As a green consumer you should be trying to avoid things likely to:
- Harm your health, or the health of others.
- Significantly damage the environment whilst being made, used or thrown away.
- Create unnecessary waste, either because they use too much packaging or because they will be quickly thrown away.
- Use materials which come from animals, plants or places which are threatened with destruction.
- Involve the unnecessary use of— or cruelty to—animals.
- Cause people to suffer in other countries, particularly in the poorer countries of the ‘Third World’.
You will be surprised how much power you have as a green consumer. Once you start to choose between those things which harm our environment and those which are less damaging, you will be forcing the makers of harmful goods to change their methods. If they don’t change, and if you still refuse to use their brands, then they risk going out of business.
One of the best ways to make changes happen is to ask questions. You will be able to think about the products you buy, about the food you eat, about the clothes you wear, about the buildings and transport you use. Many people won’t know the answers to your questions at first. But maybe they should know. Sometimes they will simply not have thought of the issue before and your question may be just the spur they need to start thinking and then to do something about it.
The Earth’s problems won’t go away without your help, and what you do will make a difference. Think of all the living things in the World joined in a long chain. The trees, the air, the water, plants, insects and animals including people rely on each other as part of an ecosystem. We could not survive very long with poisoned air, poisoned water, and no animals or plants. Even if some of the problems seem a long way away, anything that affects the chain will affect us in the end.
One of the greatest problems for the Earth is that the human population is increasing very rapidly and, if we don’t change now, more and more people will cause more and more damage. Greenpeace are one of the best organisations to learn from if you want more information on how to be green.