards have with no additional requirements or payment. Treat it exactly as you would treat your normal Card.

The difference is that every time you pay with your Starbucks (RED) Card a contribution of $0.05 is made to the Global Fund to fight Aids, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. The decision is easy. You have two cards with the same rewards and no difference in the sign up requirements, but one helps fight infectious disease.

Why would anyone not choose to use the (RED) card?

P.S. There is no fee for a Starbucks Card. All you have to do is ask the teller to put money on it like a gift card and use it. So next time you’re in Starbucks getting that drink, simply add a few dollars to a (RED) card and register it online when you get home. From then on you simply swipe it and help fight three of the leading causes of death in our modern world. You also get free stuff like refills, 2 hours of WiFi each day, flavored syrup, a birthday drink, and others!