Voting with our wallets

In my book and on this blog I emphasize the power of voting with our wallets.

When I say voting with our wallets, though, I am referring to NOT buying stuff, as much as (or even more than) I am referring to buying stuff. What we don’t buy probably matters even more than what we do buy (other than local farm produce, possibly).

In one of the forums, someone commented that they want good, reliable public transport. And they asked how do we vote with our wallets for this?

I answered:

An excellent question! I have similar goals for public transport as you do. And here are some ways I have voted with my wallet:

— I keep to an absolute bare minimum as possible the amount of money that I give to private car transportation. Mainly I get around by foot, bus, train, and bicycle. When I absolutely must use private car, I pay a friend/neighbor of mine, a young single mom, to be my “taxi”.

— I have reduced my overhead living expenses so as to never have to work at a full-time office type job with strict hours. Instead, I am self-employed and can make my own hours. Furthermore my occupation is eco-educator, permaculture designer. As part of my work, I am able to devote time to attend local government meetings.

There, I speak to advocate:

  • FOR expanded public transport hours/routes;
  • FOR sidewalks; urban shade trees
  • FOR dense multifamily housing near shops and bus lines
  • AGAINST road expansions and car-dependent residential development.

Other things I do to vote with my wallet for sustainable transportation include:

• Keep as little money in the bank as possible (a lot of bank loans go to developers, oil projects, etc.)

• No investments on Wall Street.