Yes, my topic is ethical shopping not about Ethel shopping. When I was a teenager I had a nick name for my mother. I called her “economical Ethel” – she was a savvy shopper and always looking for bargains. Just like me! There is more satisfaction in finding a bargain then just going into a store and paying full price.
But what about ethical shopping and how do we shop ethically? If we are shopping ethically we should know more about the products we buy. For example, how they are manufactured and by whom? If we are buying clothing how can we tell if workers are exploited? If you are big into fashion and want more information about buying your clothes from ethical companies, you can download a report from Baptist World Aid. It will cost you $10.00.
But ethical shopping does not end with fashion it can cover a range of products we consume, including electronics. But what about when it comes to shopping in the supermarket?
Let’s take grocery shopping to another level. I thought about this when last at a Woolworths supermarket (yes, we do shop there)! It all started with portabella mushrooms. I was placing one in the brown paper bag when it somehow ended up on the floor mat beside the display counter. In a nano second I had to decide whether to pick it up and place it in the bag or leave it for some other unsuspecting customer. I put it in the bag. There are ethical decisions to make when simply shopping for groceries. But what about the time when I had a few potatoes in a bag and others toppled to the floor? I have been known just to place them back on the pile! Grocery shopping is not as straightforward as it used to be, given I am thinking about how ethically I behave!
What type of shopper are you when you find a better product, four aisles away, to the one in your trolley? Do you take the “better product” and then abandon the other one on the shelf when no one is looking? When we were at Woolies on our last shop my One&Only (O&O) found items on the shelf but could not work out where the price tag was? I said someone else has decided to swap their items and left the others abandoned!
In some ways I can understand the abandonment of grocery items because people are in a hurry! Also, there are so many lanes and shelves it could take half an hour to find its original home. Then there is the rationale thinking of clever people who have the view that abandoned grocery items keep staff in a job. A person could be employed all day just to wheel a trolley around looking for abandoned grocery items and then putting them back where they should be. But then who is paying for that employee, the customer and all because of unethical shopping!
At our place we lapsed into unethical shopping by reverting back into plastic single use shopping bags. But no more plastic for us, we are reformed shoppers! Happy shopping ethically.