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Good ways to shop

Shopping for goods ...

Buying Fairtrade and other ways to avoid hurting people
The Fairtrade Mark Fairtrade is a philosophy and a trademark. In buying fairtrade, you pay a reasonable price for goods instead of being greedy, so that suppliers can make a reasonable living. If you can't buy fairtrade, then I reckon next best is to buy from local small businesses, from co-operatives, or buy organic produce; if a crop or product is organic then at least the workers are not being poisoned by chemicals.

Visit the Fairtrade Foundation web site for more information on the Fairtrade trademark and the certification process. Fairtrade is usually taken to apply to trading with traders in developing countries, but why not trade fairly with local shops as well?
Traidcraft - fighting poverty through trade Traidcraft sells not only craft goods but also fairly-traded wine delivered to your door.
Ethiscore's Thinker The Ethical Consumer magazine and its ethiscore ethical shopping guide rate the kindness (or damage) done by buying certain products using a points system. You can go by the total score given but I prefer to look at the detail to help me decide choose whether to buy or not.
Shopping locally
Why subsidise corporate fat-cats who vote themselves millions and pay no taxes? Shop locally, buy from small family businesses.

One wonderfully unique shop is Daisy Daisy, now in Gardner Street, a unique-to-Brighton toy shop specialising in gifts that you will not see in your average high street store, from brightly coloured wooden toys and textured board books to imaginative dressing up sets and room decorations. Toys are categorised into age ranges to help you find what you want quickly.
visit Infinity Foods online For food shopping, Infinity Foods is a Brighton-based workers' co-operative selling a wide range of vegetarian foods, not just local to Brighton but available for you to buy online or local to you.
And what about when you want to buy online? Try these alternatives to Amazon and make sure the profits from your shopping stay away from tax havens.
The Co-op You can also buy all sorts of fairtrade goodies without financing supermarket corporations by shopping at the good old co-op.
Some web sites for your organic gardening
garden organicGet expert advice and information for your organic garden from Garden Organic (sorry about the bad grammar), the organic horticulture organisation that started 50 years ago as the Henry Doubleday Research Organisation, HDRA.
And buy your organic produce from the Organic gardening catalogue.
box of food & drink from the milkman I buy by peat-free compost, along with milk and Christmas tins of biscuits, from my milkman, which saves me from having to carry heavy things home.

Reducing your footprint (not just the carbon one) by re-using things or passing them on to other people

FreeCycle Leading the field are Freecycle and Freegle, linking people online so they can give stuff they no longer want to other members. I can reach my local groups at myfreecycle and GreenCycle Sussex.
click here to visit Emmaus UK Of course, high street charity shops are the best places for buying second hand because you can fund good causes at the same time. Here in Brighton we also have a local Emmaus community. Emmaus Brighton and Hove which sells furniture and household goods that have been collected, sorted, fixed or improved and sold on by the (otherwise) homeless people who live there. They also grow vegetables for themselves and the cafe they run.
Go on ... reduce your Carbon Footprint too
10:10 compaign 10:10 UK shows you how to save 10% of your emissions in 2010. January's theme tells you all about low energy lights, whether low-energy lights still flicker (no they don't!), can you use them with dimmer switches? (yes!) and just how much mercury is in a bulb?

Shopping for Services

The phone co-op
The Phone Coop A co-operative providing phone services and broadband. Choose the Phone co-op as your phone company and buy shares in them at the same time.
Energy supplied entirely from renewable resources
Good Energy Good Energy sells 100% renewable electricity and if you want to generate your own you can sell it to them.
Travel with a low carbon footprint
The Big Lemon bus The Big Lemon buses in Brighton run on used cooking oil so they seem to offer the greenest mode of mechanised transport of all, and now they are running buses to festivals like Glastonbury as well. Of course, walking and cycling are best, bus and train aren't bad - see my Travel page - but private motors with one person in on a short journey are the worst of all. Boo to them all.

 

click on JE to visit Janet Elizabeth's home pageJanet Elizabeth March 2015