Vote with Your Wallet

Gary Zuker sized and polished reclaimed granite for his kitchen countertop in his cob house near Austin, Texas.
Gary Zuker sized and polished reclaimed granite for his kitchen countertop in his cob house near Austin, Texas.

Zafra, one of our readers, left a comment today that said, “I would argue that government itself is not the problem, but corporate control of government is. As a rule, if you see government interfering in progressive movements it’s to protect the corporations and industries (banks, insurance, timber, chemical just to name a few that have to do with housing) to which it is beholden, or by which it is owned…”

This is an earthbag blog, of course, and so we don’t want to get sidetracked on politics. But the problem has become so enormous that it now affects virtually everyone. A lot of people are getting increasingly angry as government agencies make it more and more difficult to live a simple life… I’ve always said to “vote with your wallet”. Try not to support the big corporations that are at the root of all these problems. Building DIY, low cost housing without mortgages, using locally available natural materials is one big step to starving the beast.

This is interesting to me, because I usually approach the issue from the other angle. I’ve always been interested in natural building because it’s lower cost, more user friendly, safe and nontoxic, and the end result is more beautiful and personalized. But now I’m seeing how you can have all these advantages and help snuff out big corporations at the same time as a bonus. Cool.

Image source: Natural Home and Garden
[Note: this is one of my favorite houses. Be sure to click the link at the bottom of the article to see the photo gallery of this house. This is the sort of thing I’d like to put on a Pinterest page.]

8 thoughts on “Vote with Your Wallet”

  1. Yes, you’re right. Obama has been a disappointment. Maybe the “Occupy Wall Street / Occupy The Nation” movement will embolden him and the rest of the Democrats to bring about the change that we thought we were voting for. And maybe that change could eventually extent all the way to the elimination of overly restrictive building codes or the building codes all together. But that’s probably too much of a stretch.

  2. And really how feasible is it to not shop at Lowes or Home Depot when building a home? In most areas they have crushed the small businesses. There are lots of areas across the country that have no independent lumber yards and few if any small hardware stores. In remote areas it is impossible to find second hand or recycled materials. The idea that your going to cut out the big box stores in this day and age is dreaming on a grand scale.
    In my town all the small hardware stores have closed. Even 84 lumber shut down. In the area where I am building, both the local lumber yard and hardware stores for the most part never have what I need. That entails a 40 mile drive to the big orange box.

  3. I was initially drawn to natural building years ago in an effort to escape the corporations and their high costs. The environmental reasons were lagniappe (something extra).
    No matter how I got here, I sure am happy about where I landed.


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