As with all moral or ethical paths, living an ethical life becomes a greater and greater balancing act between subtler and subtler distinctions as you travel further. The choice between a Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade item is easy; the choice between a Fairtrade and an organic product is harder. I do not believe the human mind can encompass all possibilities, so there might never be an equation to answer these questions for all circumstances; however, access to more information will aid consumers in choosing one of the better of several ethical options.
For some further information on why these dilemmas matter, I have added an article I wrote on climate change to the Miscellany.
Melting the Candle from Both Ends (Davetopia)
If you’ve read some of my other blogs this year, you may have picked up that I was given a book called ‘How Bad are Bananas?’ which looks at the carbon footprint of a lot of varied things, from sending a text, to eating a banana, buying a TV, having a mortgage or drinking beer.
It cleared up a lot of questions for me, such as is it better to eat tomatoes grown in a heated greenhouse in the UK or transported all the way here from Spain. But it made me rethink other issues including the thought that a British apple kept in a cold store till April would have a larger footprint than one shipped from New Zealand. Then about two weeks ago I was having a drink and a packet of crisps while waiting for a bus in Bristol, when I saw on the packet the carbon footprint of…
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