Use Green Products: Buy to help the planet, not to destroy it!
Consumerism is part of our environmental problem but can also be part of the solution: Embrace your power today when you hit the shops!
First, what does “green products” stand for?
By this I mean all the things we buy that present no harm to the environment. I could also have used: environmentally friendly, sustainable, ethical, non-toxic products. The opposite of these products are all the things we buy that are detrimental to the environment...
Green products can include natural, organic and eco friendly products, recycled or biodegradable material...
I'm an ecowoman! Yeah!
Consumerism is part of the problem but can also be part of the solution: indeed, the power of the consumer (=you and me) is limitless!
Businesses are only around because of you!
By buying or not buying, you decide what the market looks like. If no one wanted to buy products that create habitat destruction, pollution, does not respect the animals, or sometimes directly threaten wildlife survival, these products would not be available in the market anymore.
This is one of our most powerful tools: to buy or not to buy.
Find green products that clean your dishes, your floors, your clothes without releasing nasty chemicals to the environment (= outside your house) – or to your environment (= inside your house)!
Research has actually proven that the inside of your house is more polluted than the outside (despite all the exhaust gas and microparticules from cars outside!)! This is even true in the largest and most industrialised cities in the world...
Crazy isn’t it?
And that’s often because of all the cleaning chemicals (add also pesticide like mosquito and other insect killing sprays and air freshener) we use in housekeeping.
So if you hated housekeeping before reading this page, there you go, you were right all along!
As usual though, there are ways many to decrease your indoor and outdoor pollution, notably by using green products such as:
Check the CleanGredients® list that gathers cleaning ingredients that are safer alternative. Safer ingredients break down quickly to non-polluting compounds and help protect aquatic life in both fresh and salt water.
You can also look directly for products rated by the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI). EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Program is assessing environmentally aware products and awarding Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI) Championships. Champion is the highest level of recognition offered under SDSI: this is good news for the environment!
These programs test many products and allow their logo only on the green products that are safe for you and the environment.
We all need to eat every day, there is no way around that! Eating is also one of life’s great pleasure, and a strong part of human cultures.
OK, you might have guessed it, I am a bit crazy about my food!
But because we buy food most days, the choices we make when we buy food have enormous consequences.
Buying food is actually one of the things all normal people do that can have the strongest negative impact on wild animals.
This is because agriculture and farm lands occupy a very large area on the planet. How we grow food and raise cattle have therefore long reaching consequences. How polluting and intensive the farming methods are, for instance...
Conservation tips for food:
Organic food decreases the pesticides and fertilizers released in the environment. Although more expensive, it has the added advantage of being healthier for you, thus potentially sparing you pain and saving on doctors' bills...
Sounds like a stupid statement, doesn't it? Who on Earth would eat endangered species?
Well, sadly, it is more common than you think.
Many endangered fish are still found at your local fish shop.
Even just once, just because you have to try everything once... (Stupid saying: so you should try to cut you hand or set fire to your hair at least once?)
The process of killing sharks only for their fins is not only wasteful and cruel (long painful death for the shark) it also is unsustainable for shark populations.
When we eat directly wild species, the way we
manage these resources has a direct-no-brainer influence on the preservation of
these wild species! See our sustainable tuna example...
By buying in season and locally grown food, we also decrease the carbon footprint of our food (how far around the world it had to travel...).
Different diets are more or less healthy for us, we all know that.
But different diets are also more or less environmentally friendly!
Being vegan is probably the best human diet for our planet, followed by vegetarian. And the more meat you eat, the biggest your negative impact on the environment!
Find the impact of your diet on your heath and the planet, as well as some tips and recipes on the vegetarian page. You don't need to go 100% vegetarian! Every little bit helps!
This is a tough subject but we have to talk about the huge influence Asian traditional medicine has on the extinction rate of beautiful wild animals.
Asian traditional medicine has been practiced for thousands of years and many Asian practices are well recognised as efficient.
But some remedies of Asian traditional medicine are more controversial.
Take Rhinoceros horn for instance. It is made of keratine, which is exactly what your nails are made of. Rhinoceros horn is supposedly great medicine for various ailments including:
What a list! Sounds a bit too much like a magic potion to me!
But if Rhinoceros horn was really effective at curing all these ailments, surely eating your own nails would do just fine too?
The most worrying of the situation is that nouveau riches are finding such endangered animal medicine fashionable and trendy, and attribute to rhino horn yet some more properties:
These uses that are not related to tradition. The extinction of rhinos is not driven by tradition but by an emerging class of nouveau riches in Asian countries, from Vietnam, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea to India and China.
Education to the fact that rhino horn has never been found to have any strong medicinal effect (and it has been researched) might not work fast enough to save these amazing wild animals.
Some countries (like Nepal) are successfully fighting poaching. We can learn from them.
Winning the war on traffic of endangered wild animals seems to involve at least:
When poachers are send to jail, traders can always exploits poverty and find many more candidates to do their dirty deeds. But to be a trader demands more contacts, organisation and investment: if you arrest them you really slow down the traffic.
So there is hope... We can actually protect these beautiful wild animals against illegal trade for medecine - a trade booming with the Asian nouveau riches.
What can we do about it?
For example, in the past people have raised money by things like: bake cake, wash car, hold a quiz night, run in a rhino suit, give up alcohol (I am not making this up!), see more examples at Save the Rhino fundraising ideas
1- write to politicians in the countries where poaching is strong (Kenya, South Africa) and promote the touristic value of seing these animals alive in National Park.
The only way to save the rhinos is if there is more money to be made with a live than a dead rhino...
2- write to politicians in the countries where the demand is exploding (Vietnam) and ask them to combat traffic at their end and raise awareness.
If this is a cause you truly believe in, there are ways to support it. It is not as easy and straightforward maybe than supporting ethic and sustainable food and clothes. But your support is vital: otherwise, some very special wild animals might disappear from the wild in the next few decades...
We also have to wear clothes – most of us, most of the days, do, anyway!
First and foremost, I think there are just some types of clothes, if you are compassionate human beings and love animals, you should just not wear. I am talking, you might have guessed, about fur.
Then there is the way we “grow” clothes, which impact the planet in similar ways that how we grow food. I am talking about the cotton growing industry.
Green products for clothing include organic cotton clothes or alternatives (hemp, sustainable bamboo).
There are many brands now that offer eco-friendly shoes using:
They are more and more great accessories made out of recycling materials. That gives an entire second life to materials that would otherwise go straight into landfills.
My friend came back with a great bag from Switzerland. It look cool and tough, and it had a great extra: it was a 100% recycled from truck tarpaulins, bicycle bits, airbags and seat belts!!! Crazy!
While we're on bags, I also found this amazing bag website. They tick all the boxes:
They are called Rare Bags, RARE can stand for a few things:
Many of the messages are just exactly what I'm trying to promote here at Wildhelpers, so I reckon if you like it here, you will like it there! Now, I don't know this people but I wish I did... Check out their wildlife conservation awareness recycled bags!
The provenance of raw material used to make furniture can be destructive to the planet, but there are alternatives.
It’s up to you to check whether your new garden table and chairs were made by destroying wildlife habitat and primary forests or by ethical, sustainably produced wood.
Forests, whether tropical, boreal or temperate, hold the majority of the world’s terrestrial species.
FSC Certified wood comes from forests managed sustainably. Look for this label!
If you feel overwhelmed, don’t!
Luckily for us, many people are working behind the scenes to assess how environmentally friendly all these consumer goods are.
Just look for the right -and hardly won- labels that will give you an insurance that you are using your consumer power to be part of wildlife preservation.
Don’t be fooled by cheap non-committal labels that are pale copies of the real deal: visit our green label list for real green products.
Use your green power to change the world!
Put your money in what you believe in: green products that support your values of protecting the planet and all the wild animals in need of a clean habitat.