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How is the credit crunch affecting your ethical choices?

(26 Posts)
binkythebullet Thu 18-Sep-08 20:01:43

I'm finding myself swayed by cheaper non-fair trade products <gulp>, and feeling v.guilty as a result. I suppose the upside of the CC is that I'm driving my car more economically, switching lights off, using eco friendly cleaning products etc. which is a good thing; however I'm really reluctant to give up on fair trade.

Is there anywhere that sources cheaper products that are still fairly traded (i.e the dictributor is making less profit rather than the producer being stung) <hugely doubtful emoticon>?

Dragonbutter Thu 18-Sep-08 23:45:51

i like to buy ethically too, but really can't afford it right now. sad

pippibluestocking Fri 19-Sep-08 00:11:42

Have given up outdoor reared / organic pork / ham

binkythebullet Fri 19-Sep-08 07:41:28

Yes- organic/ home reared is definitely off the list for us

I went to Lidl last night, and felt really guilty about buying Typhoo tea (I don't drink tea so not sure if that's a bad thing in terms of taste!), which isn't fair trade/ rainforest certified, but so, so cheap.

mamadiva Fri 19-Sep-08 07:45:25

We have a very small budget an dI am horrified to say that I have given up free range eggs for smart price

£1.50 for 15 rather than £1.40 for 6. I feel awful but things have been going out the window ethics wise haven't they?

I must admit I've never been able to afford organic or fair trade with most things but that is because we have such a tight budget, but now it's just got worse.

sophy Fri 19-Sep-08 18:34:45

Still eating organic meat, but less often.

Only buy whole chickens now, and one does 3 meals for us, plus dog gets last remnants of meat after carcass has been boiled for stock. For other meat, just buy the cheaper cuts, but always, always organic or free range.

Have become a dab hand at recipes with chick peas and lentils (buy dried, much cheaper than tinned, and more eco-friendly as use less fuel to transport).

Stopped buying organic juice though and now buy Sainsbury's 3 for £4.

But I noticed today that organic tinned tomatoes were cheaper than non-organic.

Buy my eggs from neighbour, £1 for 6, and I give her leftovers to feed them with.

sophy Fri 19-Sep-08 18:35:50

To feed her chickens I mean!

binkythebullet Fri 19-Sep-08 19:45:53

lol sophy

I wish I had a neighbour with chooks envy; ours give us the odd runner bean or two

Fennel Fri 19-Sep-08 20:37:38

You can only do what you can afford to do, I don't think a measure of environmental awareness should depend on having the money to buy everything fairly traded and organically, etc.

The good news is that actually buying less and spending less is environmentally friendly, richer people tend to have a much higher carbon footprint, even if they do use the local farmer's market.

Buying ethically on a budget is probably a natural thing - buying less altogether, buying more things secondhand, buying less meat, etc.

Our organic veg box is actually comparable to buying cheap tasteless supermarket veg, but I think it's cheap because it's local and we live near the farm which runs it.

binkythebullet Fri 19-Sep-08 20:39:55

True Fennel.

We get an organic veg box from a local charity, the price is very much comparable with grotty Tesco veg.

NoblesseOblige Fri 19-Sep-08 20:40:11

i'm buying cheap eggs too sad

but we get through so many, especially as i am a economical as i can be by baking/cooking everything from scratch.

we eat very little meat but even then have stopped buying organic as it just costs too much sad

jollydo Thu 25-Sep-08 21:40:52

We are thinking of giving up our veggie box but I feel bad about doing so. We've been customers for 4 years and I know they're struggling as it is, we might be another rat deserting the sinking ship sad but they are a fair bit more expensive than local farm shops / farmers market / markets.
Also buying less organic and fair trade (though can't bring myself to stop buying percol fairtrade coffee yet as I love it!), & more tesco blush bargains.

On a more positive note - I might make more Christmas presents - less consumerism and less money!!

morocco Thu 25-Sep-08 21:44:47

just buying less overall - a lot less meat particularly. still buying free range etc. free range eggs would be about the last thing I cut down on, prob for silly non thought through properly reasons. luckily morrisons often has them on special offer.

thinking about clubbing together with a few other people to buy in bulk direct from wholesalers

ate a lot more of my mums marrows this year grin

keep meaning to do the whole homemade cleaning products thing but a bit lazy tbh.

primigravida Fri 26-Sep-08 05:36:22

We're using more dried lentils and dried beans at the moment, using the car less, washable wipes and nappies, less dairy and eggs so we can keep on buying organic. I'm a vegetarian already but dh isn't and he's cut his meat down to once a fortnight to keep it organic.

mumblecrumble Fri 26-Sep-08 09:57:23

Was pleased to find mega cheap farm hut shop near my parents: 6 eggs for 40p, 24 floor eggs (free range but feathery) for £2....

ALso the biggest bag of speds and cheap veg.

I think growing stuff and sharing with neighbours will suddenly get popular again.

I buy all meat in reduced section and freze. Can by organic but its cheaper than normal!

Bloody credit crunch

ForeverOptimistic Fri 26-Sep-08 10:03:18

I no longer buy anything organic. I shop in Tesco even though I hate everything they stand for. I don't feel guilty though, needs must.

Aefondkiss Fri 26-Sep-08 10:13:28

the main price hike that is effecting me is the price of electricity

lidl sell organic/fairtrade foods and they are cheap imo
... I really like the co-op, for there eco cleaning products and still buy the same fairtrade stuff, atm, fairtrade coffee from the co-op isn't any more expensive than brand stuff, I get clipper organic teabags, they often have money off all their fairtrade products and it is a good place to get reduced fairtrade/organic fruit and veg,
I still buy fairtrade bananas (lidl, co-op, tesco) ...
I don't drive

Fennel Fri 26-Sep-08 10:14:25

A quote from Wednesday's Guardian "the best way to go green is to be completely skint".

It's talking about this research which says more or less what I was posting the other day - that the more affluent may buy organic and recycle but still tend to have a much bigger carbon footprint www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/24/ethicalliving.recycling

Fennel Fri 26-Sep-08 10:17:10

I really recommend those little gadgets you can buy for a few pounds to measure your electricty (there's another recent thread on that).

We bought one and found out the main culprits for wasted electricity in our house, and this quarter our electricity use is down by 30% on the same quarter last year. It's quite impressive as a money-saving measure, as well as for environmental reasons.

madlentileater Fri 26-Sep-08 16:23:41

what were the main culprits fennel?
so true about flying, I work in a very 'ethical' organisation, but am the only one who doesn't fly. Bad form to talk about it, it seems.

Fennel Fri 26-Sep-08 18:27:58

Our main household culprits were leaving the 2 computers on regular standby, and the tv/dvd/video system. And, surprisingly, the microwave when plugged in but not in use. All of those now get switched off at the wall when not in use. That's the main ones.

Aefondkiss Fri 26-Sep-08 21:02:22

I think I might try and get one of those gadgets fennel, though we only have one computer, no tv/hi-fi system and we are a microwave free home... unfortunately we have electric storage heaters(rented house), our biggest guzzler of energy in winter(we only use one when it is baltic).

I agree about the rich having a much bigger footprint than the poor.

madlentileater Fri 26-Sep-08 21:04:24

our digibox can't be switched off, alledgedly, or will loose it's memory.

Balthamos Tue 07-Oct-08 21:18:37

I am finding it hard to justify the cost of ecover washing powder...it is so so expensive. I feel really bad about it though.

On a positive note, I use ecover or homemade everything else cleaning product wise, I don't drive so that is good - but I do fly ALOT (x1 per month to visit my folks with DD).

However, we are definitely eating less meat so that we do eat is organic. Would be interested to know what chick pea and lentil recipes people are making - we eat lots of them, but are a bit stuck in a rut with chilli bean stew, curry, lentils braised in red wine etc ... any ideas gratefully received as there is only so much more of the above that DP can take!

DorisH Tue 07-Oct-08 23:48:21

Cheapo cleaning products, cloth nappies all instead of most of the time, no more organic stuff... oh and reusable wipes instead of loo paper. If I call it 'family cloth' it sounds slightly less vile...

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