BUYING GREEN

certificationlabelsLast week I wrote about the need for botanic (meat-free, dairy-free, cruelty-free) products to go mainstream. There have been some interesting developments on this front:

Organic vs. Local: Jim Minich, in an article Beyond Organic in Counterpunch, educates readers on the economics and trade-offs of organic food production which can include unsustainable farming methods, unfair labour practices, and expensive imported components. Minich concludes: “Consider how you might help create a food system that is both organic and local. Seek out a local farmers market or vegetable subscription service that provides a weekly bag of produce. Meet your local farmers this way. Encourage them to use organic methods and local sources of compost and other soil amendments. And seek out the small growers, who don’t have to exploit labor to gather their harvests. If you enjoy quality food and a healthy planet, consider what you eat, where it was grown and how. Let’s choose both organic and local if possible, so we can begin moving our food economy in ways that benefit our health and the Earth’s.” Thanks to Rajiv Bhushan for the link.

One-Stop Green Shopping: In researching last week’s article, I stumbled on the online Green Home Environmental Superstore, which sells a variety of green products, and provides an explanation of their product approval policy and a host of free information on how to make your home and your buying habits greener as well. Looks impressive: Anyone bought from them?

Libertarian Green: Grist Magazine‘s Amanda Griscom Little interviews John Mackey, the iconoclastic head of Whole Foods, one of the world’s largest retailers of natural foods. Mackey is a foe of unions, a pragmatist and a significant distributor of meat products. But he is himself a vegan, refuses all dealings with factory farms, and believes in strict environmental regulations. He makes a compelling argument that by agreeing to sell humanely-raised animal products, he’s reached a size that has saved a lot more animals, and exposed a lot more people to the need for cruelty-free products.

Buy Only What You Need: In a new ChangeThis manifesto, Don’t Buy This Shirt Unless You Need It, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard conveys a refreshing message: Buy Less. And, of course, he suggests what charity to support with the money you save. Thanks to Aleah Sato for the link.

The certification labels shown at right were discussed in my earlier Good Stuff article.

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4 Responses to BUYING GREEN

  1. Rebecca says:

    A comment on “Buy Only What You Need”: Also embrace the thrift store! Yes, I did need a couple new pairs of pants, but I loved the $4.00 versions I got at the Salvation Army just as much (nay, more!) than any new ones I might find. Thrift stores don’t take nearly the shopping energy as regular stores either, for some reason. I go to a regular clothing store and it just exhausts me.Also, I would -love- if it could be okay again to be seen wearing the same clothing more than once in the same week. Yes, if it’s smelly or dirty, put it in the wash pile. But if it’s not, wear it again until it is! I do this as much as I can, and working from home these days, that means much more often than when I was in an office setting. It doesn’t bother my cat one bit if she sees me in the same pants three days in a row :-)On a more personal note: I’m currently looking for new work/projects since my latest projects are just about done. If you hear of anyone in the Toronto area who would like to hire a smart girl (despite my predilection for repeated wearings of clothing and my other-citizenship), let me know. :-)

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Good point, ‘Wrebecca’. Thanks.

  3. John H Coxon says:

    This local organization has been growing here in my neighborhood but it’s been a struggle. Sustained in major part by a growing population of weekenders driving SUVs and building big houses on good farm land. Who thus squeeze the farmers they try to “support” with high property values and taxes. Sad.http://www.farmandfood.org/“The Regional Farm & Food Project is an independent non-profit membership organization of farmers and consumers founded in 1996 to promote sustainable agriculture in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys and beyond. RFFP fosters new opportunities for family farms. We support agriculture that regenerates the land and produces healthy food. We also forge new connections between farmers and communities.We offer you and your family many opportunities to learn, influence the future, and live your values, while eating well!”

  4. Dave Pollard says:

    John: Yes, it’s interesting how wrong-headed some well-intentioned projects are, and how some very thoughtless projects have surprisingly beneficial results. While we work to find better answers, we need to keep our sense of humour, or at least our appreciation of irony.

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