FEATURE: Green and Ethical A - Z
Becoming greener and more ethical can be as easy as A...B...C...
A is for Action
Actions speak louder than words. A lot of little things can add up to a big change. For a great list of actions you can easily do why not buy Go M-A-D: Go Make a Difference - 365 Daily Ways to Save the Planet
"Solutions start at home, with you and me. Think small drops of water and tidal waves - that's the effect this book will have. Go for it!" Charles Secrett, Director, Friends of the Earth.
B is for Bike
Can you take your bike rather than the car? It's better for your health and the environment. See your local government body for information on cycle paths and routes. Think of the money you could save.
C is for Cosmetics
Cosmetics more often than not contain chemicals that are bad for you and the planet. You will not believe what you are putting on your body. Check out the ingredients of your cosmetics here. For alternative companies offering organic cosmetics please check out our links list to the right.
D is for Donate
Donate unwanted books, gifts, clothes & household items to charity. It saves on waste and will help those less fortunate.
E is for Energy
Can you change your energy supplier to one with a more eco-friendly outlook? The answer is almost certainly YES! Visit Energy helpline or Greenpeace who are running a campaign with nPower to supply lean, green, friendly electricity generated by the UK's first offshore wind farm at North Hoyle.
F is for Fairtrade
Fairtrade product ensures that the producers of the product are paid fairly for their work. You can buy fairtrade gifts, tea, coffee, bananas, cereals, chocolate, biscuits and soon even clothing. Make sure you look out for the distinctive green & blue fairtrade logo. See Fairtrade online for more info and to see the logo.
G is for Glasses
Your old glasses can be sent to the third world and can help someone with sight problems who may not have access to glasses see better. Makes sense to us.
Ask if your local optician takes part in these schemes. If they dont ask them if they would consider taking part. For more information check out these links: Help the Aged (UK) - Give the gift of sight (US).
H is for Hemp
Hemp is a fantastic plant and from it you can make paper, cloth, plastics, building materials, rope, cosmetics as well as cleaning products and paint! Learn more at Hemp clothing.
I is for Independent
Your local independent retailer will value your custom and opinion far more than the corporate giants. Find your local shops and support them. Or they slowly die out. Upto you.
J is for Junk Mail
Junk mail is a pain and is not good news for the environment. So stop getting it my signing up for the mail preference service (UK) @ this link or if you live in the US you can find out more here about stopping junk mail.
K is for Kicking bad habits
There are many things about our modern lifestyle which are absurd...try and use less stuff, try not to let advertising and marketing dictate what you buy and when...think about every thing you buy and see if there are alternatives. City Hippy and so many other sites are now here to help you find a better way.
L is for Library
Libraries are under threat because we do not use them as much as before. They are a great way to get information without spending anything, as well as saving space at home or at the office. Borrowing books, CDs, DVDs also helps to saves the planet from excess production of paper-based products. They are great places to meet and chat with people and kids love them as books offer them access to an unlimited universe which just feeds their imaginations.
M is for Make your own
Personal handmade cards, gifts, cakes, biscuits, toiletries etc are far nicer to give & receive. It shows that you have put that little extra time and effort. Check out Mad about cards and Cierra candles for some card and candle ideas. Get creative...it is great fun and very satisfying...you can really get into this.
N is for No aerosols
There is no need to buy anything that comes in an aerosol can. Buy pump action dispensers and/or other alternatives. Aerosols are bad m'kay!
O is for Old Mobiles
Old Mobile phones can be recycled or sent out to the third world. Take your old mobile to Oxfam or to Tesco.
P is for Play Fair
Many corporate giants have very little regard for the environment, the marketing tactics they use are questionable and they do have a very good ethical record. To find out which companies do not care about you or the planet you live on visit End evil Blacklist or Gooshing - the free ethical shopping tool from The Good Shopping Guide.
Q is for Questions
Ask yourself: Do I need it? If you do, ask yourself. Can I get it organic, fairtrade or second-hand? Always question...don't be complacent...don't leave it upto business to care for you and the planet....their track record thus far is not all that convincing.
R is for Recycle & Re-use
Recycling does not mean we can use even more of our planets resources...it is about using less and less and getting more and more out of a smaller number of resources. Find out where your nearest recycling facilities are from Recycle more
Also you can recycle donate to charity a variety of things that will be very useful to those less fortunate than you ie phones, hearing aids etc. Check out Help the aged
If you live in the US then the best site about recycling we can find state side is Earth 911
S is for Second-hand
Second-hand clothes and furniture help both your wallet and the world natural resources and help to slow down the filling up of our landfill sites. Landfill sites are fast filling up...some areas in the UK will run out in two years or less!!! This is not a future problem...this is a now problem.
T is for Toxic Home
Find out which are the most ecological sound products for you and your home. Greenpeace are running a big campaign on this at the moment and you can click here for more information about the 'Chemical House'.
U is for Unbleached
Try and buy Unbleached cotton and paper products. Especially nappies/diapers...bleach and babies just does not mix well. Check out Spirit of Nature in the UK and Vivavi in the US for more info on healthy adult and baby clothes.
Spirit of nature also do organic nappies and diapers that look more or less identical to regular throwaway diapers. If you know of any sites in the US where you can get these diapers...let us know.
V is for Volunteer
Volunteer a few hours a month at your local charity shop or hospice. You will have fun, met new people and learn new skills. 2005 is the year of the volunteer so get involved. Visit Year of the Volunteer for more information in the UK and here for more info in the US.
W is for Wood
Wood needs to be farmed from sustainable resources. The Forest Stewardship Council is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world's forests. Check out the Forest Stewardship Council online to find out more & look out for the FSC logo when you buy anything made from wood.
In the US you can visit Forest Stewardship Council for more info.
X is for X marks the spot
Vote with your feet, your wallet and your pen. Vote for environmentally friendly companies, shops and political parties that speak up for the planet and the developing world rather than ignoring them. Voting is not just a 'once in a while' thing...every penny you spend is now about a philosophy...so spend wisely.
Y is for Youth
Teach your kids all about their beautiful planet. Get them involved in ecological issues, they will then be more likely to be interested and keen to help. Children's Scrapstore was set up to take clean safe waste products from industry to create a resource for children's art and play activities, click here.
The Green Frog News also looks like a very interesting resource to get kids thinking about the issues.
We like to buy our friends kids a gift subscription to National Geographic no matter what age they are...even the pictures are wonderful to look at.
Z is for Zzzzzzzz
Go relax and let this all sink in...life is for living...feel good...we can change the world, one step at a time.