The Eco Friendly Shopping Cart

To counteract the damage that mankind is inflicting on the Earth, we need to start thinking about using sustainable products which use as little energy and waste as possible in their manufacture. Here is an ethical shopping list, designed with being kind to ourselves and our planet in mind.

Newspaper – It allegedly takes 63000 trees to make one edition of the Sunday New York Times, a huge waste of CO2 reducing forests, so newspapers can be a waste of resources even if we do recycle them.

To counteract this don t buy a newspaper, read the news online. Every major newspaper in the world has online editions, so ethically speaking you can keep up-to-date with the news without affecting the natural world too much.

Milk – Buy your milk from the milkman. Local dairies use glass bottles which are then washed and recycled, certainly saving on the plastic waste that supermarkets and most shops sell their milk in. Also by using a milkman, who delivers to a number of people in one area, petrol exhaust fumes thus carbon emissions are cut. Better to have one vehicle in use than twenty.

Fruits and Vegetables – Buy organically from farm shops and vegetable box schemes. By doing this you are helping to cut the chemicals that are used in agriculture and seep into the earth, as most of these schemes tend to use organic, seasonal produce which is grown naturally. Box and Farmers Market fruit and vegetables usually source produce locally, again cutting CO2 emissions from freight planes and heavy goods vehicles used for long haul transportation. The added bonus is that your body is getting fresh, healthy, natural nutrients without preservatives or chemicals; and there tends to be recycled or little packaging waste when you join an organic box scheme.

Alcohol – Be mindful when buying certain alcohol. Up to 7.5 liters of water is used to make one liter of beer, so it is essential that beer is bought with this in mind. Sticking to smaller, cottage industry breweries and cider makers is generally more ethical supporting smaller companies, who produce less waste. A lot of local cider manufacturers operate a scheme where flagons are brought back for refill. Beer companies such as Sharp's Doom Bar Beer based in Cornwall have reduced the amount of water used in production, lessened the weight of its glass packaging and operate a recycling scheme whereby bottles and products used to make the beer are recycled into glasses and animal feed respectively.

Clothing – Use sustainable organic and fair-trade products where possible. Bamboo is the ideal material to consider when buying clothes. It is a strong, rich silky and hard wearing material, and can be manufactured into cloth organically. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth and is farmed en masse, so it is sustainable and replaced quickly by new plants, which will use CO2 during photosynthesis thus cutting it in the earth s atmosphere. Online stores such as Bamboo Baby sell beautiful, durable clothing for children at reasonable prices.

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