Sustainable shopping

From New Zealand Society, 2:20 pm on 27 May 2015
At the Sustainability Trust Conscious Consuming workshop

At the Sustainability Trust Conscious Consuming workshop Photo: Megan Hubscher

After having attended a Conscious Consumer workshop, Amelia Nurse was curious to find out what things she might consider at the grocery store if she wanted to make sustainable choices.

Conscious Consuming workshop facilitator Renee Rushton.

Conscious Consuming workshop facilitator Renee Rushton. Photo: Megan Hubscher

Janet Young is a sustainability educator for Sustainability Trust in Wellington and she joined Amelia to tell her some of the things she thinks about on the grocery store floor.

One of the most bewildering and time-consuming  aspects of learning about ethical and sustainable consumption is where to go for information.

Here are some ideas from Janet Young at Sustainability Trust: 

Forest and Bird publishes a Best Fish guide (downloads a pdf) which is also available as a wallet card (pdf) and an app via iTunes. This is great as a quick reference when you’re in the shop or out fishing yourself.

For toilet paper, WWF offers a sliding scale Consumer guide to rainforest friendly toilet paper guide (pdf).

When you’re buying electronics, Greenpeace’s Green electronics guide is great as a quick reference. Also Make it Fair’s website has lots of information and links, especially about mobile phones and laptops.

A number of New Zealand companies have signed up to the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil.

The Sustainability Trust website resources include including guides to ethical shopping, packaging, e-waste disposal and more.

The Responsible Purchasing Network has a guide to choosing cleaners as well as a range of purchasing guides for buying bottled water, computers, lighting, paint and toner cartridges and more.

Ecostore has lists of ingredients in household products which may help you decide. The Aussie site Safer Solutions has a wallet card (pdf) for quick reference.

Landcare Research has an informative guide for eco accreditation labels (pdf). You can download a list of eco labels from

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