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Hi everyone! In these special shoppers' pages, my new friend Tammy thHello friends!e Wild Turkey shows how you can help your family move towards more Earth-friendly shopping habits. Tammy has made an interactive checklist so you can find out how your family is doing.

Tammy says, 'Good shopping habits make sense!'Good Shopping Habits can make a big difference to our planet and all its creatures, says Tammy the Wild Turkey!

We animals are lucky. Suit, tie and TikiWe don't need all the stuff you humans seem to need. Tiki just dives into the ocean to catch his supper and I just scratch around on the forest floor. We don't need special products to clean our nests. And we wear the same suits all the time and they stay pretty clean. Tiki thinks it's cute how some of you humans like to copy his style when you dress up! You know, white shirt fronts and black or grey suits. Though why on Earth you wear ties neither of us can figure out….

The choices you and your parents make when you go shopping are very important! If humans were more careful about what they brought home from the store, our air and water would start getting cleaner! More plants and animals would be able to live! Even people would get healthier!!

But Tammy, you ask, what does shopping have to do with a healthier planet?

Clean water, clean air and beautiful trees. Lovely!Lots! For one thing, how much stuff people buy affects how fast you use up the Earth's natural resources which belong to all of us. Like trees, water, minerals, clean air.

I'm sure you know that everything you buy is made from stuff that comes from the Earth - like trees and other plants, rocks, sand, water, even (gulp!) animals! You call them natural resources.
The less stuff you use, the more natural resources there are for everybody else to enjoy. Do you really have to use so much stuff? So please think about what you buy, and try not to use so much stuff!

How can we stop using so much stuff? We have to eat!

But how can we stop using stuff? We need to buy food, and wash our clothes, and all that.

Tiki and I know most of you humans aren't going to stop buying things. But you can start making better choices about the kind of things you do buy.

How can we do that???

Well, if you're shopping for toys, pick those that will last! Buy ones that can be recycled – like things made out of wood or metal. Or recycled materials. Better still, make your own toys from stuff that's already around! That's more fun anyway!

Of course, most of the stuff you humans buy is food and products for taking care of your homes. If you're a kid, you probably don't do much of the grocery shopping or cleaning around your house. Be polite! Grownups don't always understand right away.That means you're going to have to explain a few things to the grownups who do. But please be polite! And it's OK to tell them I told you about this. Maybe they would like to come visit my page so I can help explain a few things.

Watch out for packaging. Where packaging ends up: a trash mountain!

Attention Shoppers!! Please be careful how you choose PACKAGING!

Here's how:

HINT: Most grown-up humans I've talked to say grocery shopping isn't as easy as it looks, because there's so much to remember and decide. You can be a big help just by remembering to bring a bag or basket whenever you go to the market! That saves loads of extra packaging like paper sacks or plastic bags.
  • Buy BIG!!! It takes more natural resources to make lots of little boxes, bags, cans or bottles than it does to make fewer large ones. And all those little containers take up more space in landfills and other waste facilities. So buy the largest size container your family can use -- like one big bottle of juice instead of six little ones, or the jumbo size box of cereal instead of individual serving sizes.
  • Buy in bulk. It's more Earth-friendly to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, or grains in BULK. That means loose from a large bin or container at the store, or on a table at a farmer's market, NOT sealed in plastic bags or wrapped tightly on plastic foam food trays. Scoop up the amount you need and carry it home in a bag, basket or other container you use over and over again.
  • Buy stuff in recyclable containers. You can do that only if you know what's recyclable in your area. Most cities and towns in the U.S. now have recycling centers of one kind or other, but they are all different. The same is true in Europe and in many other countries. Some accept only aluminum cans, others also take certain types of plastic containers. Others also take glass bottles and jars, tin cans, newspaper, cardboard, and many other materials. So learn about your local recycling center. Ask your parents, school, scout troop or other group to arrange a visit. Then try to buy things in the type of containers you know you can recycle there.

    Don't know how you kids can drink this stuff... but is the bottle recyclable? Remember -- a container may say it's recyclable, but it's really not if your parents have to drive a hundred miles to find a place that will recycle it!
    If it's trash at your door, it was trash at the store!

    Also remember that making natural resources into things often makes pollution… you know, like smoke in the air from the factories or waste chemicals that seep into drinking water. So try to find out what happens to the environment when something is being made, and avoid buying things that cause pollution.

    That's hard to do surely?That sounds hard!

    Not really. A good clue is if something has a long list of ingredients with big long names. That usually means it contains lots of chemicals, and lots of chemicals are not healthy for you or the environment. Usually, foods and cleaning products are safer for us and our planet if they are made up of only a few basic ingredients.

    Organic farmers grow foods without pesticides Who needs teeth? Beaks are miles better!or chemical fertilizers, so they are safer for the environment. And did you know that you can get floors and windows clean with just vinegar and water? Or the sink and refrigerator with baking soda and water? Or your teeth with baking soda and salt? Or that you can clean up a spill on the carpet with plain seltzer or soda water?

    Tammy's 9 Great Tips for Earth-Friendly Shopping

    1. Choose products and/or packaging made from recycled materials.Here's what you can do.
    2. Buy organic foods -- they're grown without poisons like pesticides or chemical fertilizers, so they're healthier for you and the environment. They taste better too!
    3. Choose basic cleaning products that have many uses. Learn about and try safe substitutes for special commercial cleaning products. And why is it that some humans spend so much time cleaning things? Nothing wrong with a bit of muck.
    4. Look for items that can be used over and over again. Avoid "disposables".
    5. Go far larger-size containers. Avoid individually wrapped items.
    6. Look for containers that can be recycled locally.
    7. Buy in bulk.
    8. Buy local stuff whenever you can. This means you are supporting your local farmers or other industries and avoiding 'food miles'.
    9. Bring your own shopping bag or basket.

    ... just a bit of practice and patience You and the other shoppers in your house may not be able to change all your shopping habits right away, but with a little practice and patience, you'll all get better at making Earth-friendly shopping choices. shopping trolley

    Now for the fun bit! Try out my Shopping Report Card - a sort of interactive quiz really. It grades shoppers on Earth-friendly choices for several sorts of common grocery items.

    Here's how it works. Next time someone in your home comes back with groceries, check for each item under the correct category (below on this page). Then invite them to click on the type product they chose, and see how it scores for Earth friendliness! Have a pencil and paper ready and note down the score for each product choice.

    It doesn't matter what your shopper's grades are to start, as long as they improve next time.
    OK—Ready to make the grade? Let's get clicking...

    Butter and margarineButter & margarine CerealsCereals
    CheeseCheese EggsEggs
    Fruit juicesFruit juices Fruits & vegFruits & vegetables
    Ketchup and saucesKetchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings, etc. Cleaning stuffLaundry detergents
    Meats and fishMeats & fish MilkMilk
    Woofo doggie chunks - petfoodPet foods Soft drinksSoft drinks

    OK? Done that? Now you've finished, click FINAL SCORE to check out how Earth-friendly you and your family really are!

Want to see a real photo of me? and see me looking at myself in a mirror - really a solar food drier!

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