Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Mindless consumption always becomes excess consumption

A quick and simple think piece on reducing consumption caught our eye this week.  9 Intentional Ways to Challenge Consumerism in Your Life addresses a topic that lies at the heart of resilient investing’s Zone 5 (Tangible Assets/Sustainable Global Economy), yet one that we rarely take the time to really grapple with.  Joshua Becker, author of Simplify and Clutterfree with Kids offers up (you guessed it) nine themes to consider, and the comment thread that follows is also rewarding.  His core thought is the one in our headline: mindless consumption always becomes excess consumption.  If this triggers a twinge for you, then you’d probably benefit from taking a look at what Becker has to say. These two struck us as especially fruitful:

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9 sustainable firms join the billion-dollar club

Here’s a piece of good news that’s flown under the radar: sustainability-oriented companies are rapidly becoming mainstream leaders of the corporate world.  Nine companies have crossed the billion-dollars-a-year threshold in annual revenues, and several more are not far behind.  E. Freya Williams, whose recently-released book Green Giants looks at the traits and qualities that these companies share, proclaims that sustainability-driven firms are no longer “going up against with the big boys. They are the big boys.”  And not surprisingly, they’ve been performing like gangbusters:

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A Wide Variety of Consumer Guides from EWG

Environmental Working Guide has done its homework in producing practical, helpful consumer guides that research and rate numerous everyday items, including beauty products, hair/teeth/skincare, sunscreen, baby products, seafood, lighting, etc. These searchable databases include a wealth of information to help people purchase or use healthier products and foods and avoid the same with unhealthy or even toxic ingredients. See guides.

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Green America

The mission of Green America – formerly Co-op America – is to harness the economic power of consumers, investors, businesses and the marketplace to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. The website has a wealth of programs and resources designed to educate and empower its readers to take individual and collective action. Visit website.

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Fair Trade certified products features information on the fair trade issues for several key product categories, and links to Fair Trade organizations in many countries around the world. Their affiliated US partner is Fair Trade America, whose website includes a list of several dozen Fair Trade certified products available here.  Another US group, Fair Trade USA, split off from the international group several years ago, and its site features a much larger list of products bearing its own certification label; see FairTradeUSA product guide.

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Green Seal products and services

Green Seal develops sustainability standards (based on life cycle) for products, services and companies. Green Seal offers third-party certification for those that meet the standards. The website includes a searchable database that can be filtered by type of product, broader categories, and manufacturer, as well as keywords. Green Seal also certifies lodging properties, cleaning services and restaurants. See website.

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ULE 880 sustainability standards for manufacturers

ULE 880 sets compliance standards in sustainability for manufacturers. A searchable database lets consumers or investors see what companies have certified products. The database offers the ability to search by manufacturer/brand, product and sub product, specific sustainability standards, and sustainable standards. See database.

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