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Friday, 25 September 2015

clean€uro Workshop

by: Rasmi Silasari
photo: Evi Mulyani

Hi everyone! Since autumn is finally starting and the leaves are turning yellow and brown, have you managed to live green the whole summer? (sorry for all the puns, intended or not) If yes, GUT!! If not, come finish this sentence and go to the second paragraph; I'll force show you how to live greener in an easy way!

Look how cute the poster is~

So earlier this month, 5th of September to be exact, PPI Austria in corporation with the NGO 'SOL - Menschen für Solidarität, Ökologie und Lebensstil' arranged a short workshop about 'How to shop the clean€uro way' (yep, you have to write that with the €) . You know that we, human, require so many resources to satisfy our needs. We need clothing, housing, education, recreation, and the most basic of all: food!

PPIA clean€uro workshop with Vera from SOL!

Now, have you ever thought about the way you do grocery shopping? Do you plan it carefully to 5 different shops to get 5 different items at the lowest cost? Do you just buy everything that comes in bulk so you won't have to shop for another 10 years? Do you buy the ones advertised by the ethereal, beautiful-looking people with their seductive voice? Or do you simply go to the bread & cheese shelf and that's it? (I swear it's not me). Well, what I'm about to tell you might make you want to consider more what's inside your shopping bag!

Vera showing us what to look from a product

In the beginning of our 2 hours workshop, Vera our wonderful mentor told us about the goal of clean€uro, which is to reduce our ecological footprint. Basically, this ecological footprint is how the scientists measure the natural resources that a person needs every year. The common way to measure it is to measure the productive land and sea area required to fulfill the needs; since it's an area, the unit is in global hectares per person (gha/pers).

So, the person that needs to eat meat would need more hectare than the person who eat vegetables, since the cow aside from needing space to live also needing space to grow its feed. In 2007, research found that the average ecological footprint of people on Earth is 2.7 gha/pers, while the Earth can only supply 1.8 gha/pers; it means that we have 0.9 gha/pers that keeps deteriorating every year! Well everyone can argue that: 'that's such a rough calculation', or 'it's the rich countries' fault', or 'the Earth looks fine to me', or 'who cares as long as I can eat my bread & cheese' (swear again, it's not me), etc., etc... but it won't hurt to be a nice citizen of the Earth and help our lovely planet to sustain better, right? =D So let's try to reduce our ecological footprint by shopping the clean€uro way!

The steps of implementing clean€uro in your shopping routine is simple, you just have to remember these 3 points when stepping into the supermarket fully armed with shopping basket ready for the 'stock-the-fridge' mission:

1. FAIR!
Forget about buying stuffs that were made/grown/assembled by workers that aren't treated fairly! Please do look for the 'fair trade' logo on your items. This point strives for a more humane working conditions and improve social standard around the globe. And Vera made a good point on how funny it is that the 'fair trade' gets its own logo. Like, what, so the other items are allu from 'unfair trade'? HOW UNFAIR!

2. ECO!
It's time for you to visit those green bio products shelfs! (or just visit a bio supermarket, why not) Please do look for the 'bio' logo on your items. When displaying the bio logo, the product actually has made lots of ecological improvement such as less waste and less harmful substance. There are lots of bio logo in this universe as many as the stars the supermarket, but you may want to look for the 'starry leaf' one as it's published by the EU with pretty strict standards. If you make excuse that bio products are more expensive, I dare you to compare the fruits' prices! You will find that it's actually just 30-50 cents/kg higher than regular ones!

I think it's not necessary to eat cheese shipped all the way from Italy when they produce the same cheese here in Austria, right? (and nope, I'm not talking to myself) Please do look for the 'made in ....' or something similar on your items. Actually this locality is more about the mileage, the goal is to use less resources to bring the item from the producer to your hand. So as the clean€uro website gives an example: if you live in Wien it might be better to drink milk from western Hungary that's quite close, rather than that from Tirol. So you know what you should do~ Learn your world map right!


If all these rules make you dizzy and don't have place anymore to hang in your head among the periodic table or music score or economic equations, you can simply head to the alternative. It's easier, and will save you lots of money as well ;) It's the 'cut your consumption' way!!
1. Buy nothing
2. Buy less
3. Lend and Share
4. Favor services (as in just call the plumber instead of buying new tools and other resources and do the acrobat to fix that broken pipe by yourself)
5. Use second-hand (WILLHABEN RULEZZ!!!)
6. Reconsider shopping methods
7. Inquire

The more you buy the more item to check... so let's just buy less!

Perhaps you'll wonder if these simple acts will bring any difference. Oh, don't underestimate the force of demanding buyers, my friend. Vera told us the story of how Starbucks started to sell fair trade coffee just because the consumers pressured them to do so! Imagine if this happens to McDonalds and their burgers, it must be pretty interesting~ Anyway, that's all I have for 'How to shop the clean€uro way'! Next time you're in the supermarket, please consider being a nice Earth citizen and do at least one point to at least one of the item you buy. You might think it's nothing... but since you already think so, let's do this anyway! =D Cheers!


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