Future Generations

Future Generations

When we go shopping, consumers traditional consider only the direct price and benefits of their products, without consideration for the larger implications of their purchases upon the environment in terms of production methods, transportation, packing and the ability of the products to be recycled after they enter the waste stream.

The rising importance of green consumption has led to more prominent producers of green products, including Seventh Generation which produces sustainable, organic household products ranging from soap to detergent to paper towels and more. For over two decades, the Vermont-based company has focused on "production ethics" in its process by ensuring that its entire supply chain respects the environment. Based around the law from the Iroquois nation, the company aims to "consider the impact of [its] decision on the next seven generations." As a result, Seventh Generation focuses on lowering the environmental impact of each element of its supply chain from source materials to production to transportation, each with an aim of delivering superior products with lower environmental impacts.

On the retail level, stores such as Whole Foods increasingly are placing standards for their suppliers in terms of energy efficiency, transportation policies as well as larger sourcing standards that focus on lowering the impact of production upon the environment. In particular, Whole Foods only works with suppliers who meet their standards for energy efficiency standards from the source of the materials all the way to the deliver to their stores. As a result, consumers can rely upon these products to have a lower overall environmental foot print.

Paying attention to the full considerations of our purchasing power on the environment is an important step toward helping to make capitalism greener - by voicing our vote with our purchasing dollars, producers and industrial concerns are more likely to shift their practices in favor of the planet.