eco Council

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Decisions about the things we buy can move us toward being sustainable. Thinking about things like the resources used in the products we buy, how efficient they are and their lifecycle can help us make more environmentally friendly purchases. How can we reconfigure our retail filters to include our environmental responsibilities?


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Purchase recycled products

From toilet paper to chairs, jackets to dog leads, there are many recycled products that are excellent quality, so consider buying recycled when you buy.

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Buy paper and wood responsibly

Help make the harvesting of the world's forests environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Buy Forest Stewardship Council certified timber and wood products.

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Buy fairtrade food and products

To stop the degradation of the global environment we have to deal with the failings of global trade, namely its tendency to increase poverty and its exploitation of the weak. Buying products labelled 'Fairtrade' is a good start.

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Use non-toxic cleaners

Common cleaning products, disinfectants and air fresheners are creating a toxic environment at home. Try natural alternatives for a healthier home and family.

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Buy second-hand products

By purchasing second-hand goods from an opportunity shop, you are supporting a charity, getting a bargain and reducing the resources required to satisfy your consumption needs.

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Tune your shopping radar to the environment

Become aware of the environmental implications of your consumption and purchase those goods that have the least impact on our future.

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Avoid products with excessive packaging

Give priority to purchasing unpackaged products and save the earth's precious resources.


All goods have embedded energy and resources, have been transported, and at some stage will need to be recycled or disposed of. All of these phases of a product's life cycle consume scarce natural resources, and current practices are often simply not sustainable. To forge a culture where companies improve the sustainability of their product offerings, we need to buy from the environmentally conscious and innovative companies, buy products that last a lifetime, buy local and buy less.


Advertising, brand value, retail therapy, and social status are the tools of the modern marketer, who seeks to convince you that your wellbeing depends on the things you buy. Breaking this spell and choosing not to be manipulated will allow you to pursue esteem, self expression and the stronger kind of happiness that comes from within you. It will also hone your critical faculties.

If you are interested in this topic, you might want to download and watch for free “The Story of Stuff”.