Chocolat – Sinfully Delicious

Chocolate is a compliacted sin. And for once this is not about the weight we might gain from enjoying it – this is about the dark side of our favourite sweet.

Most of the chocolate we consume is produced in Africa – strangely enough we like to call it “Swiss” or “Belgian” Chocolate. I can tell you that there’s no chocolate plantations in either of those countries. Rather, chocolate grows in Western Africa in countries like Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire or Liberia – rather conflict-struck countries. Continue reading

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The Economic Road to Sustainability – 2

Knowledge is power and it should be in the hands of the consumer. How to buy ethically in modern times? – a guest-post by Rhianna Blackthorn.

After looking at the relationship between the economy and the environment, today there is a new factor coming into the mix: consumerism.

In the face of climate change and environmental degradation, it is now evident that every aspect of our existence must be analysed for the long term well being of our species. Continue reading

Trees Down the Toilet

Now, be honest: how many layers has your toilet paper?

Grist recently reported that “we’re now using more trees for toilet paper than for newsprint.” What is true for the US is most probably not very different from other western countries – and it’s definitely not only due to the slowly dying newspaper industry. Continue reading

It’s Not In My Budget

“I can’t afford to buy organic, fairtrade or sustainable.” – that’s what people love to say. But what do they actually mean by that?

I understand how when you go to the shop, you have a cheaper and a more expensive option. But – like the economists who should keep us away from crises – shouldn’t we look a bit further than the short-term investment?

I just stumbled over an article by the Good Human who explains how: “Given the fact that cheap goods don’t last long, are easily broken, are potentially full of toxic ingredients, Continue reading

A Fair Buy

We all know our products have a history. They are produced by people in an environment and by the use of resources.

That gives you a certain responsibility to take these aspects into account when you buy a product. That makes it rather complicated. Now, I have finally come across a tool which helps you to look Continue reading

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Fairtrade. It’s one of these things everybody knows it would be better but no one finally does it. Until now.

2012 is a great year, the Fairtrade Foundation based in the UK has thought and will be launching later this year a big Fairtrade event to encourage you and me to buy our stuff fair. Continue reading

Buy Nothing and Occupy Christmas

Let’s celebrate consumerism. Let’s celebrate that we have a choice. One day, no consumption. Are you in?

Today (or yesterday in the US in order to remember Black Friday) is Buy Nothing Day. The idea is to give the ever spinning capitalist system a break at least for 24 hours. Continue reading

What You Wear is Who You Are

Reading other blogs is an inspiring an enriching task. Recently I stumbled over posts on how to choose sustainable and ethical clothing.

Whenever I buy, let’s say a new computer (don’t worry, it doesn’t happen that often), I do a thorough research taking all aspects into account: quality, price, how things are produced and what the company stands for.

I would love to do the same for clothes. But how do I go about? Continue reading

From No Impact to Low Impact.

So this is it for the No Impact Week. I walk up to 10 km a day, drank no hot drinks and hardly any hot food, ate local, had short showers and of course did not buy anything.

You might be thinking “so what?” and pointing out that our No Impact really had no impact on the world (more on that topic coming soon!). But it did. For us who participated it has changed a lot. I will keep on doing a lof the distances by foot, simply because I realized its faster. I will keep on buying local and keep the level of waste down. Continue reading