Thursday, June 12, 2008

Small Steps

I have been trying to make a list of small things one can do to become a true member of a compassionate society - compassion towards animals, towards the environment, and towards fellow human beings. I am not including drastic lifestyle changes which, in my opinion, may not be entirely practical for the average person.

Here are some suggestions
  • Educate yourself on product testing. The PETA site has information but there are sure to be other sources. Make an attempt to find and buy 'compassionate' products. Start with soaps and shampoos - wait till you use up your existing stock and replace them with products not tested on animals
  • Understand the meaning of "Fair Trade Certified" and look for products that have the stamp. Remember that these may be more expensive than the mass market brands and ask yourself if you want to pay the extra $2 to make a difference. You don't need to go to a specialty - fancy shmansy - store to get these products. I recently saw (and bought) an FTC soap at CVS Pharmacy!!
  • Buy Trader Joes brand eggs or look for other free-range/cage-free alternatives. Note that there is some ambiguity about the definition of free-range and not all eggs sold as free-range or even cage-free imply humane conditions for the hens - so do your research.
  • Buy this book for yourself and also gift to someone.
  • If you are a business traveler, leave a comment for the hotel if you notice things that can use some improvement - e.g., does the water dispenser in the hotel gym use plastic cups? Ask the hotel to consider using biodegradable and even recycled paper cups!
If you have more suggestions, leave a comment.

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