Written by Prognog Staff

Increasingly we find ourselves beset by problems that seem beyond our control; global warming, GM Foods, animal testing, the spread of factory farming, the arms trade and human rights abuses, to list but a few. Shoppers are often left feeling helpless, the typical response being theres nothing I can do.

But you can by shopping in an Ethical way. Put simply, this is buying things that are made ethically by companies that act ethically. Buying ethically means buying a brand or from a company which doesn’t exploit labour, animals or the environment. The way in which you can act as an ethical consumer can also take on a different form and that is avoiding products (also known as boycotting) you disapprove of such as battery eggs.

Everyone needs to go shopping in one way or another. As an ethical consumer, every time you buy something you can make a difference by choosing an ethical product or by buying from an ethical business.

For example, when you buy from a company that doesnt exploit its workers and provides them with decent working conditions, you are giving the company the funds to continue its ethical behavior. At the same time, you are no longer buying from a company that exploits its labour with poor pay and often a dangerous working environment. That company then loses business, which may encourage it to change its ways and to look after its workers.

Very simply, sustainable and green living is taking what we need, but leaving enough so there will always be more & better for everyone else for generations to come- a sustainable green lifestyle. For many green living can contain one or more of the following:

• Eating and buying as much organic, fair trade, locally produced and home grown food and non-food as possible.
• Eating a healthy and balanced diet often with less or no meat.
• Join a discussion group on the net or in person so that you know you’re not alone in this green quest.
• Using less energy in the home and at work. By turning off appliances instead of leaving them on standby we can make a huge difference together.
• Replacing worn out clothing with organic, fair trade or second hand clothes
• By walking or cycling as much as possible instead of driving.
• Cooking more meals at home in place of fast food.
• In the home buying energy efficient appliances and from ethical companies were possible. The ethical consumer and the Good Shopping Guide are leading the way with this information in the UK. Coop America in the USA.
• On that level, sustainable living is practical, and workable.
• Work for an employer that is family friendly and respects your views. Not like the larger companies where you are often a statistic.

We can work endless hours to fix everything that's wrong in our daily lives including obsessing about living the perfect green lifestyle, and there will always be things we're not doing, or not doing right. The feeling of guilt will be there if we don’t recycle enough or buy a pair of jeans made in a Asian sweatshop because we are particularly poor that month. We just have to work and try to move in the right direction no matter how slow we move. Its the direction thats important.

Davinos Greeno works for the organic directory. This green directory lists 100s of Organic Food and Drink Companies and Eco Jobs and Campaigning Videos