Debbie M asks:
How can I be more polite in making various purchases (or, really, doing anything). Some answers: use less water and power (and certainly don’t waste it); re-use, fix, and share things rather than buying new; buy organic instead of regular for less poisoning of the earth and farmworkers; buy fair trade instead of regular so the people who actually do the work get some of the money; buy shade-grown chocolate instead of regular so they don’t have to burn down more rainforest every three years; buy free-range meat/eggs instead sardine-city-raised meat/eggs to be nicer to the animals–or even better, get nutrients directly from plants; contribute to charities that address important issues effectively and efficiently.
All of the things you mention are great ideas.
We think the best answer to this question is to lobby your government officials to put into place and to fund and enforce legislation that makes it more difficult for companies to be irresponsible providers. Voting with your feet is great, but it doesn’t help much when corporations can flat-out lie or when there aren’t local responsibly produced alternatives.
Grumpy Nation, how do you consume responsibly?