Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ethical Grocery Shopping

Sometimes it can be mystifying trying to make the right choices when grocery shopping. I find myself staring at a wall of biscuits, or oil, or toothpaste, try to weigh up the issues. Buy local? How much packaging does each product have? Has the company that produces it done anything particularly odious? Is the company owned by another umbrella company (probably)? How far can I stretch my budget to make a more ethical choice?

Ethical shopping guides can be a useful shorthand to help you with these choices. The Ethical Consumer Guide, for example, offers not only a printed guide but also an iPhone app, supermarket tours (in Melbourne), and some principles to guide your choices.

The Good Grocery Guide is also useful, and is Perth-based. As well as providing an ethical product list, it also offers more general ethical shopping tips.

Shopping guides have their limits. As the Ethical Consumer Guide points out, in many cases it's best to think carefully about whether you really need to buy the product at all: "About 80% of all saleable products end up as waste, on average, within just 6 months."

1 comment:

  1. Ethical shoppers can take their involvement in buying better to a new level this Co-operatives Fortnight. From June 19th, ethical shopping online co-op Ethics Girls will be offering discounted membership, so for just a fiver you not only share in the co-op's profits, but can help to shape its ethics and decide which ethical suppliers it supports in the future.