How Do You Buy?

Yes, I got my Wii, but I am still scrambling for a Wii Fit. An email went ’round at work this morning discussing the Wii Fit as an actual work topic (since we do health education), and I started hysterically screaming that I NEED A WII FIT! WHERE DID YOU GET A WII FIT? HELP ME GET A WII FIT, YOU COWORKER, YOU! And my co-worker wrote back, congenially recommending:

Wal-Mart.

I wrote back from my high horse: I. don’t. shop. at. Wal-Mart.

(I neglected to mention that, um, I came really really really close going to Wal-Mart during the original search for the Wii).

But don’t worry, I am not going to shop at Wal-Mart, ever, unless we head up into the mountains again like we did three years ago for a weekend in Beaver Creek and put Declan into the car in his pajamas because it was 5 am in the morning and seeing as we have not been up that early, like, ever, we realized an hour in to the drive that we didn’t bring ANY SHOES for him, something he kinda needs, not even one single pair, and the only place open was Wal-Mart and even though I felt a little piece of my soul die, we went ahead and bought him $5 shoes at Wal-Mart, mainly because if he didn’t have shoes we would not be able to go out to dinner the whole weekend, seeing as “no shoes, no service,” right?

But then, I started thinking, other than the fact that Wal-Mart epitomizes everything that is wrong with corporate culture, why THEM?

Why not a million other corporations?

Amy commented the other night that Nintendo (yup, the makers of the Wii) refuses to release their environmental records, ostensibly claiming the 5th. Didn’t I just hand over a crapload of money to that company? Fuck.

It *was* a little easier when Buy Blue was around, and at least I could look and see who was handing gobs of money (*cough, cough* Wal-Mart) to the Republican party. Hopefully they will be back online soon AND MAKE MY LIFE EASIER AGAIN. Because that’s what it’s all about, folks. Making. my. life. easier.

But in the end, I guess you have to choose your battles. Pick your evil giants and do your best to avoid them.

Who do *you* avoid and why?

This article has 43 comments

  1. kdiddy

    I don’t buy Nikes but that’s the only real boycott behavior I still have. I used to be staunchly anti-Wal-Mart but financial hardship prompted me to start shopping there. As soon as I can afford to shop elsewhere, I will, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t hate everything that Wal-Mart stands for, but I like eating and so does my family. so to the evil empire we go.

  2. Sizzle

    I wish I was better at avoiding such places and doing my research. I am bad. I admit it shamefully. I need to research make up companies that test on animals. I think Gillette is a big bad one in that department. I have been to Wal-Mart once in my entire life. It was scary and I don’t want to go back. Besides, I don’t even know where one is around here.

  3. zipper

    I am so lazy, I honestly never think about it. I know I should.

  4. dex's teacher

    I, too, boycott Wal-Mart and its affiliate (Sam’s Club). I’m a Costco gal. Why? Because a few years back, Buy Blue told me to be. The sad part is that I didn’t even know that Buy Blue no longer existed. Lately, I’ve been making all of my purchases on Craig’s List. Which, btw, is where I found the Wii Fit, sealed in the box. http://denver.craigslist.org/tag/714018079.html
    or
    http://denver.craigslist.org/ele/705169379.html

  5. Vanessa

    I feel pretty strongly about this and believe that as consumers, we vote with our dollars. I boycott Nike, Liz Claiborne, Wal Mart, P&G (proctor and gamble) and most items with an overload of plastic packaging.

  6. Ali

    i shop at Wal-Mart. don’t hate me!

  7. Kali

    I tend to boycott Domino’s. I read something years ago about the founder or CEO (can’t remember who) gave a large amount of the sales proceeds to the anti abortion movement. I din’t want my hard earned money going to support someone trying to take way my right to choose.

    That being said……I shop at Wal-mart for economic reasons…..and feel bad about it each time.

  8. Anonymous

    Def. walmart, gap and nike.

  9. Dr. Cason

    We don’t have a plethora of stores here so it’s easy to just shop at the handful of shops.

    But I do try to avoid k-mart. We have a big one here. I’m not sure if it’s the biggest k-mart in the world still but that was its claim to fame.

    It’s really expensive. When I first moved here I picked up some little Pjs. You know the ones that have a few packaged together. $45! I tossed it back in the rack and have rarely been back! I just can’t afford it!

  10. natala

    After watching “The high cost of low prices” I really can’t go into a wal mart at all. And after watching “Fast Food Nation” we don’t go near fast food places – I mean for the obvious bad food quality, but when I found out what was happening to the workers, I really couldn’t bring myself to it – same goes with Wal Mart.

    There are a lot more, but those are the big ones.

  11. sarahk

    Walmart. Exxon/Mobil. The worst brand ever: Nestles. Here are two places where you can find out all you want to know about stores and brands:
    http://www.walletmouth.com &
    http://www.knowmore.org

  12. Jenny, the Bloggess

    Skirt Magazine for being sue-happy a-holes. Not that you could buy it since it’s free and went out of business in my town but I boycott going to the online version now. Bastards.

  13. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Yeah, I tried hard to avoid Kraft for a long time because they were owned by Phillip Morris, but CRIPES, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to avoid Kraft. They are like EVERYWHERE.

  14. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Sunshine – diamonds are another good one.

  15. Missy Wiggins

    I am anti Walmart as well.
    I also stay away from Dollar Stores and I’ll admit I try to buy things made in USA, especially for the kids.
    This can be a challenge of course.
    My mom keeps buying “dollar store” crap for my kids and then I promptly bag it up and take it to Goodwill.

  16. Karen

    I try to avoid Wal-mart at all costs, but admit to being lured in by their low low prices from time to time. I’m weak. So weak. Luckily, there really isn’t one close by me to entice, so I stay away. God help me if I ever move.

  17. Mrs. Davis

    Wal-Mart is the biggie for us. If I had more restraint, I would boycott all fast food places. We used to be very anti-disney and made a pretty serious effort to shut them out of our lives, but we’ve softened on them a LOT over the last 5 years.

    We used to have an academic friend who claimed to be a Marxist and was very snooty about it. But I ran into him once at Home Depot, walking around drinking a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds while his kids waved around their happy meal toys. Heh.

  18. TX Poppet

    I am a big believer in boycotts. Here’s something I wrote a while ago about Del Monte.

  19. motherbumper

    McDonalds – though I don’t have enough room or time to write why. Walmart because they destroy small businesses, small towns, and abuse employee rights. Most buy direct from the manufacturer places because they also destroy small businesses. Ummmm I wish I could avoid most grocery stores and shop at the mom&pop stores but they were all wiped out when the megamarts opened in my end of town. Good lord, this could be an essay but I’ll leave it at that because I’m sure you see the pattern.

  20. Kathy

    I never shop at Wal-Mart, which is fairly easy to defend as I don’t live near one. (Yes, that actually is possible.)

  21. Emily

    I avoid WalMart like the plague, and I only shop at Target for absolute necessities (like toilet paper). Our veggies, fruit, and meat come from local farmers, and what we don’t get from them we get at Publix (a big grocery store chain here in the southeast). Since the beginning of this year, we’ve boycotted fast food places, too. It’s not a perfect solution, but shopping locally as much as you can really helps.

  22. Catherine

    Avoiding Wal-Mart in my town means shopping at the Dollar General. Crappy, but true.

    Plus, my dad worked at Wal-Mart before he got ill so… kinda feel grateful to the company that gave my ex-convict senior citizen father a shot. AND they returned my wallet to me at Christmastime when I lost it. COMPLETELY IN TACT. So my heart has softened towards wallyworld.

  23. Felicity

    I have avoided Wal-mart, but most recently Banana Republic, because their sale is NOT REALLY A SALE!
    I love your blog too by the by.

  24. painted maypole

    oy. i feel guilty just reading this. I avoid snapple. because ages ago they gave money to newt gingrich (I think…). I feel like I should avoid walmart, but I can’t do it. and part of it is because I don’t know that the alternatives are truly any better

  25. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    I just remembered another one we boycotted a long time ago: Blockbuster. I hate the sales schpeel I had to sit through every time I wanted to rent a movie. I literally lost it on a poor cashier one night and we have never been back. I just want my movie!!! Thank god for Netflix.

  26. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    And welcome to you new folks and delurkers! Please, make yourselves at home!

  27. Sunshine

    I shop at wal-mart. And if my friend Becky reads this comment which I am sure she will she is going to strangle me.

    But it’s true and I won’t hide it. I shop there because it’s cheap and I am poor. Bad excuse right? I am working on it. I try to only buy needed items at Wal-mart but that doesn’t always work.

    As far was things I 100% avoid – diamonds. The things people do for diamonds and the history of conflict surrounding them makes me refuse to wear or purchase them.

  28. Karen

    Being in the UK I do everything possible to buy British items but again it’s hard when so much shit is imported in. As for food, I buy veg and fruit from the local market and I get my meat from the butcher in the next village. Most of the small shops here are being swallowed up by the corporate giants and it’s hard to source some items without having to go to them. If you do you end up paying four times the amount and with a tight budget I just can’t do it. I wish I could afford clothes at more expensive stores, but if I do that, the kids don’t get fed so I know the stuff I buy is made from cheap child labour – I’m in a no win situation – exploit some foreign kid or let my kids starve – hmm :0(

  29. apathy lounge

    No surprise about Wal-Mart and the Republicans. Any place that sells shirts with Dale Earnhardt’s number on them is a huge clue to their dark side crossover and hillbilly sensibilities.

  30. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    And welcome LeighAnn!

  31. Tree

    I do not shop at Wal-Mart. At first, it was out of protest. I lived in a small town in the San Juans and there was no Wal-Mart in sight. Now there is – on the edge of the city limits. Now there are several citizen-owned shops out of business. It is devastating.

    Now, I do not shop there because (a) it is not anywhere close to my daily commute route, (b) it gives me the heeby-jeebies and (c) I find it to be depressing.

    I concur about Nike – mostly because I think the product is all hype.

    I avoid Albertson’s because their service sucks.

    I have found myself haunting the local farmer’s markets, local butchers, etc. Fortunately, they are all rather close to our house, too.

  32. anne

    I refuse to shop at Walmart, but that’s because of my personal experience with them: every trip into one has been nightmarish. Poundy calls them Bad Times stores.

    Ditto for Winn-Dixie.

  33. monstergirlee

    No Wal-Mart. Once I went because I was out of town with my son, and forgot an essential – it was the only store available. Not before, not since.
    For many of the reasons mentioned above.

    Also, we really avoid any fast food places. There is plenty of food around where we live, and we’ll do take out Thai or Rock pizza before we do any fast food.
    Fast Food is too ingrained in our culture and its SOO bad for you! and my Kids! Thats why.

    Aimee – please keep your integrity and find your Wii Fit somewhere else. Please.

    I am trying to find items made in USA these days. Tough tho, really tough.

  34. Black Hockey Jesus

    I boycott Krispy Kremes. Fuck. No I don’t.

  35. Leigh Ann

    Hello! I have long been a lurker to your blog – which I love! Your blog, that is, not lurking. But I digress! When I read your “I. don’t. shop. at. Wal-Mart.”, I loved you even more! I totally avoid Walmart at all costs, in fact, I’ve posted about it too. If you are interested, read here:

    http://leighann.org/wp/2005/06/13/wally-world-sucks/

    There are other random Walmart posts on my blog if you use the search at the top of the page.

    keep up a great blog!

  36. treesflowersbirds

    Oh, I was BuyBlue addict as well! Especially since one of their board members is a blog buddy of mine. So bummed when they had to stop.

    Yep, Wal-Mart here too, but it is easy to avoid since the closest one is 20 mins away which may not sound like much, but it’s in a direction that I NEVER head out to so reason to be there.

  37. Sarah

    I’m totally against Walmart, too. Except that one time I wanted a pink DVD player they carried. I had to buy it online to risk not being seen there. I would have felt worse about it but the thing was so fucking adorable.

  38. Nadine

    Wal – Mart and its ‘different’ way of treating employees has even made it to Dutch news a couple of times! Is that the same store chain that just closed a Wal – Mart down because their employees were on a strike and they did not want to give in?

  39. nutmeg

    Walmart. They sell guns.

  40. Beth Fish

    I won’t shop at Wal-mart because the one near my house always smells like b.o.

  41. Trev

    Wii-fit is great…even if you have to shop with the commonfolk to get it!
    Trev
    http://elliots.eachday.com

  42. carrie

    We are cut from the same mold.

    I’m anti Wal-Mart as far as the eye can see.

    Even IF they have a WiiFit. ūüôĀ

  43. robin

    The 2 biggest ones that I will never never never never (never say never) do as long as I am considered living… walmart and mcdonalds. I have often (okay, let’s be honest-sometimes) thought “why those and not others?” because, really, I go to starbucks, of all places (I hang my head in shame.) But, like you said, gotta choose your battles. There are just too many bad places out there, it’s impossible to avoid them all. unless you’re rich and have all the time in the world on your hands to weed them out. And I am dirt dirt dirt poor and I STILL won’t go to walmart, because they are evil. And mcdonalds is just yucky. Really, I won’t go to any fastfood place that doesn’t have fresh meat, cuz i dont want to be eating meat that could possible be 28 years old. The fat, grease, and other preservatives are fine, though. Not really,

    Oh, and this is not a specific product, but I try my damndest to never consume high fructose corn syrup, but, seriously, that stuff is in EVERYTHING!

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