Ecological shopping


Ecological shopping

Tracy Sorenson

September is the "Life. Be In It" campaign's Buy Green Month. There is scepticism among consumers about the environmental claims being made for some supermarket products, and an understanding among committed environmentalists that change ultimately needs to be more fundamental than individual buying habits.

Feminists have pointed out that, in a sexist society, green consumerism can have the effect of privatising and burdening women with responsibility for the environment.

Still, the widespread desire remains to buy "greener" products wherever possible. Life. Be In It suggests that consumers be guided by the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Some specific suggestions include:

  • Purchase unbleached tissue paper, lavatory and paper products (Choice recommends handkerchiefs and cloth towels and nappies).

  • Try to avoid single-use plastic disposable products such as plastic bubble packaging, hamburger boxes, plastic cups, plates, knives, forks, straws.

  • When you can, purchase small hardware items from your local store. Items will be provided in a paper bag instead of the plastic blister pack, enabling you to buy the exact amount you require.

Vinegar will do a host of cleaning jobs. It can be used instead of commercial toilet cleaners which contain harsh chemicals. Vinegar will also clean windows and mirrors, mouldy surfaces, vinyl, baths and basins. It will spot clean carpets and remove hard-water encrustation in shower nozzles and kettles.

  • Bicarbonate of soda is an effective general purpose cleaner. Mixed to a light paste with water, it will clean baths, sinks and tiles, toilet bowls or laminex. It will also clean the oven and pots and pans, unblock drains and refresh your refrigerator.

  • Invest in a string bag for shopping; refuse the plastic carrier bags supermarkets provide.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.