Ethical Consumer Week, October 2021
In the run-up to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this November, Ethical Consumer are hosting their annual Ethical Consumer Week, sponsored by Ecotricity.
We talked to Ethical Consumer's Robbie Kearney about October’s online event and what we as individuals can learn about decarbonising our lives.
Robbie, before we chat about Ethical Consumer Week, can you tell us a little bit about Ethical Consumer and what you do?
Sure. We rate the ethical and environmental track record of companies behind everyday products and services such as bread and banks. We publish this information in our magazine and online, so that shoppers can make ethically informed choices about what they buy. We've been going for over 30 years and are the UK's leading ethical and environmental consumer organisation.
Tell us about Ethical Consumer Week, what's it all about?
Humanity is currently not on track to meet our carbon reduction goals and there's a worrying gap – the 'climate change gap' as it's called – between where we are now and where we've got to be if we're to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Ethical Consumer Week will focus on how we close this 'climate change gap' and we'll be drilling down on the nitty-gritty detail of how we actually go about decarbonising our lifestyles.
There'll be a different theme each day throughout the week ranging from ethical finance to food, with a wide range of experts assembled from around the UK and overseas offering the latest thinking on how everyone can reach the goal of low-carbon living.
Are you focusing on the practical things we as individuals can do?
Absolutely. We're now at the stage where we all know that the climate crisis demands urgent action and the good news is that consumers have a key role to play.
During the week we'll be launching our first Climate Gap report which we aim to be an annual snapshot on the progress being made towards low-carbon consumer lifestyles.
We want to help people identify the key actions they need to take to decarbonise their lifestyles both as consumers and as citizens campaigning for change.
From workshops on how to reduce the carbon footprint of your clothes, to helping you carry out a carbon-audit of your personal finances, the week will be a hands-on opportunity to learn how you can play your part in the global campaign against the climate crisis.
Can anyone attend the online sessions?
Yes. If you've ever thought about what more you can do to fight the climate crisis, then Ethical Consumer Week is for you as it will be packed with positive and inspiring solutions.
The aim is to incorporate all the feedback from the event into next year's Climate Gap report, so we'd like to hear from consumers, businesses, campaign groups and everyone who wants to start out on this decarbonising journey.
Some say that with big business and governments dragging their feet on climate change, why should individuals bother?
This is a question we’re asked a lot and we agree that it can be frustrating but ultimately our actions, collectively, do count. There'll be a session on this very issue and we've lined up some of the UK's top ethical bloggers and writers who'll show that as individuals, we can all make a difference.
Visit Ethical Consumer Week to see details of the talks and workshops, running from October 16 – 22. Many of the sessions are free, with others priced on a ‘pay what you feel’ basis, to make sure that everyone can attend.
Ecotricity explains: Making gas from grass
Right now, we’re working on a really exciting project, the first green gas mill in Britain – turning grass into gas that can be used in standard boilers to heat our homes and fight the climate crisis.
Ecotricity explains: COP26
The world is facing a climate emergency with extreme weather events, flooding and wildfires becoming more common with devastating consequences for both people and the natural world.
Turning coal mines into hot water mines
To beat the climate crisis, we need to be clever in the way we use the green energy that’s all around us