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Ethical Shopping Practices

By Email author - Fri, 20 May 2011 11:30:00 GMT
Ethical Shopping Practices

We all have to buy stuff from time to time. Weather that is a new car, a new pair of shoes or just a trip to the grocery store there are now plenty of options to shop ethically. Ethical shopping or ethical consumerism covers a lot of ground, but essentially it means that consumers buy from producers whom they consider to be ethical.

Ethical may mean a green company that is focused on protecting the environment.

Ethical might mean buying products that are manufactured with union labor or by paying fair wages. It might mean using products that are considered organic or recycled or even just cruelty free.

Ethical may also mean products that are produced locally or at least not produced in a mass market factory setting. It may simply mean favoring those corporations that have a well established community presence and support social causes wherever they are located.

Some people believe that the purchases you make tell more about your values than even your voting record. What we purchase is an expression of our morality that is hard to fake.

For example: If we profess to care about a particular cause, say union made manufacturing, but continue making purchases that are likely to undermine that cause, say by buying from large chain stores, then we are being hypocritical.

To know if a product has been produced in an ethical manner it must have superior labelling. We are all familiar with the 'Made in USA' label, but now we are coming to expect further environmental information to appear on the tag.

There are several initiatives that promote ethical consumerism, including Bono's Product Red campaign, Fair Trade, free-range poultry, union-made products, USDA Organic, Non-GMA, and many others.

Each of these uses a labelling system that verifies or proves that the product was made in such a way that it supports a particular cause (or at least does no harm, i.e. the ''not tested on animals'' label supports anti-cruelty to animals cause).