I ask for what I want. A LOT. Every time I go to my favourite fruit and veggie store I ask whomever is at the till if they're going to be getting more organic produce. I've asked the manager, and now I want him to hear from all of his cashiers that people are asking A LOT.
When I go to my favourite natural food store, I ask for bigger bags of flour, more local produce, etc. When I go to my favourite deli, I ask if each item has MSG or artificial colours or artificial ANYthing. And if they say "yes", I say "no thanks". When I go to my favourite bulk foods store, I ask if they're looking for more fair trade products. Now when I go in, someone usually proudly shows me a new fair trade item for sale.
I think the more we talk about sustainable practices, the more "normal" it becomes. The first time a stranger hears someone asking for flour in cloth bags, it might seem strange. But what if that same person heard it 3 times? They might begin to wonder about it and even seek it out themselves.
And I'm a big believer in "the consumer has the power." If we all spoke up more often and ASKED and ASKED and ASKED for what we want to see, it would happen. And combine that with our right to REFUSE to buy anything packaged in styrofoam, anything over-packaged, anything sold in containers that are not reuseable or recyclable, well, that's POWER.
Speak up. I will too. Together we'll change the world.