Most of us desire a comfortable life, one of convenience, all the food we need or want easily accessible in nearby shops, to have it all on tap – heat, water, light.
However, everything we choose to do, and in particular what we buy, is connected to some environmental and humanitarian impact. While it may be of immediate benefit at the point of consumption (providing food, drink, clothing, shelter, helping the economy etc.) there are usually associated negative impacts, such as waste.
Whether it’s wood taken from tropical rainforests, that has been felled without any attempt to manage and minimise the ecological damage, or products in excessive packaging, or meat from animals that have been intensively reared with no access to the open air, perhaps fed residue from carcasses of the same species (the underlying cause of BSE).
We need to be aware of where our food and other products have come from. To know their roots, how they arrived in the shops, or came to be delivered to our door – making connections matter. We cannot continue to isolate ourselves from the reality of what we choose to do, what we choose to buy.
We need to be aware of the very real connections between our choices and the related impacts on the ecology of the planet. To recognise and respect the connections between ourselves and every other living being, connecting with the natural rhythms of the earth, and ultimately, our place in the universe.
We could become stewards rather than consumers, to help sustain rather than destroy, the diversity, beauty and abundance of life on earth.
Here is a selection of related websites which can give more information on the ethical implications of purchasing and related issues…
Compassion in World Farming: http://www.ciwf.org.uk
Fairtrade Coffee, Tea: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk
Forestry stewardship council: http://www.fsc-uk.info
CKC Birds: http://www.ckcbirds.co.uk
Climate change – www.choosecleanenergy.com
Friends of the Earth: http://www.foe.co.uk
Greenpeace oceans – www.defendingoceans.com
Sea life, species loss: http://www.sealife.demon.co.uk/threats.html
Schumacher organisation: www.schumacher.org.uk
Soil Association: www.soilassociation.org
World Wide Fund for Nature: http://www.wwf.org.uk
Ecological footprints: www.myfootprint.org
Green Alliance: report on connections with children at http://www.green-alliance.co.uk/
We are what we do: http://www.wearewhatwedo.org
Amazon Watch at www.amazonwatch.org
See also Leo Hickman’s ‘A Life Stripped Bare: tiptoeing through the ethical minefield’ an excellent and fun description of ethical realities at home (ISBN 1 903 91960 6).
The UK Commission on Intellectual Property Rights: www.iprcommission.org/
Apparently an American seed producer has obtained a US patent for a Mayocaba bean that he foundin Mexico so prohibiting Mexican farmers from exporting the bean to the USA and to face royalty payments!!!!
See also websites on earth energy e.g. www.knightsrose.com
If you are interested in supporting thegrowing network of like-minded people, concerned at the impact of your purchasing decisions and the effects that your spending has on the world, future generations and planet Earth, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org