It’s Christmas time. Giving and receiving gifts is fun and can be meaningful. But we have to acknowledge that it drives unnecessary consumerism and that is not good for the planet. Read this excellent article by George Monbiot to understand that point better. Consuming less is the best option, but there are ways that we can reduce the impact of our gifts as well as our consumption overall. Mostly it involves being aware of the impact of each purchase we make.
- Is it organic or does it promote the use of earth damaging chemicals?
- What is the water footprint of this item, has the manufacturer made an effort to reduce it?
- Does it contain palm oil?
- Was it manufactured in sweat shops?
There are many questions like these that we can ask about every product. But it won’t take long before we realise that it makes life very difficult. We often don’t have all the information we need, nor perhaps even the knowledge of the various issues. Fortunately retailers and other organisations are taking on that responsibility for us. It’s particularly powerful when those organisations and retailers work together. As an example, when you buy fish you can look up on the SASSI app if it is red or orange listed, which means it is either endangered or caught in an unsustainable way.
Woolworths has been a leader in the retail sector in terms of sustainability. With programmes like ‘farming for the future‘, they have made it easier for us to make the right purchasing choices. Another example is their initiative around sustainable fibres. The recently released Cool Climate report, by the Soil Association, states that “Cotton has been called the world’s dirtiest crop, owing to its heavy use of insecticides and water, high GHG emissions, and land use.”, and that “Switching to organic cotton could reduce the global warming impact of cotton production by 46% compared to non-organic cotton. Organic cotton would also reduce consumption of scarce fresh water by over 90% and energy use by over 60%.”
In response to this Woolworths has expanded its range of organic cotton products and introduced other sustainable fibres into its product portfolio. The infographic below gives more information about this initiative.
Not to say that Woolies is perfect, but they are trying. They have a long way to go but they have made significant progress. Their latest initiative is Earthcred, an attempt to motivate people to make the correct buying decisions by ‘gamifying’ it. This is the description of the Earthcred initiative on their website:
At Woolworths, we are on a mission to make a real difference by offering sustainable food and fashion, giving kids the education they deserve and doing good business with the planet in mind.
Earlier this year we announced our collaboration with superstar Pharrell Williams who has joined us on our journey to sustainability.
Together, we have started a movement for positive change. Now we’re inviting South Africa to join us on our journey by making earth-friendly choices every day.
We believe that doing makes all the difference – and that those taking action to save the planet deserve to be rewarded. That’s why we created Earthcred, an online game that gives you points every time you take action.
Look for the Earthcred logo on products when shopping in-store or online. The Earthcred logo indicates that this product has been evaluated and found to have a reduced impact environmentally and/or socially.
People who start playing Earthcred can stand a chance to win a R1,500 gift voucher from Woolworths. I started playing and after doing a couple of the tasks I already had 800 points!
In order to stand a chance to win the voucher, all you have to do is snap and share a screenshot of your Earthcred leaderboard once you have more points than me (800). It won’t take long to get more points than me, I did that in 5 minutes. You just have to sign up and start doing some of the tasks listed on the website.
You can get up to 4 entries into the competition, increasing your chances of winning substantially. Below are the 4 methods of entering and you can only do each once.
- Twitter – Post the pic of your leaderboard position with the following tweet > I’ve got more #EarthCred than @RelaxWithDax so I could win a R1500 voucher from @WOOLWORTHS_SA #PharrellWithWoolies
- Facebook – Post the pic of your leaderboard position on Facebook with the following comment, making sure Relax with Dax and Woolworths SA are properly tagged > I’ve got more #EarthCred than Relax With Dax so I could win a R1500 voucher from Woolworths SA #PharrellWithWoolies
- Instagram – Post the pic of your leaderboard position on Instagram with the following comment > I’ve got more #EarthCred than @RelaxWithDax so I could win a R1500 voucher from @Woolworths_SA #PharrellWithWoolies
- Website – Leave a comment below telling us which 2 items you purchased from Woolworths recently that were marked with the Earthcred logo
**Only entries that have correctly tagged @RelaxWithDax and @WoolworthsSA and have included the hashtags #EarthCred and #PharrellWithWoolies will be included in the draw.**
Competition Rules, Terms & Conditions
- The competition will close to entries on the 28th of December 2015.
- The winner will be randomly selected on the 29th of December 2015 and notified shortly thereafter.
- The voucher will be delivered by SMS within a few days of the draw.
- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are not connected to this competition in any way.