We’ve often talked about our shopping tactics here on the frugal life blog – whether we stick slavishly to a pre-prepared list, shop online to save money and cut the temptation of buying things we don’t need, or fill up on food beforehand to prevent hunger-fuelled buying. But how high up on your shopping list is saving the planet?
The World Wildlife Fund and packaging company Tetra Pak have clubbed together on an exciting new green initiative, which I thought you’d be interested to hear about. They are running a competition called ‘Your Renewable Idea’ to find suggestions which will encourage people to buy goods manufactured from renewable sources.
The ideas can be big or small but must be aimed at changing people’s lifestyles and habits. You can submit your idea via the website www.renewableidea.co.uk and vote there for your favourite suggestion. Up to £25,000 is up for grabs to make the winning proposal a reality. Plus Tetra Pak will donate 10p for each vote and £1 for each renewable suggestion posted on the site. The funds will go to supporting rare species conservation projects, such as one aimed at protecting the Persian leopard.
Interestingly, alongside the competition, Tetra Pak commissioned research into people’s shopping habits, which is quite illuminating. Although 82 per cent of UK adults believe their individual actions can make a difference to the environment, a product’s green credentials still come way down on the list of purchase criteria during the weekly shop. According to the research, quality, value and special offers are the three main reasons we purchase a product, while environmental credentials only come in at number 4. I suppose that, considering our current economic troubles, it’s encouraging that environmental issues make it onto the shopping list at all. But I guess we’ve still got some way to go – as do the supermarkets and producers in making it easier for us to buy greener products and ones with less packaging.
What do you think? I try to buy environmentally friendly products when I can, but items like Ecover washing up liquid, for example, can be pricy, so I admit to plumping for store brand liquids now and again when I’m not feeling that flush. However, I did recently stumble across a cheap eco-friendly surface cleaner in my supermarket which made a nice change. Greener doesn’t always seem to mean affordable and perhaps if these products were cheaper, more people would buy them. Do you find eco-friendly products are as effective as their conventional peers?
There are already a number of interesting ideas popping up on the site. Neil Warren suggests that supermarket loyalty card schemes merge into one, funding an organisation which would promote eco-awareness among shoppers. Nick Madsen proposes an idea for a sustainability rating system for products. Then, when shoppers purchase them, they would receive points in a social networking application which would allow them to compete with friends in a ‘sustainable shopping’ competition. R Shore suggests a ban on all supermarket BOGOFF promotions (called ‘bogoff to BOGOFF’ which is quite catchy) replacing them with ‘half price’ promotions instead, while Karen Cannard favours tear-off school vouchers on renewable products to encourage families to change their shopping habits. What would you suggest?
What are your criteria when you do the weekly shop? Do you consider a product’s environmental credentials or is value for money more important? Got any renewable ideas of your own? Leave a message and let me know.
|StumbleUpon||Technorati||Yahoo! My Web|