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Beyond the Banks: 3 More Ways to Move Your Money Away from Corporations

Can we organize to actively move our money from the corporations that control our political systems, and invest in more just and sustainable economies?

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There are many other Web sites advertising  union-made products, union-made clothing and even union-made political campaign buttons. In addition to boycotting mega-corporations, purchasing these products finances an economy that supports good jobs and sustains the middle class.

3. Buy Green

Occupy Wall Street is already protesting corporate disregard for environmental regulations and justice by integrating sustainability and consciousness-raising initiatives into its greater model for economic justice at Liberty Plaza in New York. Recycling bins are set up. The sanitation group specifically uses and requests environmentally friendly cleaning products. Chefs at the kitchen station hold signs warning against the dangers of genetically modified organisms. Just this past week, after the NYPD stripped the occupation of its generators, occupiers invested in bicycle-powered alternative energy generators, harnessing pedal power to stay warm and power their daily lives.

The majority of us are not actively occupying Zuccotti Park, but we can still follow their example and support green and alternative energy to both lessen our environmental impact, resisting and eventually replacing corporate power.

Buying local and buying American-made is already buying green by default. Transporting goods a short distance, rather than flying merchandise around the world reduces fuel consumption and environmental impact in addition to divesting our money from corporate power. This dualism can be enjoyed in many ways--supporting local farmers’ markets rather than genetically modified corporate food products is healthy, reduces fuel consumption and generates local economic growth. Purchasing products that are made in the United States reduces carbon emissions through international travel, and when union-made, generates and supports good, local jobs.

There are many other ways to support sustainability initiatives. Using a car-share program, such as Zipcar, resists consumption and pollution, while investing in a transportation economy based in utility and sustainability. Simply driving less, and using less gasoline, and diverting this money toward public transportation, is as much an anti-corporate statement as an environmental statement.

Buying local can be as minimal as patronizing your neighborhood coffee shop instead of Starbucks. It keeps money in the local economy, rather than lining the pockets of a CEO. Buying union-made is the difference between investing in a Ford or a Chrysler instead of a Honda or Toyota—and keeps essential manufacturing jobs in the United States. Buying green can be either the decision between two cleaning products, shopping at a farmer’s market instead of a grocery store, or purchasing a bus pass instead of driving to work—it keeps money out of big oil companies and invests in an economy that values environmental health and sustainability over corporate profit.

Those at OccupyWallStreet, OccupyAmerica and OccupyTogether are united by both our demands and our conscience, and understand that a sustainable future is built on the economic justice that has been ignored by big banks and behemoth corporations. As long as we are still caught in their system, it is time that we organize to put our money where our mouths are and invest in a more just economic future.

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