Green Consumerism – Days 3-5

Posted on August 6, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Wednesday 4th – Friday 6th August

Am I drinking responsibly?

Well, the Captain Morgan’s Rum I’m drinking now I have no idea about.  D bought it, decided she didn’t like it, so either I drink it or it goes to waste.  My usual alcoholic drink of choice would be vodka.  I usually buy Vladivar.  Despite the fact that the name would suggest otherwise, Vladivar is made in Scotland so there is less air miles than most vodkas.  There is an Irish vodka, Boru, but it taste like salt.

Alcohol is not a problem (that’s what I tell myself) it’s what I choose to drink to with.  Coke aka Corporate Cola.  I know that they suppress trade unionism in Columbia.  I know that there are villages in India that have no access to clean water because it has all been used to make Coke.  But it is the one consumer vice that I can’t shift.  Pepsi contributed millions of dollars to George Bush election campaigns so they are hardly an ethical alternative.  Whole Earth Cola’s is okay, but it’s not widely available and they certainly don’t stock it in bars.  Beer and wine doesn’t agree with me so I am restricted to spirits and there is no other mixer that I like.

So what else have I been up to these past days?  Well on Wednesday and Thursday I took the car into work again.  I need to make a conscious decision not to because it’s always the easier option.  There was nothing vegan on the menu in the canteen on Weds so I had chips and beans again.  On Thursday the veggie main wasn’t vegan either so I had the leek and potato soup and a side salad.  The side salad wasn’t completely vegan either, as there was some feta through it, and I can’t be sure about the soup.  D keeps telling me to give it up my claim to veganism.  I can see why she says this but the Vegan Society definition of Vegan is “someone who actively seeks to avoid all animal products” which I would do.  I still use soya milk, non dairy spreads, vegan fake meats and pesto etc.  I also request vegan food at restaurants and events I’m attending so I think while I compromise sometimes I still am (mostly) vegan.  If a rule is so inflexible that it doesn’t bend then it breaks.

I had a meeting on Thursday so I went into work in my suit.  The shoes and belt are from Vegetarian Shoes therefore leather free and made in the UK.  The suit itself however is imported sweatshop labour.  I have looked for Fairtrade/organic suits without success.  I have found individual FT trousers and blazer but the prices have been astronomical.

I worked from home today so I haven’t used the car at all, although I haven’t left the house either.  As well as a work day it’s been a housework day.  Washing clothes and washing dishes.  I use Ecover washing up liquid which is eco friendly and while it doesn’t score as highly as Bio-D in the Ethical Consumer, it actually works, which is a big advantage.  We have a dishwasher which I never use but D does.  We have debated about the dishwasher’s apparent efficient use of water but I’m not convinced.  The energy used to make all the dishwashers in the world and the subsequent waste convince me that the world would be a better place without them.  But mainly I just hate the things.  Either you have to rinse the dishes before you put them in or you don’t and you end up having to hand wash the dishes the machine finds to tough to deal with.  D does use Ecover dishwasher tabs.

We also use Ecover laundry liquid.  However I did use Vanish today as well.  A pen leaked in the pocket of my jeans and as a Green colleague pointed out, it’s better to use the harsh chemical than throw out the jeans.  I must confess I also used the tumble dryer today.  But before you think I’m not very green at all I must add that this is a rare event.  The clothes are currently drying on a clothes horse but I washed bed sheets today and in this weather drying them outside would be impossible.  If I had my way we wouldn’t have a dryer and I suspect that D would let me get rid of it  . . . as long as I agree to do all the washing.

Think I’ll put my guilt away now and enjoy my drink.

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3 Responses to “Green Consumerism – Days 3-5”

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Are you aware that there is a trader in St Georges market who refills ecover products. Very useful and not badly priced.

Didn’t know that, that’s great. Would be good to see more of that kind of thing.

He also sells lots of different olive oils and has started to sell seeds and nuts all of which you fill into your own containers. For anyone who hasnt been to st Georges before it is definitely worth the visit, organic locally produce veg, rare breed meats, wonderful bakeries and treats plus you are entertained as you shop with different styles of live music each week.


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