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Guide to environment-friendly shopping

Every Filipino citizen who purchases products can make a choice about what he does or does not buy. A citizen who makes a conscious decision to buy products which have a positive impact on the environment and not to buy products which are harmful to the environment is commonly called a GREEN CONSUMER.

It is important to remember that, as a consumer, an individual has the power to bring about change. The adage, the customer is always right, takes on a new meaning as related to the idea of purchasing environment-friendly products. Most commercial advertisings on TV and radio and in magazines and newspapers do not always promote environment friendly shopping. Business is business and business people will provide products if shoppers ask for it. Filipino shoppers must begin to create a demand for environment-friendly products so that more of these products are teeing 'offered for sale by businesses.

Guide to environment-friendly shopping

One important consideration for green consumers is to reduce the number of wasteful products you buy. Here are some tips to consider

· RECYCLE! Recycling is an energy-saving, cost-saving and waste-saving strategy that - anyone can do. Recycle, whenever possible.

· Buy products such as aluminum and glass that you can recycle in your own community. Buy products which contain recycled materials. For example, many products such as aluminum cans, writing paper', etc., contain recycled materials. Recycling is not new to the Filipino citizenry, but this habit must be strengthened and enhanced. '

· Buy only what you need. Buying products which you will not use is not only wasteful, but costly.

· Do not buy or use products that endanger your health or the health of others, such as aerosol cans which emit CFCs that deplete or destroy the atmospheric ozone.

· Find or create ecologically sound alternatives to petroleum-based packaging and household products. Do not- use chemical pesticides to control pests in the home; prepare alternative pesticides for the home. (See topics on Alternatives to Pesticides and Pesticide Management in the Home.)

Do not use products which emit CFCs

· A void purchasing products which are teased on materials taken from threatened environment or endangered species (for example: mahogany, teak, sea turtles).

· A void unnecessary packaging. Buy in bulk, whenever possible, to minimize packaging and save money. Buy liquid products such as juices in concentrates.

· Take your own reusable shopping basket to the grocery store. Consolidate purchases in one bag rather than several. Avoid using plastic bags which YOU will just throw away.

· Invest in reusable plastic containers for storing food rather than wrapping them in disposable plastic wraps.

· Avoid buying disposable products. Reduce the use of plastic plates, utensils and polystyrene cups. Use cloth towels and napkins instead of paper napkins and towels. Consider switching from disposable diapers to cloth diapers Avoid buying disposable cameras, flashlights end other new products. Replace daily-use items such as lighters, pens and razors with better-quality, refillable models.

· Minimize the use of products with- toxic ingredients. If you do have to buy them, make sure they are disposed of properly. Do not throw them out with the trash! (See related topic: Commonly Used Household Products Which Are Dangerous and Safer Alternatives.)

· Read the label to know the contents of a product. However, use caution -- Not all labels provide accurate and sufficient information.

No plastic bags

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit November 23 - 28, 1992