This is an amazing article by The Wooden Bee on the wonderful Upcyclers Blog. I enjoyed learning exactly what all the symbols mean and my favorite is the last paragraph about voting for what we want in our world with our dollars. Buying what we want to see happen to our earth, is a pretty smart way to shop. So, here you go and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
I recently wrote to you about my continued quest to become an ethical consumer, by discussing ways to Greener Your Shopping List. It was also important to understand green brands & their marketing verbiage while on this sustainable shopping mission.
Certified Organic: It is important to know that each country regulates their food certifications differently. In the US & Canada, they have passed organic legislation making it so the term “organic” may be only used by certified producers. Anyone involved in the food production process can be certified organic. That’s everyone from seed suppliers and farmers to retailers and restaurants.
In the US, the federal legislation defines three levels of organic. A company can use “100% organic” on their product label if the product is entirely made with organic ingredients & methods. Products with at least 95% organic ingredients can use the word “organic.” Both these levels may also display the same USDA organic seal. The third level is for products who ingredient lists contains at least 70% organic ingredients and they may use “made with organic ingredients” on their packaging.
Fair Trade: Consumer product packaging from other countries can be labeled with this eco term. Fair Trade Certification is an organized movement aimed at helping developing countries improve their trading conditions & promote sustainability. The Fairtrade Certification system covers a growing range of products, including bananas, honey, coffee, oranges, cocoa, cotton, dried and fresh fruits and vegetables, juices, and even wine. Fairtrade International (FLO), along with many others, helps to head up this international certification & reports in 2008 that an estimated 7.5 million producers and their families were benefiting from fair trade funded infrastructure, assistance and community development projects.
This movement has its critics & many see this label as a marketing ploy that does not challenge the world’s trading system. The best thing to do is research the specific products & companies you are buying from. There are a number of fair trade labels that can appear on packaging.
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