Earth Friendly Shopping = Consumer Power

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
-Margaret Mead


Every minute of the day, you make simple choices that either harm the Earth or help protect it. Every choice is a vote for or against leaving a livable planet for ourselves, our families, and future generations. Green products are earth-friendly, people-friendly and socially responsible alternatives to cheaper conventional brands.

The true costs of most products are not listed in the price. Environmental damage, loss of animal species, and consumer health problems haven't been factored in. We pay for these hidden costs a little bit every day with the fading quality of our lives, and big chunks of our income at tax time. 

Green Living Tips:

Reduce Consumption by buying products with less packaging and only buying what you need.
Reuse: Minimize waste by finding alternatives uses for things, like composting for your garden. Reuse your shopping bags, or even better, bring reusable cloth bags with you when you go shopping.
Recycle: Recycle everything from paper, plastic, cans, oil, glass, garden waste, etc. When buying products made out of recycled content, choose a high post-consumer recycled content over a pre-consumer recycled content.
Choose organic! Choosing products made out of organic materials and ingredients is not only healthier and safer for you and your family, it also helps protect the ground water, farmers, and wildlife. This is true not only for food, but also for clothing and mattresses.
Purchase cruelty free personal care products and cosmetics. See the Leaping Bunny site for a list.
Invest Responsibly. Invest in companies that are socially responsible and environmentally conscious. You can pick from many stocks, mutual funds and money market funds that are good for both people and the planet.
Buy in bulk, using the same containers, to cut down on packaging
 Use biodegradable, earth-friendly, and non-toxic cleaners.
When buying paper, buy recycled paper. When getting printing done, ask for soy-inks.
Support local farmers and biodiversity. Buying from local farmers not only supports your local community, it also cuts down on polluted air because of the reduction in transportation. Uniform crops make us dependent on pesticides and fertilizers because these crops have no resistance to blight. Biodiversity encourages a healthier ecosystem. As another good alternative, grow your own vegetables in your garden.
Chlorine bleach breaks down into a dioxin, a dangerous, non-biodegradable poison that is toxic to wildlife and humans. When washing your clothes, use eco-bleach (see our allergy board).
Cut down on beef. Grazing cattle are trampling the American west into a desert. And every day, 100,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed to provide us with cheap burgers.
Choose imports wisely. Avoid products made out of tropical hardwoods. Over 4,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed every minute to furnish American living rooms. Choose sustainably  harvested rainforest products, like nuts and fruits, that help support traditional peoples and discourage destruction of resources. 
Get rid of junk mail. Write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008. Expect a reduction in national advertising within 90 days. 


Shopping Online Saves Energy

E-commerce replaces retail stores with warehouses, which use one-sixteenth the energy. By 2007, it's expected to eliminate the need for about 5% of commercial building space, saving on construction related energy too. 
Internet shopping saves delivery energy. Surface delivery uses a tenth as much energy as an average trip to the store by car; even overnight air uses 40% less fuel. Some products life software and music can be be delivered digitally over the internet. 
Web advertising and catalogs reduce the need to print and mail catalogs and direct mail pieces. That could save 2.7 million tons of paper annually by 2003, and cut greenhouse-gas emissions as much as taking 2 million cars off the road. 
Business to business e-commerce, which is 5-10 times larger than the more familiar retail side of the business, enables companies to reduce inventories, avoid overproduction and unnecessary capital purchases, and achieve greater output with less energy.
The internet promotes greater use of home offices, enabling workers to avoid commuting and employers to reduce office space. The energy savings in transportation and office construction and operation more than offset the extra energy used in the home. 
Find more information at "The Internet Economy and Global Warming" at Cool Companies.



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