Saturday, 28 September 2013

Eco Shopping ... not as ugly as you think

I've been putting together a green Christmas gift guide for a magazine, merging two of my favourite pastimes - writing and shopping for random things I don't need.

During my research (can you call shopping online research?), I discovered ethical shopping has come a long way. Admittedly, there are still some hideous homemade clothes (think About A Boy-style knitwear) and some pretty scary personal hygiene products (cloth toilet paper - really?) But on the whole, it no longer seems like a worthy compromise to buy green.

So, I was going to write a post about my favourite green goods, but as that's what I'm being paid to do elsewhere, I might get sacked. Instead, I've made a list of 5 everyday household things that you could easily swap for a more ethical version (kind of like that annoying switch & save page at the end of an Ocado shop).

Switch & Save the planet! (well, a bit)

1. Straws 
Swap plastic straws for paper.
They're single use, which is a complete waste. But they're biodegradable. And pretty. (eBay is the cheapest place to buy them in the UK).

2. Sandwich Bags
Swap plastic sandwich bags or cling film for fabric ones.
Wipeable, washable and much better than plastic. And pretty.

3. Water Filters
Swap your normal water filters for Bamboo Charcoal Water Filters
They look scary - and like they might kill you - but they aren't, and they won't. And they work.
4. Gift Wrap
Swap wrapping paper for fabric.
Make your own or buy it pre-made from shops such as Happywrap. Pre-made is expensive but not if you just use it internally, for family presents , and nick it back afterwards.

5. Takeaway coffee cups
Swap disposable coffee cups for these Silicone BYO Cups
If you're organised and not afraid to be judged by strangers, take your own cup along when you buy a coffee (it's becoming more common, so the baristas won't think you're mental). Apparently after you use it 8 times it pays for itself environmentally-speaking.

That's it! So do all five or pick just one. It won't make a huge difference but it's better than nothing (copyrighting that slogan in case Friends of the Earth tries to steal it).

1 comment:

  1. I have managed to convert our little family over to sandwich wraps so easily. They are great and a little step towards being eco-friendly that's easy to do