Checking in on #votewithmydollar

June 10th, 2019

Week 23: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

We’re nearly halfway through “the year of voting with my dollar,” and I feel like I’ve retained pretty great momentum. I’ve used Amazon Prime selectively and have only been to big box stores a few times. I’ve gotten most of my gardening supplies at local farm co-ops and stands, which have abundant starts and seedlings this time of year. I’ve been splitting my grocery shopping between the Brattleboro Co-op, of which we are members, and Price Chopper — the better of the chain stores available to me, at least according to my dilettante research on the political beliefs and behaviors of the founders. And I’ve been buying incidentals and gifts at boutiques in town whenever possible.

This has resulted in me spending a lot of money. Which, of course, is half the reason people use Amazon Prime and Walmart and other such nefarious sources in the first place (the other half, obviously, is convenience). So the problem is that my goal of voting with my dollar is in direct conflict with my goal of saving money for a house, my children’s education, and retirement.

Still, I’m sticking with it.

This weekend we went to the big annual community event around here: the Strolling of the Heifers parade in downtown Brattleboro. It’s an agriculture parade where local farmers walk their prize heifers down the street, but it’s also and more generally a championship of rural community, with local businesses, school marching bands, the local dance and gymnastics centers, and all sorts of ad hoc interest groups participating. Not to mention the wonderful high school students protesting for climate change, shutting down the parade and giving me hope in public schools after all.

After the parade, we went to the farmers market, which is our family ritual every Saturday in the summer. The point of this activity is threefold:

  • To get some fresh bread and seasonal produce, as well as stocking up on my favorite salve, made by Good Body Products right in Guilford — she makes salve for bug bites that I am particularly grateful for.

  • To eat lunch and get expensive bourgie lemonade sweetened with honey.

  • To socialize my kids in the community melting pot sandbox (and myself with the surrounding parents).

Spending time at the farmers market and other local events always reinvigorates my commitment to voting with my dollar. It simply feels good to support local business and also to eat in tune with the seasons and where we live. Speaking of which:

What I’m eating:

I bought some foraged local spring doug fir tips from a vendor at the Brattleboro Farmers Market, and improvised an ice cream recipe. It did not disappoint. See my last post for my ideas about the frequency of eating ice cream in the summer.

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What I’m watching:

Nothing much, but I did watch the first episode of that Fleabag show everyone’s raving about. Pretty good, not totally hooked yet.

What I’m reading:

In Mother Jones: How a Black Psychiatrist Shaped “Sesame Street” As a Tool Against Racism

In the New York Times: Smash the Wellness Industry

One of my clients is big on the Storybrand philosophy of marketing, and so, at their encouragement, I decided to read the book Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. I am not surprised that I’m learning basically nothing I did not already know. Stories sell, and your customer should be the hero of your brand story. Duh.

What I’m listening to:

Fine, I’ve been listening to Elton John. Why not.

What I’m working on:

Recently published ebook I wrote for Eventbrite: The Future of Event Transportation: An Inside Look From the Lyft Business Team


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