| Hi everyone! In these
special shoppers' pages, my new friend Tammy the
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.
Shopping Habits can make a big difference to our
planet and all its creatures, says Tammy the Wild Turkey!
animals are lucky. We
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
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!!
Tammy, you ask, what does shopping have to do with a healthier planet?
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 .
The less stuff you use, the more natural
resources there are for everybody else to enjoy.
So please think about what you buy, and try not to use so much stuff!
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.
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. 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.
Shoppers!! Please be careful how you choose PACKAGING!
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.
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.
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.
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
-- 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
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
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.
farmers grow foods without
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?
9 Great Tips for Earth-Friendly Shopping
Choose products and/or packaging made from recycled materials.
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!
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.
Look for items that can be used over and over again. Avoid "disposables".
Go far larger-size containers. Avoid individually wrapped items.
for containers that can be recycled locally.
local stuff whenever you can. This means you are supporting your
local farmers or other industries and avoiding ''.
Bring your own shopping bag or basket.
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
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.
OKReady to make the grade? Let's get clicking...
OK? Done that? Now you've finished, click FINAL
SCORE to check out how Earth-friendly you and your family really
to see a real photo of me?
and see me looking at myself in a mirror - really a solar food drier!