Thursday, 15 September 2011

Green Guide

Back when I was in the Girl Guides, we collected badges. There were badges to be awarded for anything from orienteering to childcare and, once awarded, the badges were carefully sewn onto your uniform sleeve (particularly neatly if you had the needlework one!). In some ways, having the badge and being able to display it gave you more of a kick than the possessing the knowledge or skill to get the badge in the first place.

I'm pleased to see that the supermarket REWE has launched a green initiative, Hallo Erde! I've noticed already from the UK that supermarkets, of all retailers, are probably best-placed to lead the way to sustainable shopping. They are bang in the middle of local communities and supply one of the most basic needs of human beings, regardless of age, class or tastes.

Hallo Erde! is, luckily, not accompanied by a glossy TV film banging REWE's own drum about how much they do for the planet, but is rather a collection of smaller and bigger initiatives, many of which have been running for years, untrumpeted. There's lots of good stuff here - and plenty to participate in, including a free packet of wild flower seeds (although, REWE, it's not really the season, is it?).

However - and I have noticed that this is the way a lot of green initiatives are going - looking through the brochure, I was reminded of my girl guide days. There are badges and logos everywhere. PRO PLANET, MSC, Fairtrade, NATURECotton, GOTS, Blauer Engel, Cotton Made in Africa, Die Taflen, DGNB...not to mention 30+ logos from partner brands plus those from all the other REWE Group companies.

In the end, thinking, acting and living sustainably should be more about getting the stamp or sewing on the badge.

No comments: