Voting with My Dollar, Locally, Whenever Possible

March 15th, 2019

Week 11: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

I have an office in town that keeps me from going full Emily Dickinson. It has much faster internet than our house in the sticks, and comes with the added advantage of being an easy walking distance from several places that make homemade soup. It also makes my errands much easier to tick off because I don’t have to make a special trip into town to buy batteries or jasmine tea or what have you

The flip side of this convenience is that it is very easy to spend money on the little things. Yesterday I could not shake a craving for a sweet, and walked out the door of my office to traverse the quick two blocks to the yummy raw food place with the incredibly expensive vegan desserts I am keen on. On the way, I ran into a fellow school mom who happens to be the buyer for the one cool boutique in town — Altiplano — which reminded me that I had been wanting to buy this shirt I had seen in the window:


On the way back, I saw a sandwich board sign for a sale at the sporting goods store. Since I lost one of the girls’ balaclavas the last time we went skiing, we needed a new one. Score! 20% off.

Basically, I spent over $75 within around 15 minutes. On the plus side, the old me may have bought the balaclava from Amazon (probably not the decadent carrot cake though).

I like spending my money locally versus online, but the challenge of living in a small town is that I can’t easily find everything I need. Sometimes that challenges my modern expectation of instant gratification, which feels good in a hip-pioneering-spirit sort of way. For instance, I have needed a new computer monitor for months, badly, but to buy one in person (which is how I want to do it), I have to find time to drive to Northampton, Mass — nearly an hour away — by myself.

Still, I question whether there’s anything I would ever need badly enough to get it on Amazon versus waiting until I have time to drive to a store. I have had two items lingering in my Amazon cart for a while as I contemplated this conundrum of the modern age:

  1. Thorne-brand Vitamin D (the recommendation of my Eastern Medicine consultant and good friend Caylie See of Wishbone Acupuncture in Tubac, AZ — good for the S.A.D.)

  2. A package of Burt’s Bees underwear for my kids. After some experimentation, this is the kind of underwear I like best for them. It’s organic cotton, neutral colors, and fits well. But there’s no store that obviously sells it around here.

It occurred to me I could just order these straight from the makers, at least. But then you have to pay for shipping… unless… UNLESS… you buy a certain amount of stuff. Which, you know, I don’t hate shopping.

After I loaded up my Burts Bees cart with essentials and gifts and checked out, I had a moment of “Oh shit, didn’t Burts Bees get bought by some big awful monolith?” And indeed, Clorox bought out Burts Bees in 2007 (go, Burt!). So that sent me down a little bit of a wiki-hole as I tried to figure out whether I had just given an NRA-adjacent brand my money.

The goods news is that googling “Clorox and the NRA” brings up nothing. I did find some serious PR about how Clorox “became an early adopter of a corporate trend to integrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting with financial reporting.” I am well aware Clorox probably pays their PR team very well to come up with this sort of spin.

If you know anything nefarious about Clorox or Burts Bees, please do tell me. In the meantime, on to the next time-consuming retro errand.

What I’m eating:

More soup….


What I’m watching:

 PEN15 is soothing the open wounds left by Leaving Neverland.

What I’m reading:

The Gothamist piece Misinformation Hotline Stokes Fear Of Vaccines In Ultra-Orthodox Community — le yikes, people 

What I’m listening to:

Boning up on Democratic presidential hopefuls via NPR.

What I’m working on:

Writing about IoT canes for seniors, music metadata, and VR training for the Fortune 500. And my AI client, Peltarion, just published this piece I helped push out.

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