Alternatives to US products
We are calling for a boycott of certain US companies who have a direct or indirect involvement in the war against Iraq. If you have chosen to boycott some, or all, of these products, you are making an important contribution to opposing the war on Iraq. There are several alternatives available to you when you have made this choice.
However, some of these alternatives also present you with difficult choices...
Petrol, Cars, and Planes
If you switch from buying your petrol at an ExxonMobil or Esso petrol station, to buying from Shell or BP/Amoco, you are still contributing to global warming, and supporting a company that stands to benefit greatly from the war against Iraq and a regime change in Baghdad.
Even TotalFinaElf, the French oil company, has a history of environmental destruction and human rights abuses. It is certainly putting pressure on the French government to oppose a war against Iraq, but this is to do with a less-than-humanitarian interest in supporting the undemocratic regimes in the Middle East. (more...)
A much more sustainable alternative is to reduce the amount you use your car.
Similarly, you should think about reducing the number of airplane journeys you take each year. Think about transport that is less polluting: walk, bike (it's good for your health), bus, tram, train, boat...
If you must use a car, you could investigate switching to LPG or a hybrid car.
Tobacco, Food and Drink
If you switch from smoking Malboro or L&M to Gauloises, you will be contributing to stopping the war against Iraq, but you will be putting your own health and also the health of people round you in danger, and contributing to deforestation and polution caused by tobacco production.
A more sustainable, but probably more difficult, solution is to cut down on the amount you smoke, or grow your own tobacco.
If you stop consuming food or drink produced by American multinationals, and switch to products produced by European companies, you will be sending a powerful message to the White House that consumers do not want a war Against Iraq.
But, a much stonger message about the kind of world you want to create is to buy locally produced or ethically traded products...
Eating organic food will also help cut down on the amount of oil-based chemical used to produce the food.
[ Organic Food website ]
If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by your role as an ethical consumer, check out the links page for websites which can provide lots of information and advice.