Voting with your feet just got a whole lot easier.
“A buycott is the opposite of a boycott. Buycott helps you to organize your everyday consumer spending so that it reflects your principles.” This is the fundamental idea behind an innovative new smartphone app that helps you put your money where you want it, and more importantly keeps it out of the hands of those you don’t want to have it.
This is a critical but increasingly challenging pillar of American-style capitalism, this notion that we vote with our dollars. In theory that’s certainly true, but in practice unraveling the tangle of companies who own companies who own companies is nearly impossible. To paraphrase Clare O’Connor’s recent Forbes article, I had no idea that I was fattening the Koch Brothers’ wallets every time I used a Brawny paper towel, for example.
Now, thanks to Ivan Pardo’s Buycott application, I can scan the barcodes of countless items and trace their dark roots. O’Connor explains:
Once you’ve scanned an item, Buycott will show you its corporate family tree on your phone screen. Scan a box of Splenda sweetener, for instance, and you’ll see its parent, McNeil Nutritionals, is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.
Even more impressively, you can join user-created campaigns to boycott business practices that violate your principles rather than single companies.
If that’s not the best use of smartphone technology since Angry Birds, I don’t know what is. You can read more about Buycott and where to download on their website.