We try to be ethical shoppers. Today I bought my groceries from a local general store called Baz and Shaz’s, and bought organic butter, organic milk, organic green tea and organic veges. Where we can, we buy local. When we can afford it, we buy organic.

Recently a friend introduced us to The Ethical Consumer’s Guide – Love. This. Site. I realised, trawling through, that we don’t actually buy many brands. We go through one tube of toothpaste a year, and all our soaps, detergents and shampoos are herbal concoctions from the local health food shop. There are a few culprits, though, according to the ethical guide. Our one annual tube of toothpaste is Colgate. We buy it so we get some fluoride as our local water isn’t fluorinated. Colgate, owned by Colgate-Palmolive, are an American company that tests on animals, fixes prices, uses excessive amounts of water, has bad wastage policies, refuses to sign the compact for safe cosmetics, and scored 3/15 for the ethiscore.

Vaalia were another disappointment. Vaalia make the only natural yoghurt that Elka enjoys eating without any added sweetener. Vaalia are owned by French company Parmalat, and get a big fat cross for their poor palm oil policy. They have also been criticised for massive financial fraud.

We have Scotch-Brite sponges. Won’t be buying them again. Scotch-Brite are owned by an American company, which tests on animals and has involvement in Burma.

Coles, where we shop when we have to, own gaming related businesses. They are owned by Wesfarmers, which also owns a coal mine and has 40% interest in a second mine. Woolworths are even worse.

Most people I know are ethical shoppers, and I think shopping ethically is a trend that continues to grow. You can vote with your dollar by choosing ethical brands instead of unethical brands. I am going to try to buy more organic, even if it means a couple less coffees a week. It’s one way I can support the organic industry, and hopefully in time, growing with chemicals will be phased out and we will return to healthier living.

One ethical Hessian shopping bag at a time.