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Breaking the Chains 2012 Holiday Action Guide

Here are four inspirational videos on ways you can use consumer power this holiday season to build communities of justice & sustainability:

1. -  The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. The Right to Know boycott has us swearing off just about every brand sold at the major supermarkets, but that's mostly processed food anyway and it's time to cook! Looking for a local, organic, pasture-raised turkey? Is your New Year's Resolution to shop at the farmers' market or join a CSA? Use to find farmers' markets and family farms in your area where you can buy organically grown food, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Why eat local? Michael Pollan answers the question in this video from Nourish Life:

2. - By shifting our holiday shopping budget to locally owned, independent businesses, we can generate 2-3 times as much economic activity in our community than if we had spent our money at a national chain. That could mean billions of dollars of economic impact! Become a Localist by shifting your shopping. This video from the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies explains how national and global prosperity begins at the local level:

3. Stand With Walmart Strikers on Black Friday - More people work and and shop at Walmart than anywhere else. Now, for the first time in the company's 50-year history, Walmart workers are walking off the job to protest low wages and cut benefits. The Walton family which owns Walmart is so rich that they have as much money as 40% of Americans! Walmart made $15 billion last year and paid its CEO $18.1 million. Surely the Waltons can meet Walmart workers' demands for “more-predictable schedules, less-expensive health-care plans and minimum hourly pay of $13 with the option of working full-time.” This video was made by workers in the OUR Walmart campaign:

4. Buy Nothing Day/#OccupyXmas - This November 23rd, celebrate Buy Nothing Day by going cold turkey on consumption for 24 hours … see what happens … you just might have an unexpected, emancipatory epiphany! Maybe buying gifts isn't the best way to show our family and friends how much we love them. Maybe shopping isn't the best way to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Maybe cutting back on consumption could slow the rate of environmental destruction. Here's Adbusters' infamous “North American Piggy” anti-advertisement for Buy Nothing Day: