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

Lambeth’s air quality improvements

Lambeth's air quality improvements

Lambeth’s air quality improvements have been impressive; it was the first council in London to declare a Climate Emergency. The council actively works with residents to reduce carbon emissions across the borough. They also support active travel and they are investing in green and renewable energy. In addition to this, they are installing charging points for electric vehicles and planting trees, among other things. 

Last month, the Mayor of London announced that there have been major improvements in Lambeth’s air quality. Brixton Road, used to be one of the most polluted roads in London. It broke the hourly legal limit for toxic pollution in 2016 a total of 538 times. However, last year it didn’t break this legal limit at all. 

Over the next two years, the Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood programme (BLN) is going to provide better, quicker, cheaper or more convenient alternatives to private vehicles. You can subscribe for updates at: http://www.brixtonstreets.commonplace.is/news

Examples of support services include collaborating with Brixton BID and Zipcar for Business. Also, the Cross River Partnership is launching London’s first shared electric van that is free to use for local businesses in Brixton.

Let’s hope together we can create healthier and safer streets. 

Thinking of cycling?

The company Peddle My Wheels runs pop-up bike markets selling second-hand refurbished bikes. This started from the idea of collecting children’s bikes which parents often throw away. You can also decide to buy a brand new bike. Although, if you are not too sure if it is right for you, you can try the bike for a few months first. There is a monthly charge for this until you decide it is not suitable for you or until you own it out right. There are also electric cargo bikes suitable for businesses and available as well at a monthly fee. The scheme called ‘Try Before You Bike’ offers 2 hours of training to give you or your staff confidence on the streets. 

Ludo’s flatmates are regular cyclists and one of them started cycling thanks to this scheme. Ludo bought a second-hand bike a few months ago. She feels reassured that cars are becoming more aware of cyclists and that protected cycle routes have grown significantly in London.

Lambeth's air quality improvements