Update. November 2011

New guide ... Ethical Christmas ... Buy Nothing Day ... Palm Oil Scorecard ... Chemicals in Cosmetics

Get Guided! ...


Where do you go to get in the know?

In 2011, iconic brands such as Foster’s beer, P&N juice, and Gippsland yoghurt all fell into foreign hands. Pauls’ milk, previously owned by Italian Parmalat, was swallowed up by the even larger French mega-corporation Lactalis – creating the world’s largest dairy company. Who owns what and what are they doing?

The 2012 Guide to Ethical Supermarket Shopping... is here! This completely updated edition includes special features on cosmetics, toys, meat, and beer, while tracking the ever-increasing consolidation of company ownership. See what's new.

Order from our SHOP page www.ethical.org.au/shop
A great Christmas present!

How to have an Ethical Christmas...


Ho Ho Ho! ... don't be naughty, buy nice! Christmas is a great opportunity to try your hand at ethical shopping and share discoveries with your family. How about a free-range turkey with fresh vegetables from your local farmers market? Perhaps celebrate with beer from your favourite microbrewery, or a local organic wine. If you are unsure where to start, or want to see our favourite ethical gift ideas, check out our Guide to Ethical Christmas!

Buy Nothing Day ...


Less can be more. November 26th is international Buy Nothing Day. Historically, Buy Nothing Day has been about fasting from hyper consumerism – a break from the cash register, and reflecting on how dependent we really are on conspicuous consumption. On this 20th anniversary however, this special day has been reinvented as #OCCUPYXMAS ... You might want to organize a 7/11 santa sit-in! See also Buy Nothing Christmas.

Palm Oil Scorecard...


Palm oil is found in countless products, from ice cream to lipstick. Unfortunately it is often a destructive force where it is produced, leading to deforestation and social problems. This is why WWF has assessed the companies that buy palm oil and asked if they are sourcing and using sustainable palm oil? How do they rank?
Check out the 2011 Palm Oil Buyers scorecard and find out more about the issues and what you can do, here.

Research project - 'being an ethical shopper'


What is the story of your journey towards a more sustainable and equitable world?
As part of her masters thesis in Human Ecology, Julia Olszewska is looking for people to be involved in a research project on how people think about shopping ethically. Your involvement would consist of 3 meetings from December 2011 to the end of January 2012. Please contact Julia directly via facebook or email if you’re interested in being a part.

Focus on 'Chemicals in Cosmetics' ...

(excerpt from 2012 Guide to Ethical Supermarket Shopping, featuring expanded cosmetic section).

Many everyday shampoos, cosmetics and other personal care products have a long list of chemicals names which most of us wouldn’t recognise. In many cases these ingredients are harsh industrial chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer, allergies, birth defects and other health issues.

In Australia, cosmetics must comply with safety standards, but there is no international consensus. Some chemicals banned in Europe and the US are still considered safe by Australian authorities. These include DBP in nail polish, BHA in lipsticks, lead acetate in hair colour, and coal tar in anti-dandruff shampoos.

Other chemicals, although safe in small amounts, do build up over time and this intensive long-term exposure does seem to present unnecessary health risks. These include mineral oil, DEA/TEA/MEA, D&C colours, aluminum, talc, and synthetic fragrances.

What can you do?
» Avoid known toxins. Decode the chemical nasties with the Chemical Maze app and book. Available from our online store.

» Check out the Skin Deep cosmetics database with over 69,000 different products and a safety assessment of ingredients (US).

Upcoming events ...

  • Ethical Christmas Market - Sat 26th November, 10 -2pm, The Hub, Brunswick,Melb more
  • Fair@Square Ethical festival 2nd-4th December at Fed Square Melbourne more
  • South Melbourne Commons - opening celebration - Saturday 10th December, 10-4pm, more
  • Sustainable Living Festival - 2 weeks 11-26th Feb, big weekend at Fed Square 17-19th Feb more

Press Releases ...

  • Australian Christmas dollars more likely to support overseas companies this year pdf
  • The ethics of Christmas shopping pdf
  • What are you supporting when you shop? pdf


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To view this newsletter online go to www.ethical.org.au/newsletters/nov2011.htm