Update. January 2011

The Action edition ...

As Dr. Seuss so eloquently said,

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Each of us make a whole world of difference in deliberately choosing what we buy. At the same time, campaigns combined with consumer action are a powerful tool for bringing about corporate responsibility. And now you can do it with a bunch of mouse clicks.

Have your say ....

Check out our new Campaigns webpage. where you can sign online petitions, write to companies asking them to stop exploitative practices, and join in the campaigns to affect change in the areas you're interested in. more

Beer & Tax Justice
If you or I didn’t pay our taxes we’d be in trouble. So how do so many large companies manage to dodge billions of dollars’ worth in developing countries?
Action Aid found that SABMiller, owner of the Peroni and Grolsch beer brands, is dodging their taxes in developing countries. The money that African countries lose each year could put an extra 250,000 children in school. Take Action! Tell SABMiller to cleanup their act. more

Ethical Paper
The production of woodchips for pulp and paper is the largest driver of forest destruction in Australia.
The Wilderness Society is about to officially launch their Ethical Paper campaign, where organisations, businesses and individuals can pledge their support for the protection of Victoria’s native forests and commit to purchasing office paper that does not come from these forests. This campaign has been developed to encourage Australian Paper (maker of Reflex copy paper and the main domestic purchaser of native forest pulplogs in south eastern Australia) to use wood from forest friendly sources. Sign the Ethical Paper Pledge.

Monthly Meal & Movie nights ...

We meet once a month to discuss aspects of living out sustainable alternatives in a consumer culture.
>> Dinner 6.30 - 7.30pm, byo 'food & thoughts' to share >> Movie begins 8.00pm, wrap up by 10.30pm.

Melbourne – West Group

Robert Newman's History of Oil - Thursday 10th February, Nick’s Place, Footscray. British theatrical-funny-man Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years placing oil at the centre of all the commotion. more >> RSVP to Nick nick@ethical.org.au or 0417 114 492. >> Next month – 10th March – screening 'We Feed the World

Melbourne – East Group

The Future of Food - Wednesday 16th February, Wendy’s place, Blackburn. An in-depth investigation into unlabelled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have made their way onto our shelves, and the growing network of grass-roots resistance. more >> RSVP to Wendy - qblhome@hotmail.com or ph: 9878 7897 >> Next month – 16th March – screening 'Flow'

>> Find out more about Meal & Movie nights.
Let us know if you'd like to host a regular night in your local area.

News ....

Monsanto versus Steve Marsh: First GM* legal battle in Oz

23rd Dec 2010 — One of the biggest legal battles in Australian GM history is brewing in Western Australia, following organic farmer Steve Marsh's loss of his organic certification because of GM contamination. Mr Marsh is facing massive financial losses. Monsanto has announced it will bank-roll its GM farmers legal defence. More at Greenpeace and Gene Ethics. See Monsanto's profile here

Take action: Tell Agriculture Minister, Terry Redman, to put farmers rights before Monsanto's profits; and request that the Deputy Premier and Health Minister, Kim Hames, fulfills his obligations to test for GM contamination. here. ( * GM = genetic modification).

Hormone-treated beef leaves Coles shelves

6th Jan 2011 — Coles is seeking to position itself as more 'ethical' with it's move to have it's pork suppliers stop using sow stalls, and its egg suppliers move to free-range egg production, and now having switched it's fresh beef offerings entirely to beef produced without the use of Hormone Growth Promotants. more
Take action: Give feedback to Coles - commending them on 'raising the bar' in terms of animal welfare, also note concerns that the real costs for meeting those requirements may fall to farmers more.

Cool for school ...

Need stationery for the school year? - check out our stationery page and office products page to find out the companies to avoid. Or choose recycled content and sustainable/ green alternatives such as paper and biodegradable cornstarch pens, wooden fluoro pencils, paper packing tape, and recycled plastic rulers. Order online at Going Green Solutions. or Eco Paper .

Check this video out. It's the Radiohead song “All I Need”. I came across it in an Etiko mailout. It’s a powerful expression of why our choices in clothing and especially footwear do make a difference. Make the difference - choose fair-trade.

Check out these great links:
Etiko sneakers - Dress right. Fairtrade, organic, FSC certified.
Ethical Clothing Australia - which retailers are accredited to ensure Australian workers receive fair wages and decent conditions.

Upcoming Events ...

Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival attracts over 100,000 visitors each year, and will in 2011, be run over 16 days, starting on Saturday 12th February through to Sunday 27th February.

This is one huge event to celebrate and showcase sustainable living, with the theme this year of Mission: Safe Climate. There will be exhibitions, talks, workshops, films, artworks, demonstrations and performances that highlight transitions for sustainability. more

The Ethical Consumer Group will be running the following sessions as part of local events at the festival:

  • 'Shopping with a Conscience' workshop & supermarket tour. Tuesday 22nd February, 5.45pm-8.30pm, Ross House. An introduction to sustainable and ethical purchasing practices for the everyday consumer. 2 ½ hour session, run in three parts, including a presentation of issues and principles, a trip to local supermarket to put theories into action, and a light meal following. more
  • 'SWAC' Facilitator Training workshop. Thursday 24nd February, 5.45pm-8.30pm, Ross House. Want to deliver and facilitate 'Shopping with a Conscience' (SWAC) presentations and tours in your own area, or with your own groups? This session will explore the key elements of behaviour change and different ways to convey information and alternatives in a realistic, positive and empowering way. 2 ½ hour interactive session. more

We will also be part of the Food, Glorious Sustainable Food Q&A forum, on Sunday 20th February at The Green House, Birrarung Marr. So what is 'good' food?

If you'd like to help us staff a stall at the festival, please let us know.

Wherever you are ...

Much of the content in these e-bulletin updates relates to Melbourne events and resources, as we are based in Melbourne . Wherever you are, you are part of this growing movement of people taking action to make a difference. If you have information on events relevant to sustainable & ethical purchasing practice in your area, or would like to run our SWAC workshops or Meal & Movie nights in your area, please let us know. Help us build up a resource for you and your community. contact


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