City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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City Hippy

CityHippy has posted its last post now (I now work for EMP plc, run At Home magazine online and more and personally blog over at Why? Click here to find out. We might be back. Keep our RSS feeds, keep us bookmarked, sign up for the news alert on the right. You never know...

We are dedicated to exploring how to live a greener and more ethical life. City Hippy is a growing collective of writers bringing you two types of content:

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

NEWS: Being organic and ethical

We feel that now is a good time to outline the steps we are collectively taking to make the world a better place.

We are not perfect. We drive cars. We spend money needlessly. We try not to eat 'fast food' but we know when we are drunk and hungry we could. We live eco-unfriendly lives most of the time. We know it and are trying to do something about it. We believe the world is too consumer focused. We believe we need to change what we value before we lose everything of real value.
We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs. Gloria Steinem

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. Cree Indian Proverb

If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter, floating a few feet above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it. People would walk around it, marveling at its big pools of water, its little pools and the water flowing between the pools. People would marvel at the bumps on it, and the holes in it, and they would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas. The people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the surface of the ball, and at the creatures in the water. The people would declare it precious because it was the only one, and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt. The ball would be the greatest wonder known, and people would come to behold it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty and to wonder how it could be. People would love it, and defend it with their lives, because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it. If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter. Joe Miller

You will get no condemnation from us after all who are we to judge. We are trying to change as fast as we can. We recognise we cannot change the entire world in a day.
one person alone cannot bring light to all the world, but if every person brought light to their own corner then the world would be filled with light. Ghandi

So to light our own little corners and start shifting our own values here is a list of actions some of us are already doing or planning on doing:

  • Purhcase body cleansing and beauty products from organic and ethical sources i.e. Lush, Aveda, Origins, Dr Hauschka and Ecover.
  • Try and use grooming products and make-up only when necessary and not for the sake of pure ego and vanity.

  • Purchase home cleaning products from organic and ethical sources i.e. Ecover. Read more about the dangers of everyday chemicals here and here

  • Purchase grocery products that are recycled, local, organic and/or fair trade. There are too many places where you can buy recycled, local, organic and/or fair trade products to list them all here but see our list of links to the right for some good starting points.
  • Support smaller suppliers as opposed to products pushed by large store own-brands with huge advertising budgets. Know who you are giving your money to...Appletise is owned by Coke...Whole Earth Ginger Drink isn't.

  • Choose ethical banks to manage your money and stop supporting banks that finance and invest in unethical companies. Two good ethical banks are the Co-op bank and Triodos.

  • We recycle paper, glass & cans obsessively. And you know what, we love it!
  • We intend to compost as much as possible and grow as much food as we can. Free food! Yeehaa!

  • Say no to GM products! Why? Read this article to find out why. Tell supermarkets and other stores not to stock it because you will not buy it and that you may shop somewhere more committed to ethical and organic trade.

  • We want to be more and more vegetarian. Don't do it for the animals. Do it more for yourselves. Huh? we hear you ask. Well apparently to produce 1 unit of meat requires that we use up 4 units of grain or 12 square metres of grass. Do the math. We don't have that much space to play with. We could all have enough to eat on this planet if we were more wise and restrained with our diets. Save the rainforests from being chopped down just so we can eat more burgers. Read this article for more information.

  • We try to minimise how much we fly to prevent the massive environmental damage that airline fuel causes. When we do have to fly we try to offset the carbon cost of our flights using Future Forests which enables you to calculate how much carbon fuel you use when you fly and then plant the right amoung of trees to offset the carbon released into the atmosphere.
  • We try to use public transport as much as possible. Never gonna be as nice as a personal space in a car but so what...we feel better for it every time we use it instead of the car. And we also get to meet people we might never meet. More community and communication between people is good.
  • Also car-pooling is a good way to save money, meet like-minded people and save the planet. Check out Lift Share for more info.
  • We try and walk more...and are trying harder to walk even more. Good for our hearts and good for Mother Earth.
  • We are keeping our eyes on the alternative transport market. A Toyota Prius is a good start. The recently unveiled ENV hydrogen cell motorbike is a fantastic step forward but we are drooling at the thought of owning a car powered by air hopefully being produced shortly by The Air Car company. Click here to see our recent article on GREEN TRANSPORT for more info on that topic.

  • We will be exploring ethical and green holiday options. So instead of a normal holiday why not try something different, equally as restful and infinitely more fulfilling. Check out Responsible Travel for some inspiration.

We want to take control of our spending habits and lock out those corporate ad campaigns.

We want to make our own spending decisions more and more of the time. We try and ask ourselves the following questions when we are about to spend some of our hard-earned cash:

  • Do I really need it or have I been convinced by clever advertising/marketing?
  • Am I buying this to make myself feel better ie is it retail therapy?
  • Can I buy an organic or ethical alternative?

Just by asking ourslves those questions we advance our own consciousness one more step towards mental freedom from the chains of consumerism. And that is a very good start in our book.

Ultimately happiness is not having what we is wanting what we have.


City Hippy


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