Green Consumerism

Green consumerism

Are you trying to become a greener consumer day by day? What alternative products or services, that respect the planet and workers, have already become part of your shopping habits? Green consumerism is here to stay!

Some of Ludo’s green shopping and everyday habits

Ludo has started buying fairtrade food such as bananas, coffee, chocolate, organic free-range eggs and fish from sustainable resources.

She only eats meat or has dairy products when they offered on special occasions as she is switching to a flexitarian diet where protein comes mainly from pulses, seeds and vegetables.

To wash the dishes or clothes her flatmates and her typically use natural cleaners that don’t harm our health and the sea. They sometimes buy recycled toilet paper too.

Green consumerism

Organic soap bought by Ludo when on holiday near Marseille last summer.

When using the washing machine she puts her clothes in a bag that collects microplastics which can be discharged from synthetic clothes.

She swapped her plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one and she makes her own homemade toothpaste. Although, there are eco brands that sell it in a pill form or as a paste in glass jars.

From time to time, she goes to charity shops to see if she can find something of interest such as second-hand books. However, she makes sure she doesn’t buy any unnecessary items or clothes.

Green consumerism

This is one of the best swaps you can make, buy a reusable coffee cup instead of ordering coffee in a single-use take away one

For her bike, she bought a rechargeable USB light to avoid using batteries. For sunny days, she has a power bank which recharges itself by using solar energy. Jon recommended a camping solar panel as it is portable. He uses it on his balcony to top up his power banks and for camping.

Green Consumerism? Where can you buy green products?

Fortunately, over the last few years the demand for green products and services has steadily increased, so too, green companies providing them.
Co-op and Sainsbury’s have long been the main supporters of Fairtrade products but now discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl stock a growing fairtrade range. You can also buy products in bulk in zero waste shops which are starting to become widespread in London. Check out this website: https://www.zerowastenear.me/ to see if you have a store locally. There are a number of online shops where you can buy green products. You should look carefully though, to see if they carbon-offset deliveries and if they use sustainable packaging.

Green consumerism

Reusable food containers made from recycled plastic and BPA free

Carbon Offsetting your flight

Carbon Offsetting your flight

When travelling abroad it is difficult to know how you can reduce your impact on the environment. The ideal solution is to stay at home and take public transport where possible. Although, of course there are times when you want to fly. Be it to find warmer climes or to see some friends in another country. Carbon offsetting your flight can be an option. This way you are helping to offset your carbon footprint by doing something positive.

You may have noticed the news about people trying to avoid air travel too.
In Sweden, there is a growing movement of ‘flight shaming’ that calls for curbs to air travel due to its environmental impact. The number of passengers who flew through Swedish airports fell four percent in 2019. The drop was led by a decline in domestic traffic.

So, if you cannot really avoid flying, carbon offsetting your flight is a way to invest in green projects that can ‘absorb’ your carbon footprint. In essence making your flight ‘carbon neutral’ in this case. For example, you can contribute to a scheme that plants trees, or helps people in an African country get more efficient cooking stoves. You can either do this through the airline or there are organisations that run carbon offsetting schemes. Although, some in the industry have criticised them for not being effective, so shop around. However, demand for offsetting is growing rapidly.

What Carbon Offsetting choices are there out there?

A number of airlines run their own schemes although they have been criticised for not pushing the environmental message strongly enough. Virgin Atlantic runs its programme in partnership with a reputable offsetting company called ClimateCare.

Alternatively, there is a German carbon offsetting organisation called Atmosfair. They provide customers with quite a bit more information about the impact of their flight.

Julia Zhu, is a spokeswoman for carbon offsetting. She says, “Offsetting is not supposed to salve consciences, or act as a get-out-of-jail-free card. Every serious offsetting organisation really stresses it is better to avoid emissions when you can. It’s always better not to fly. But flying and offsetting is better than flying and not offsetting.”

So, spare a thought when you fly next time and think about what you can do to help reduce your environmental impact.