::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact

Personal Consumption Changes As Charity

November 13th, 2011
giving  [html]
Perhaps someone is trying to convince you to switch to free range eggs. These eggs cost more, but they mean less suffering by chickens. This sounds reasonable, you can afford to spend the extra money, so you resolve to buy free range eggs when available.

Say someone else wants you to switch to wind power. Your electric bill will go up by 60%, but you won't be contributing to climate change with your home electric use. An additional 5 cents per kWh isn't so much, so you decide to do this too.

Another tells you that most chocolate is produced by slaves, and so you should switch to slave-free chocolate, which means organic or fair-trade. It costs three times more, but chocolate isn't a large part of your budget and you can spare the money.

You're now spending some money on virtuous eggs, other money on virtuous electricity, and a bit more money on virtuous chocolate. Each of these is good, but could you do better? Your consumption choices motivated by a desire to improve the world should compete with charities for the place of 'most effective', and whichever wins should get your money. When someone suggests you spend money on a more virtuous version of something, ask whether it is the most good you can do for your dollar.

Comment via: google plus, facebook

Recent posts on blogs I like:

Pieces of time

My friend used to have two ‘days’ each day, with a nap between—in the afternoon, he would get up and plan his day with optimism, whatever happened a few hours before washed away. Another friend recently suggested to me thinking … Continue reading →

via Meteuphoric November 11, 2019

Mauerfall

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. I feel weird about where I’m writing this post from. I was expecting to be writing this from Berlin, after visiting the commemorations. But I’m visiting Boston (and New York) right now and the connotation of talking abou…

via Pedestrian Observations November 10, 2019

Wild animal welfare in Hans Christian Andersen

Continuing the theme of wild animal suffering in children’s lit… Hans Christian Andersen’s stories involve a lot of suffering of both human and animal varieties. “The Ugly Duckling” takes a brief detour from describing the duckling’s repeated social humil…

via The whole sky November 7, 2019

more     (via openring)

More Posts:


  ::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact