Ethical shopping (and other meanderings)


bananassmlCasting your vote in the supermarket

There’s a saying that every time you make a purchase, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.

It’s a nice thought, but kind of a terrifying one. That is a whole lot of responsibility to face up to, right there.

I’ve gone through phases of buying ethical products, but for the last few years that had fallen by the wayside as I concentrated on reducing my mountain of debt.

Sometimes, when you’re facing a financial catastrophe, you have to make some tough choices. That meant my well-meaning weekly box of organic veg had to go, replaced by cheap-as-you-can-get produce from Asda (US folks, read Walmart).

Now I’m nearly done clambering out of my debt spiral, I’ve been trying to get back into being a more thoughtful consumer.

Today at the supermarket we made an effort and bought things like FairTrade bananas, free-range and organic chicken, eco-friendly laundry detergent and carbon-neutral peanut butter.

And yes, the bill was a little more expensive.

But as I was going round the shop,  I was disappointed to see that some of the ethical alternatives they used to stock are no longer on the shelves. I guess people had stopped buying them. People like me.

What if the world turned minimalist?

Check out this great new collective post over at Mostly Mindful about whether everything would go to hell in a handcart if we all turned minimalist.

Some big names pitched in on this question, like Colin Wright of Exile Lifestyle and Anthony Ongaro of Break the Twitch, so I was honoured to be asked for my two-pence-worth.

An ominous letter

I got a note pushed through my door the other day, telling me to pick up a letter at the Post Office which I had to sign for. When I went to collect it, the envelope had the ominous word ‘police’ on the front of it.

Crap, I thought, my first speeding ticket. (The slightly judgey expression from the man behind the counter told me he had come to the same conclusion)

But when I opened it up, it was a note saying a police station had the bag, wallet and phone I lost 200 miles away back in April.

I don’t know how or even if I will pick it up (it is still 200 miles away, and I’ve replaced all the stuff) but it’s nice to know there are decent folk out there who decided to hand it in – even if they did inexplicably sit on it for five months beforehand.

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One thought on “Ethical shopping (and other meanderings)

  1. Hey Claire.

    Thanks so much for sharing our post here. More importantly, thanks for your two cents! (Your response was one of our faves.)

    Ethical shopping is tricky, I actually wrote about it a few months ago. We’re city dwellers, so that alone makes it almost impossible to be 100% ethical. However we can be mostly mindful.

    I think if we all followed that approach the world would be in a lot better state. For Sporty and I, as vegans, our first priority is to ensure no animals were harmed in the making of whatever it is we’re buying.

    Thanks for another awesome post. I always enjoy reading your thoughts.

    Ang 🙂

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