Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Shopping Choices can make a difference.



My first shopping trip of the new year has reminded me of one of my new years resolutions. I want to be more aware of the choices I make while shopping.

Recently I had my Carbon Footprint measured and was surprised to find that around 50% of my personal contribution to the destruction of our environment comes from food. The majority of this is down to transport costs and as more of our food is flown across the world small choices we make in our shops can make a significant difference.

Another way we can make a difference is by choosing FairTrade products. It only costs a few pence more to buy FairTrade coffee and sugar for example, yet by doing so we are supporting thriving communities in developing countries, not through hand outs but by paying them a fair price for the crops they grow.

I really believe that many of problems in the world can be solved by lots of small solutions. As consumers we have the greatest power in the choices we make and simple things like thinking about where our food has come from sends a powerful message to the industry that supplies it.

2 comments:

Tristan said...

Studies show that most of the pollution caused by shopping is from the trips to and from the shops to buy the food.
The mass transit of food by supermarkets is far more efficient than you with a few bags of shopping (unless of course you walk to the shops).

As for so-called Fair Trade, its not fair to those who cannot get the label given to them for whatever reason, thus condemning them to poverty.

The biggest thing we can do to help poor farmers is to open up trade and stop the subsidies - the only fair trade is free trade.

Alan Beddow [Political Blog] said...

Thanks for your comment Tristan.

Fortunately I was able to walk to the supermarket as I live so close and only needed a couple of bags of shopping.