Ethical living… and a wedding

April 30, 2007

Fair Trade fortnight has just begun in Wellington.  Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to many, if any of the events- my sister is getting married on Saturday and I seem to be caught up in the whole busy whirlwind that is wedding preparation.

In the middle of the storm I did however find time to read an article in a recent Listener magazine about the dilemma faced by the conscientious consumer- organic, fair trade or local?  According to the article this makes me a “solution seeker”, a group that wants to do the right thing with our purchasing power, and which apparently makes up 32% of New Zealand consumers.  This figure is encouraging, until you read further and find out that only 2% of coffee sold is fair trade (compare this to 30-35% in the UK).  I’m not quite sure what coffee the other 30% are buying.  Organic maybe?  Certainly not local!

It is however, a serious question, and one I have been doing some thinking about.  While some things are clear cut (buy local veges, fair trade coffee, organic bananas) others are not so.  What is prioritised usually comes down to a matter of personal conviction and experience… and the quality of the product.  As the Listener article concludes, “hopefully as business cottons on the the “solution seekers”… we won’t have to choose… we will start to see more products featuring a combination of all three.  Here’s hoping events like the Fair Trade fortnight will inspire more kiwis to think about what they are buying and add their consumer power to the movement.

Quite appropriately, my sister and her fiance are giving Green and Blacks chocolate as wedding favours.


2 Responses to “Ethical living… and a wedding”

  1. Arthur Says:

    Hi there Sharon,

    Quick kudos for your blogs. Some of the best blog reading I have seen in a long while! Please keep it up.

    A thought came to mind after reading your blog about the “Fair Trade Fortnight” and your sisters wedding. Did your sister consider an “Ethical” or “Green” wedding?

    I haven’t had the pleasure of attending a wedding that was ethical or green nor do I have any experience planning one. I was just curious if you or your sister has looked into it.

    I don’t want to look like I’m trying to sell something so I won’t post any links but, you can find a few sites if you do a search on “Ethical” or “Green” weddings.

    Anyway, keep up the great blogging!!


  2. Sharon Says:

    Hi Arthur. Thanks for the encouraging comments. I haven’t been getting a lot of feedback lately (I guess I haven’t been posting so much either!) and am starting to wonder if it is worth the time. I do enjoy it though.

    My sister is not yet completely converted to “ethical” or “green” living- I’m working on it though! She did try hard to get an
    ethical diamond for her ring
    , without much success. However other than the chocolates the wedding is pretty traditional.

    Pity I married before I became quite such a tree hugger, I think I would have had a lot of fun planning an ethical wedding!

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