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Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas as much as the next person. Unwrapping presents, all the food, cards, and happiness. Now imagine a Christmas with all of this plus more! A Christmas where you can at the end of it know that you have helped the planet, instead of adding to its destruction.

Over 80,000 tonnes of wrapping paper is used each year - equating to chopping down over 50,000 trees. The vast majority of Christmas wrapping paper sold is not recycled, and the trees which are cut down to produce it are very often ancient rainforests. Every day, more and more species of trees become extinct due to deforestation.

Is this necessary? Can’t we find a better way to do this? The answer is yes - and very easily! I suggest buying organic cotton bags and putting the present inside. This has a two-fold benefit - there is no paper used, and the bag can be used in the future for groceries at the supermarket!

If this isnt appropriate to the present you are giving, then using newspapers is a great idea. Tie it up with a reusable ribbon, and the newspaper and ribbon can be recycled and used again.

Over 800 million Christmas cards are sent each year. A few years ago I stopped with sending cards out at all. Imagine - 50 friends, 50 cards, 50 envelopes, 50 stamps, 50 more letters to be delivered to my place - meaning 50 more carbon footprints getting there. These days, I barely ever receive post at all. Almost everything is emailed to me, including pay slips, bills, and, yes, that’s right, even my birthday cards are ecards!

Most Christmas cards end up in the bin anyway - but if you must send cards - then at least buy cards where part proceeds go to charity and use recycled envelopes. 

Christmas is a fantastic time of the year and tiny steps like these aren’t going to make a big difference to you. If we all thought this way, these tiny steps would make a big, big difference.  

Have you heard of Proctor and Gamble? I hope we can forget them! Producing more consumer goods than any other company in the world, Proctor and Gamble use often lethal tests on their products, when so many other alternatives exist today. This is a multi-billion dollar company that could use alternatives to testing on animals but does not.

 The products that Proctor and Gamble produce can easily be replaced with other products which don’t test on animals. The company knows this so uses some of their mammoth profits to lobby against laws to prevent animal testing and on their spin doctors. “New and improved” is great for sales, and if it means adding a new chemical, testing on animals, and increasing profits, its the latter which Proctor and Gamble choose to favour.

Fairy washing-up liquid can be easily replaced by the great brand Ecover, who are against animal testing. They produce a washing-up liquid that not only smells better, but works just as well as Fairy, and is made from biodgradable plastic.

 Changing your washing-up liquid might seem like it will make no difference to a huge company like Proctor and Gamble, but we as the consumers have the power to make the change.

There was a time when organic cotton, fake leather shoes, and charity shop clothes were the domain of new age hippies. Certainly not something that top fashion designers and celebrities wore! But thankfully this has changed, and more and more people are realizing the environmental impact of their purchases.

And environmentally friendly clothing doesn’t have to mean ugly! Stella McCartney - the daughter of a Beatle so it doesn’t get much cooler than this - is an avid vegetarian and uses no leather or fur in her designs. McCartney also has her own skincare line - CARE - made from entirely organic ingredients.

Katherine Hamnet is another great British designer who is proving that clothes can be fashionable as well are environmentally friendly. All her clothes are made using organic cotton and she has produced some amazing clothes which look nothing like the eco-warrier style that organic cotton brings to mind.

 Cotton is the worst polluter in the world as far as crops go - with almost a third of all pesticides use today used on the crops of cotton.  This wreaks havoc with the environment, and it is so easy to change this. Organic sheets are a great alternative, and can be found in many high street stores today, including Marks and Spencers.

 Fashion isn’t about following the trends - the true fashionistas set the trends. And having “green” clothes means you can wear the clothes and look good as well as feel good. They don’t have to be green to be green either!

Green symbolizes the environment, life and healthy living. Consumption includes all steps from production, transport, usage and recycling. Green Consumption indicates a way of living and consuming in an environmental friendly way.

 Green Consumption is often referred to together with the five R’s as in “Reduce, Reevaluate, Reuse, Recycle and Rescue”.

Green Consumption is with this in mind also related to choosing green products that are transported with minimum carbon dioxide emission, unpolluted and with people’s and Earth’s well being as a priority.

More and more people are finally becoming aware of how carbon dioxide emission contributes to the global warming. Companies now also give the opportunity to their customers to pay for the carbon dioxide emissions that are related to the products they buy.When customers take responsibility for their consumption by paying for the environmental waste the money is often donated to environmental causes. This could for instance be donations to research and sponsoring of ecological friendly farming.

Airline companies are often seen among the companies that provide this possibility. The reason for this is because they spread a very high amount of carbon dioxide waste. However, also other kind of companies like for instance electronic stores give this possibility, where one of them is electricshopping.com.

So remember; Pay for your carbon dioxide emissions you too! 

Every once in a while, along comes a food which everyone starts raving about. If you haven’t yet heard about Tibetan goji berries, then chances are you soon will. For gogi berries really are a “superfood”. Containing 18 kinds of amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E and 500 times the Vitamin C of oranges, the goji berry is now known as the anti-aging berry.

Goji berries grow high in the mountains in Tibet, and it is in this precise region where people eat goji berries every day that the average life expectancy is 1000% higher - with more people than anywhere else in the world living past 100 years.

It’s easy to eat goji berries, and they taste great too. Imagine a cross between a raisin, cherry and cranberry and this is the goji berry. Eat them by themselves as a snack, or add them to a smoothie. Available in health stores, and now most large supermarkets, the goji berry will supply you with more antioxidants than any other food in the world.

With so many terms floating around about what we should and should not be eating, it’s hard to keep out - especially if you are reminded of words from high school chemistry! Antioxidant is one of these terms. But it’s really not that complicated. Antioxidants work to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. These are produced in the body during the digestion of food, and outside causes such as cigarette smoke. Free radicals can lead to cancer.  

Getting antioxidants into the body couldn’t be easier, and your body will certainly be thankful for it. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains which are all high in antioxidants.

Organic food within the EU, the US, and many other countries is regulated. This mean that producers are required to apply for organic certification before they can label food as organic.

Food sales of organic products have increased fivefold over the last few years, as opposed to conventional food sales barely rising at all.

Not only is organic food better for you, and the environment in which in which it is produced, there are also many other reasons why organic is better.

In many cases organic foods will also be required to be packaged in recyled materials and use energy-efficient means of production.  If all this doesn’t convince you, then take the ultimate test.

Organic foods taste better because they are better. With more nutrients, no dyes or hormones, and the knowledge that they  arent covered in fertilizers and pesticides but natural soil, an apple is suddenly much more than an apple.

It’s a lifestyle choice.
What’s yours?

It’s a jungle out there these days knowing what to buy and be environmentally conscious. How does one know what is organic, whether organic truly is better, and what standards are adhered to?

Luckily, the Fairtrade organization have made this a whole lot easier.

Fairtrade is an independent organization that guarantees the producers are not being exploited.

Standards have to be followed and then producers certified proving that they receive a minimum price.

You dont even need to change your shopping habits to support this.

Fairtrade products are available at your local Marks and Spencers, Spar, Tesco, and most of the other popular chains.

Just look for the Fairtrade label and help support those who are working for a better future.

It might cost slightly more for your bananas but consider the wider implications of this. This small amount means that is the farmers who reap the benefits. By receiving a higher price for their bananas this money is used for social and environmental projects which ultimately benefit those less fortunate.

This is just a small step to ensure a better world - not just for the farmers and their families in the developing world, but also for the environment. We can all make a difference.

Over 1 million farmers and workers have benefited from Fairtrade and with more support even more can benefit.

Welcome to Green Consumption dot com!

This is a site dedicated to the world! Our writers give you tips and hints within everything from living in an environmental friendly way by buying the right food and products to keeping healthy by meditating, relaxing and breathing correctly!

You are very welcome to join in by commenting each post with your own tips and experiences. We want to keep the earth healthy and therefore we also fight against the global warming and everything that contributes to that.

Join the battle and be healthy at the same time!

Once again, welcome to GreenConsumption.com!

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