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Ethical Consumer UK – subscription winner

It’s time to announce the winner of the Green Stars Project contest! The challenge was simply to include an ethical rating in an online review for any product or local business. The prize is a subscription to Ethical Consumer for one year. Before I get to the winner, I want to announce that the competition starts again and I’ll announce the next winner in early September.

So, the winner for this month’s competition is George from Northern Ireland – congrats! George writes reviews of local businesses in the UK, Ireland, and beyond and is probably one of the most prolific Yelp reviewers in Northern Ireland. He included some ethical considerations in three of his recent reviews. So I’ll devote the rest of this post to some excerpts from those reviews.

Pret A Manger – Manchester Airport

Pret food is handmade in their shop kitchens throughout the day and anything they don’t sell, goes to charity. Their coffee is 100% organic and they have a Coffee Fund to support the next generation of farmers. Their teas, milks and milk alternatives are also organic.

They have produced their first Environment, Social and Governance report that sits on their website. They say that they are committed to publishing future reports to track sustainability progress over the years to come.

They have had a zero landfill policy for all their managed UK shops since 2012 and customers have been able to recycle bottles and cans in shops since 2007.

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in the USA has developed the only 100% Organic and Shade Grown coffee certification in the world called Bird Friendly Certification with the noble aim that every bean is produced organically and under high-quality shade, ensuring tropical “agroforests” are preserved and migratory birds find a healthy haven when they travel from northern climes to those faraway farms producing the beans – who can’t support them?

With widespread clear cutting for sun coffee plantations, it’s imperative to protect the tropical forest that remains and rehabilitate degraded ecosystems for our kids and grandkids.

Common Ground, Altrincham

The manager offered to make fresh coffees and kindly explained about the quality of their coffee, supplied by Dark Woods Coffee and suggested this coffee ain’t Costa – I do agree. They are top notch on the environmental and social impact and certified B Corp – 5 green stars here. When tasting think terroir, varietals and process.

I had the chestnut & wild mushrooms with garlic & herbs on organic sourdough supplied by an artisan maker. This dish was well balanced, delicious and a decent portion.

Above: George’s photos from Common Ground in Altrincham (south of Manchester). Left: a poster for WakeCup – a reusable cup program in the UK. Right: chestnut & wild mushrooms with garlic & herbs on organic sourdough.

Dave’s Deli – Ballina, Ireland

He deserves at least 3 green stars. His coffee is shade grown and bird friendly, all his food is fresh made to order, and importantly, is locally sourced, he uses paper bags and his cups are corrugated paper. He has plastic cup lids but it’s up to customers to decide to take a lid. I didn’t.

We all need to be more astute to ethical issues and strive to become ethical consumers, after all the earth is our only home and it ain’t recyclable so we do need to start to think green star values as much as we do when deciding stars to award in our reviews.

George’s flat white from Dave’s Deli in Ballina.

Win a subscription to Ethical Consumer

If you’d like to enter during August, all you need to do is to write a review of any product or local business and include an ethical rating. This should be a score on a scale of 0 to 5 Green Stars (in half-star increments) that represents your rating for social and environmental impact.

Once again, the prize for this contest is a one-year subscription to Ethical Consumer, a UK nonprofit organization that guides readers on ethical issues. See my previous competition post for some background on Ethical Consumer. There’s also a discount code in that post if you’d like to support Ethical Consumer by subscribing. I’ll announce a winner for the competition in early September, so get going!

Congrats again, George, and thanks for joining this movement at this crucial time in our planetary history.

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