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5 Important Times to Shop Ethically

Shopping ethically is overwhelming. For one, it’s usually expensive. Then there’s the fact that some items show so many different labels and certifications, while others seems to have nothing labeled at all. So, what are you left to do? You could research everything, but that’s hard to do and time consuming—let’s be real, that’s probably not happening. You also could choose not to care at all, which is probably what you’re doing now—but that’s not good for anyone either, because some of this stuff really does matter for you and for the environment. So, here is a list of some of the most important things you should look out for and shop for responsibly. Of course there are way more, but this is a great place to start. This way, you can feel good about your next trip to the store!

Palm Oil:

Palm oil is something people generally know little about, but is a huge issue in the environmental community. It’s responsible for the massive destruction of rainforests and putting thousands of species on the endangered or extinct list, including Sumatran Tigers, Orangutans, and countless medicinal plants. You should always look at what you’re buying to see if it contains palm oil. If you do find it in the ingredients list but it doesn’t say ‘sustainably sourced palm oil,’ it’s not worth getting. Look for it in food, detergents, and cosmetics. Find more information about the dangers of palm oil to the environment here.

 

Fair Trade:

Fair trade means that farmers are given fair pay and working conditions. Typically, working conditions to produce goods like coffee, chocolate, sugar, gold, and bananas are harsh, exploiting workers and leaving them and their families in intense poverty. Fair trade promotes fairer conditions, gives farmers a chance to actually support themselves, and usually uses more environmentally friendly farming practices. Products are also easily labeled, so they are not hard to pick out at the store. Learn more about fair trade here.

 

Dirty Dozen:

The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables containing the most pesticides. While there are a lot organic products available to us in stores, these are the ones to buy where it actually matters most. You can reduce your pesticide conumption by 80% just by consuming the organic option of these foods. So, if you have a limited amount you can spend on groceries, you can focus on the Dirty Dozen and buy the “clean 15” as is, because they are known have the least amount of pesticides in them. Find more information about the Dirty Dozen and what foods are on this list here.

 

Micro beads:

I like Neutrogena’s pink grapefruit face wash as much as the next person, but it is unfortunately terrible for the environment. The exfoliating beads are actually tiny pieces of plastic, unable to be sorted out in our filtration systems, so they end up in the ocean and are, of course, toxic to the marine life. The fish consume these particles and we consume the fish, so it actually harms our bodies as well. These particle are in so many different beauty prodcuts and the impact is really starting to add up, so look out for them in your beauty products .  There are other more natural and biodgradable options out there as well, so there is even more reason to switch cleansers and reduce the water pollution. Think about all the fish you’ll be helping! Find more information about microbeads here.

 

Grass-fed Meat: Grass-fed meat is better both for you and for the cows. The cows are raised more ethically in actual pastures instead of in overcrowded feeding lots. Cows aren’t meant to eat corn, which is what the majority of cows are given now. It fattens them up quickly but very unhealthily, so they ultimately need antibiotics and hormones to survive. Additionally, all corn-fed beef fat is saturated, whereas grass fed contains omega 3s and more healthy fats. When we eat cornfed meat we get the hormones, antibiotics, and unhealthy fats, which is why grassfed is the much better choice. Learn more about grass-fed beef here.

Information is power, so now you are well-equipped to make better consumer choices. It is so important for the animals, the environment, and yourself. Please shop responsibly!

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