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How To Make A Difference ? > What to buy? Is it Green?

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message 1: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
Do we trust labels, do we look for standard certifications and why don't products including food display air miles? Those are some of my questions but you probably have your own.
This article checks out some of the ways labels are perceived and what they may actually mean. While firms with a poor reputation can find it difficult to mend that perception.

message 2: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
Greener Choices is a site which helps explain the meaning of labels. While it focuses on America, some - Fairtrade and organic - are universal.

They say:
"Greener Choices is an initiative from Consumer Reports that looks at the environmental impact of consumer choices. We investigate how the production, use, and disposal of consumer goods affect communities, both human and ecological. The Greener Choices website provides information for consumers who want to consider this impact.
The information that we provide can empower consumers to make choices that minimize harm and maximize benefits to people involved in production, the soils, water, and air that are critical to our health, wildlife and biodiversity, and the global climate."

message 3: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1613 comments Mod
Once again, regulations are important. There are representatives in the US who want to weaken labels. A strong consumer protection agency is critical.

message 4: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
Ireland has had issues caused by German and British supermarkets selling food labelled as 'produced in Ireland' which is not the same as 'produce of Ireland'. For instance, Spanish or German ham, brought in and sliced in Ireland before being vac-packed and sold as 'produced in Ireland'.

The better supermarkets display the country of origin of all meat clearly; those trying to hide it still have to show it according to EU law, but use country codes like ES as part of a barcode type label for Spain.

Not only are buyers not supporting Irish farmers, the meat has been transported a long way and they do not know what standards of care were applied to the animals.

message 5: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod

Cleaning products without scent or plastic etc. and how to find them.

message 6: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
Make use Of, which is a great site for consumers who want to understand their personal tech, provides a list of five sites we might like
These all show us how to lead a sustainable life, from slow fashion to natural deodorant in a re-usable case.

message 7: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
Another article from Make Use Of, listing sites where you can be helped to live sustainably. These include finding food to buy which would otherwise be wasted, and how to know if that pack at the back of the fridge is still safe to eat, or how to make compost with it.
Sounds like these would save you money, too.

message 8: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
A rather padded article from Eco Watch which is headed about how consumers can help solve the climate crisis but delves in to the Paris Agreement, what is counted as a high income household and more. The article comes from the World Economic Forum which accounts for this structure.
Anyway, past all the padding you get a list of five actions for the consumer which include checking your carbon footprint pre- and during pandemic, using an online calculator tool.

Other tips are to be more informed, make better choices and inform others. All good so give it a read.

message 9: by Clare (last edited Apr 13, 2021 04:15AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
Reducing your digital carbon footprint. This starts with buying the appliance or gadget. Do you really need it, and is there a more energy-efficient one?
Then, how do you use it, and does it still draw power when not in use? (Flick the switch off for washing machines.)
What firms do you use online?
And what do you do with end of life gear?

message 10: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
A more sustainable holiday season, with tips provided by WWF. Since the vast majority of decorations are made in China and transported, my main tip would be to save decorations for reuse.

message 11: by Clare (last edited Jan 20, 2022 10:56AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
More from Make use of, this time about responsible, sustainable photography. From buying pre-owned equipment to flying less often and celebrating less visited landscapes, they have a great list of tips for travel photographers.

I would add, don't disturb wildlife, especially nesting birds, in search of a photo; but you knew that already.

message 12: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
Good article from RTE about greenwashing by some firms, from fashion to motoring. How can the consumer decide what is more sustainable, and which lies are being told? Carbon credits - what are they and do they just allow a company to keep polluting?

"A recent survey by PWC found that 72% of Irish consumers would pay a higher-than-average price for a product if they knew it was recycled, sustainable or eco-friendly.

But, of course, having notions of being more sustainable is one thing. Actually making products that are truly environmentally friendly or sustainable is harder, and often more expensive, than the polluting equivalent.

It can also take time and money for businesses to re-orientate their processes and supply chains to fit that.

So what many do instead is dress up what they’re already doing as green – or over-hype the small efforts they are making – in order to draw in that eager consumer’s spend.

That means they can boost profits without actually having to go through the hassle of making the kind of change that’s required."

Written by business journalist Adam Maguire who is producing a lot of useful content these days.

message 13: by Clare (last edited Sep 08, 2022 11:45AM) (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod
I've been sent the following about trying to give people alternatives to buying 'made in China'. I am told the person behind it has lived in China.

A book on this topic:

The People's Republic of Chemicals
The People's Republic of Chemicals by William J. Kelly

Of course, it's important to remember that something not Chinese made could also be polluting.

message 14: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6645 comments Mod

"Greenwashing is "the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service". However, it can also be carried out, intentionally or unintentionally, by governments or any other entity that makes misleading claims of the environmental performance or impact of their activities.

A useful way of understanding greenwashing is via the '7 sins of greenwashing', a set of 7 different ways in which greenwashing can occur. These sins, identified by Terrachoice in 2007, assist consumers in identifying and understanding misleading and/or false environmental claims.

The sin of the hidden trade-off
This sin focuses on one narrow pro-environmental attribute whilst neglecting to bring attention to more important and wider environmental issues of relevance. This sin, essentially the ‘tree hiding the forest’ is the most used. Examples include technology promoting energy efficiency without disclosing hazardous materials used in manufacturing or paper straws promoted as the sustainable option without acknowledging the large water used in manufacturing."

See the rest of the 'seven sins' explained at the link, but they are:

no proof
false labels
the lesser of two evils

The writers are from University College Cork.

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