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Ethical Shopping
by Pat Blackett
How can you channel your spending power to help the environment, human rights, animals, and yourself?

Box schemes

Shoppers are increasingly frustrated by the unneeded packaging that fill their bins when they unwrap the groceries. Fruit and veg box-schemes gather and distribute food locally, and have many benefits. Food is harvested when it`s ripe and comes full of flavour, bringing you into harmony with the seasons. Since it typically comes from within 50 miles of your home, box scheme food saves huge on Co2 emissions compared to air-frieghted food. The same goes for pollution on the road - box schemes economize food transport and cut pollution. Finaly, farm suppliers get at least 40p in every pound, while supermarket suppliers get as little as 5p.

Fairtrade and Human Rights

The Fairtrade mark is a consumer label which appears on an array of products. It`s an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal and are fairly rewarded for their labour. Fairtrade suppliers are inspected and certified by FLO. They receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production, plus an extra premium that is invested in social or economic development projects.

Animal welfare

For the ethical consumer animal welfare is choosing, where possible, options that minimise the effect of human activity on animals. For example, organic meat, and to a lesser extent free range, indicates that the animals have been raised in humane and natural environments. RSPCA Freedom Food is sold in many stores in the UK and is produced on inspected farms.  Animal testing is another area of concern. Avoiding animal products can be difficult especially when they crop up in surprising products such as beer and sweets. The Vegan Society publishes the Animal Free Shopper, a comprehensive guide to vegan and vegetarian products.



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