Shel Horowitz

August 29, 2008 · Print This Article

Shel Horowitz, Green Parent, ethical marketing expert and author of the ebook The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant’s Pocketbook, stands up to big corporations everyday, demanding social justice and meaningful environmental change. How does he do that? By attending corporate shareholder meetings? By protesting in the streets? By petitions or letter writing campaigns?


Shel stands up to big corporations by “greenifying” the companies he does business with. His philosophy:

Companies need to earn our trust–we as consumers have the capability to say no, and our combined economic and political impact is mightier than any corporation.

Do you want to stop pollution, global warming, deforestation, and sweat-shop manufacturing? Read on to learn how to put your money where your heart is:

“Greenify” The Companies You Do Business With

by Shel Horowitz

Why does Starbucks sell some Fair Trade coffee? Why can you actually buy organic milk at big chain supermarkets? And why can you buy a hybrid car from several different companies?

It’s the same reply for all these questions: these companies offer Green products considering the market created pressure to do so.

In other words, we consumers stood up and told them, whether you want our business, give us socially and environmentally responsible choices. And adequate Green consumers took their business to local coffee shops that offered Fair Trade, or bought organic milk from small locally owned stores or dairies, or perhaps switched to biking or mass transit that the big companies had to pay attention. And supply alternative products.

Of course, there are still many reasons to shop locally and support these pioneering businesses that do the right thing considering it’s the right thing, and not just considering the market demands it of them. But always remember that you do have capability, even when facing up to the largest corporations in the world.

If you

don’t believe me, think about these examples:

  1. The years-long universal boycott of Swiss agribusiness giant Nestlé considering its infant formula marketing strategy in developing countries resulted in a whole lot of infant malnutrition and family poverty. The company had to stop.
  2. Ford’s profitability plummeted after the world discovered that not only did that company learn nothing from the exploding Pinto catastrophe of the 1970s, but that they knew about the Explorer rollover problem before the car was even released. Even though it bought Volvo, Ford is perceived as not caring about consumer safety–so consumers go elsewhere.
  3. Just 25 or 30 years ago, smoking was part of the culture, and smokers were allowed to pollute restaurants, bus stations, workplaces, and even airplanes. Now, not only is smoking in public banned in many places in the US, but the movement has even spread to such unlikely places as Spain!

Now, think about how the market rewards the companies that DO care, and builds them much bigger considering of their commitment. A few among hundreds of examples that grew ONLY considering of their social/environmental commitment:

Anita Roddick’s The Body Shop

Ben & Jerry’s

Fetzer vineyards (pioneers in mass production of organic wine)

National organic qualitys like Hain-Celestial, the Canadian cereal company Nature’s Path, Clif Bar…

Local organic farmers selling at farmers markets or through Community-supported Agriculture shares

So yes, you–we–have the potential. Go out and manufacture a difference.

Shel Horowitz’s 280-page e-book, The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant’s Pocketbook offers hundreds of eco-friendly ways to have more fun and spend less money–available exclusively at For businesses, Shel’s award-winning sixth book, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts humans First, demonstrates specifically how to succeed in business using Green and ethical business practices. A speaker, writer, and consultant, he is the founder of the universal Business Ethics Pledge,

[Source] Jenn


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