Which Companies to Boycott?

I came across a Spanish website that lists ten of the most harmful corporations on the planet. It is very difficult to select only ten for this "honor" as there are so many others that pollute even more, have even more disgraceful working conditions, engage in even more gruesome animal testing, and violate even more human rights.

But we have to make a start somewhere, and I urge our readers to make serious work of boycotting these corporations, simply by refusing to buy their crap. In some cases, that's easy: don't enter a McDonald's and don't drink Coke (make sure you don't enter Burger King or drink Pepsi either). In other cases, it requires some research (you have to know which brands and products are owned by Nestle, Unilever, P&G, etc.)

Ideally, we would stop consuming any of these products, but if nothing else, just boycotting these companies is a good start - as long as you don't turn complacent saying "I did my part". We need to do much more, but the strong symbolism in boycotting permanently the top 10 (or top fortune 500, for that matter) worst companies, is something we need to explore. The "Public Eye Awards" is a good place to find out about the worst companies in the world.

These are some of the companies I am boycotting:

Monsanto, Syngenta
Need we explain this? You know "millions against Monsanto" and "the world according to Monsanto". You've heard of the farmers fined for saving their seeds. You've heard of the cancer.
boycott: don't buy GMO crops; buy from farmer's markets or grow food yourself.

Animal testing, gruesome human experiments in Nigeria, manipulation
boycott: don't take medication unless absolutely necessary, and then choose a different producer.

Shell and Chevron and BP
Support of violence in Nigeria, responsible for widespread pollution, prime culprits of climate change, 2010 gulf oil spill
boycott: don't drive, don't take planes. Ride a bike. Walk.

Exploitation, child labor, clearcutting, "food" that is harmful and causes type 2 diabetes
boycott: don't ever enter a McDonald's, unless you want to pee or blow the place up.

De Beers
Ignoring environmental laws, the rights of indigenous peoples for diamond profit.
boycott: don't buy diamonds. Also learn about industries that need diamonds, and boycott them, too.

Vale, Freeport, etc.
Clearcutting, stripmining in Brazil (Vale: Belo Monte, Rio Xingu, Mozambique and 22 other countries. Named world's "most evil company".) Freeport: West Papua .
boycott: this is difficult, as Vale is one of the largest producers of iron, copper, aluminium and other minerals. Whenever we buy new things, these minerals are involved. Luckily, there is the option of buying second hand stuff and recycling. It's a good reason not to buy a new car.

Coca Cola
Labor conditions, poisening, unhealthy drink, overuse of water
boycott: don't drink Coca Cola. Don't drink any soda. Drink fruit juice and tapwater.

We all know what happened in Fukushima
boycott: don't consume electricity in Japan. If in Japan, protest - as the locals to - against this evil corporation.

Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, etc
Food speculation, see this excellent report.
boycott: don't have your account at these banks. Other than that, it's hard to boycott these kind of institutions. 

Deforestation in Borneo. Scandal with infant formula, killing thousands of mothers. Corruption. Bottled water.
boycott: it's not hard to find out which products are made by Nestle. Don't ever consume them. Don't eat these chocolate bars, breakfast cereals, and other stuff they produce; don't drink nescafe even if you're craving caffeine.

Phillip Morris
Cigarettes, apart from being very unhealthy, are also a significant cause of pollution.
boycott: don't smoke. If you're an addict, stop.

Please comment if you feel any corporation is missing in this list.


I think every environmentalist would agree with us that Rio+20 (the biggest UN conference ever, according to the UN-Website) was a disaster, despite the hard work and the few hopeful initiatives that were launched. Photos of the police keeping the indigenous protesters in check - who only want to live their harmless lifestyles - were heart-breaking.

We think the outcome was much too vague. An important initiative to rescue the high seas has been blocked by the US and others; rich countries haven't pledged to contribute the funds demanded by developing nations, who consistently accuse the latter of hypocrisy and refuse to show any ambition. The level of commitment, or rather the complete lack thereof, was so much out of touch with the reality of the ever-increasing destruction of the planet (you know the numbers on global warming, overfishing, deforestation, freshwater depletion, and toxics) - it was appalling to follow this news.

What do you think would a Rio+40 conference look like? In a largely desertified Brazil, amidst global resource wars, a small group of aged cynics join and conjure up a document that states that "all is not lost" if only we pledge that we'll do everything in our might to try to rectify any agreement to the extend that others would rectify and promise to create a document on the importance of such a pledge that states that we will organize more conferences ad infinitum...

What do you think?

Lemurs in Madagascar

Madagascar's scientist Hanta Rasamimanana leads a campaing to save the natural habitat of this amazing species. As seventeen lemur species have already gone extinct in recent decades, the remaining species are seriously endangered.

Forest Voices, Sarawak (CT)

Forest Voices, Sarawak (CT)

From Charity Travel, June 30th, 2010

Forest Voices documents the knowledge of the indigenous people of Sarawak, who have always lived with the forest and use it to empower them and reverse the trend of logging before it is too late.

We support with a small donation, our old camera, and some publicity.