Communicating with friends, trading stocks, finding a new apartment, or shopping for clothes can all be done without moving your body from the wrist up! But when all that laziness starts to get you down, think about all the good you can do with websites and applications that allow you to give back just by shopping online for the stuff you would be buying anyway.
Endorse for a Cause (EFAC) is a newcomer on the philanthropic shopping scene. In fact, they launch today, so happy birthday! Now, you can shop and share your purchases with friends on Facebook and Twitter while raising money for a cause close to your heart. Just sign up and select the organization you are passionate about helping. Shop online, either through the EFAC site, or through everyday retailers like Target, Old Navy, Gaiam and Starbucks - told ya you'd be buying stuff anyway. When you share your purchase on your social networks and your friends click on your link and shop, EFAC will collect money from the retailers and donate it to your cause of choice! You don't spend a dime other than what you would have purchased regardless.
Some of the charity heavyweights available through EFAC are Kiva, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, CARE, Feeding America and The Nature Conservancy, to name a few.
"Endorse for a Cause uses social media for social good, providing a new way for us to engage with lenders on a deeper level," said Buckley White, product marketer at Kiva. "Endorse for a Cause promises to make quite an impact."
But where else can you put more positive change in that shopping cart? These do-good sites, some rookies and some veterans, all offer the opportunity to turn shopping into a sharing experience.
1. Shop for Good
Shop for Good is also a philanthropy-centric shopping experience. Simply sign up, choose a cause and search or browse through various stores. When you buy -- ca-ching -- a donation is made to your selected organization. The best part? It costs you, the consumer, nothing extra.
OneCause is similar in its shop-and-give functionality, but this site also let's you choose a school to support. For those of you who feel education is the root of all the good in the world, this site will give up to 20 percent to your school, or cause, of choice. They also offer a credit card and deals. It's really a no-brainer.
3. Global Girlfriend
Global Girlfriend is dedicated to fair-trade and eco-friendly items made by women. Help females dig themselves out of poverty worldwide through economic stimulation. Every purchase here gives a donation ranging from 5-30 percent to charity.
Zecozi is so cool, we've already written about in here at Tonic. In case you missed it, this site's main selling point is that it keeps sustainability and positive change at its core, while offering an innovative group online shopping experience. Not only do they walk the walk, but they talk the talk. Zecozi offers sustainable shopping in a unique experience, and the company's employees also receive excellent benefits, unlimited vacation and are offered more money to bike or carpool to work.
5. Ethical Shopping
Ethical Shopping isn't exactly a shopping platform, but they do a lot of your pre-purchase research for you. There you can find out about company practices when it comes to sustainability, fair trade, sweatshops, worker conditions, environmental practices and more. Every purchase you make is a vote for that company's way of doing business, so educating yourself is an important part of being a positive consumer.
Photo courtesy of iStock.