Tag Archives: Enviro-friendly Business

Forget the “Sea Change” we’re undertaking a “River Change”

So a lot has happened since my last entry.  My husband and I decided to move to the River Murray or otherwise affectionately referred to as the River.  The little township we have moved to has a population of less than 500 people and the children’s school has around 50 students.

We are still getting use to things.  Organisation is something we are trying to master as we have found that unless it is planned it can create issues.  An example of this is shopping.  Yesterday I had to do some shopping for school/work lunches and tea.  The closest big supermarket is a half hour drive.  Our local little “general store” is great for an emergency but it is better to do your shopping at a bigger town.  Plus I’m travelling an hour each way to work and by the time I get home the store is closed.   So if it is not on the shopping list the chances are you won’t get it.

My new workplace is fantastic and one of the employees organises a fruit and veg order once a week.  Unfortunately they don’t deliver to the town I live in but they deliver it to my work.  The company, Riverland Fresh, is a family run business that sources the majority of their produce from local companies and suppliers.  This also keeps the cost down and the produce that I have ordered has been great to date.  Looking forward to placing my order tomorrow.

In regard to fresh produce we are also getting to know where the best roadside fruit stalls are located in the area.  One grower not far from us sells melons that don’t make the cut with fussy supermarkets.  We picked up a whole watermelon for $1!  Dried apricot signs are now starting to pop up now so I may have to try some of them.

I am hoping to get some produce of my own growing.  However we are renting at this point in time so we are not wanting to invest too much.  Especially into permanent structures eg raised beds.  I did plant a rosemary plant on the weekend as that is a herb I cannot live without and I am sure the next tenant will appreciate (hopefully).

I have joined our local library, along with the children.  It is a small library (I have already found plenty of reading material, which I will update you on at a later date) but the great thing is the library is part of the “one card” system in South Australia.  So what that means if another library has the book you require they will get it in for you (simply it is libraries borrowing off each other).

Well I will sign off now but as I am settling into this new life I will keep up to date with my adventures.

iPhone App of the Day: Shop Ethical!

ShopEthical-icon

Now I will be straight up and this app is not a free one and will set you back $4.49.  In saying that I do believe I have certainly got my money worth from it and it has opened my eyes into how the corporate world works and is even linked.

This app is not really practical to take shopping with you as (depending what product or company you are researching) there can be a lot of information to read.  It is probably better to write a shopping list out and then research from there (otherwise it could be a long shopping trip).

There are several things I like about this app.  Firstly it is quite easy to navigate.  It will tell you if the product is Australian made.  It will also tell you who the parent company is eg. Uncle Tobys is owned by Nestle.

The information provided by the app is quite extensive.  There are different levels products are ranked.  The best ranked products have a bold green circle with a bold green tick.  If the products are Australian made they have a picture of Australia next to the ranking.

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The worse ranking products receive a bold red circle with a bold red line through it.

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Once you press the information icon detailed information becomes available.  For the following example of the detailed informtion I will use Nestle.

shop ethical

Nestle Australia is in fact owned by the parent company Nestle.  While Nestle Australia claim to be a GE-Free brand and are a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant.  However Shop Ethical! are calling for a boycott of Nestle primarily due to the activities of the parent company.  These reasons include:

  • The irresponsible marketing of infant formula in developing countries leading to infant deaths.  The boycott was reinstated due to a perceived non-compliance to World Health Organisation Code regulations.
  • Control of water in North America.
  • Irresponsible marketing (especially in relation to baby formula).
  • Promotion of bottled water.
  • Child labour: for continuing to buy cocoa from the Ivory Coast, despite the use of forced child labour in that country.
  • Workers rights.
  • Water pollution in China.
  • Poor wages for coffee farmers.

While that may be enough to convince you to boycott the company, it is clear that educating people on these types of issues does place pressure on companies.  It was about 2010 when the pressure was applied to companies regarding the use of palm oil.  Since then and it has been noted that Nestle have made some changes.  In 2011, Nestle received a score of 8 out of a possible 9 in the WWF Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard.

As you may be able to tell the information is quite detailed.  It is an  interesting exercise to go through your pantry.  I was in fact quite horrified the first time around.  However the app can be quite empowering as it allows you to make an informed choice and it is relatively easy to find an alternative.  It also allows you to take your research  on a particular product further, as there are hyperlinks to other organisations for more information.

Shop Ethical! also has its own website that gives you further information about the community based, not-for-profit organisation and network, plus reinforcing product information.

For those that want to be informed about the products they buy this app is worth the investment.

5 stars

Op Shopping With aTwist

My fiancé and I had to find a birthday present for his Mum. I’m one for finding presents that are a little on the different side and err on the side of sustainability.

My fiancé’s Mum loves her op shopping. She can hunt down a bargain like you wouldn’t believe, especially in relation to clothing. Let’s face it, op shopping, saves a lot of money, helps with many worthwhile charities along the way and it is great from a sustainability perspective. However looking through op shops on your own can be boring and you tend to stick to your own territory. So I found the answer…

An op shop bus tour! I remember seeing one being run out of Melbourne on a TV program one evening and I wondered if they run something like that here in Adelaide. My search led me to find this little business called You…Us and a Bus.

I organised the May tour for my fiancé’s mum, his sister and myself ($35 per head) and it was so much fun. We met in Adelaide at the Goodwill shop (this is where I scored myself a near brand new pair of jeans for $1) and looked around until the bus arrived. Once we were badge up and on the bus we headed to Blackwood. Along the way we stopped at another shop, where I indulged $7.50 and bought 5 books (some yummy times ahead).

Some yummy times ahead

Along the way was fun with our two lovely hosts for the tour, Shelly and Rowena, with prizes, a bit of extra shopping and plenty of laughs and that was just on the bus. Once in Blackwood we had a couple of hours to look through another few shops with morning tea thrown in as well (which was lovely).

It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Guilt free retail therapy! With the bargains I found and good times had, the money spent paying for the tour was certainly worthwhile. Another thing it was great to go and explore somewhere that you wouldn’t usually go.

5 Green Stars *****