We as consumers have the power in our pockets and purses to change the world. Every time we buy something we are casting a vote. Each purchase is a direct encouragement to the manufacturers to make more of the same. Also by avoiding products which are harmful to the planet you are sending a clear message to their manufacturers that says, 'Either you make your product environmentally friendly or you'll go out of business!' By spending on green products you are supporting better initiatives.
Think before buying goods, the production of which, involves cruel, wasteful or damaging use of resources. For example, factory-farmed meat, throwaway containers used in fast food cafes, over packaged goods, big petrol-guzzling cars. Buy recycled non-chlorine bleached paper products. Use cotton handkerchiefs or cloth instead of paper kitchen rolls. Buy in bulk. Buy organic. If buying wood, ask the supplier if their products are from sustainably managed forests. If you are unsure telephone your local consumer organisation. Eat the sustainable products of rainforests such as Brazil nuts. Get a sturdy shopping bag or re-use old plastic bags. If your cat or dog is neutered it will cut down on the strays and unwanted animals that have such a destructive impact on nature.
Write to manufacturers, supermarket chains and shop owners. Let them know the changes you would like to see made such as less packaging or more organic foods. If they don't have your opinion they won't know where they are going wrong. Demand the proper labelling of the contents of products and a standard for environmentally friendly products. Go for the greenest product but be careful because some manufacturers declare their products to be green when they are not. Not every green product is necessarily the best thing for the planet. Be aware!
Learn about the effect of advertising and marketing on yourself and your children. Be a good example. Involve your children in creative activities. Teach your children about nature and our connection with the natural world. Explain where things come from, who made them, what they are made of. Get rid of the TV and instead, see plays, films and art exhibitions instead. Engage in creative, social and participatory activities such as storytelling, poetry, playing in a band. Have fun with play. Remove logos from clothes. Make things. Grow your own food. Get back to nature by going camping.
Don't buy unnecessary items or disposable goods. Don't be wasteful with food, clothing and energy - turn off lights
Eat vegetarian food or at least consider where your meat comes from. Buy in bulk to save on packaging. Use your bathroom and kitchen water on the garden. Live where you are not car-dependent. Design and build your house for energy efficiency. Use solar panels or insulation and appropriate materials. Re-use old things and recycle wherever possible. In arid regions install a water tank to collect rainwater and roof run-off.