This is where people purchase or participate in goods or services which attempt to replace existing ones with something designed to be 'friendlier' and less damaging to ecosystems and natural planetary defences

This is a development of green consumerism which considers a variety of wider issues than just a product's green credentials, such as whether or not the manufacturer invests in the arms trade or has supported oppressive regimes. Through a comprehensive monitoring of the behaviour of modern business, ethical consumerism aims to encourage trade to be as responsible as is possible within the current economic system.

however, challenges many of the assumptions about what is needed in contemporary society. Taking the view that the rich nations of the world are fundamentally damaging the planet and themselves in the pursuit of material acquisition, it raises the question, "How much is enough?" Rather than just buying green or ethically-produced goods, different ways of living, trading and working are advocated in order to 'live more lightly' on the Earth and be less dependent on buying things to feel good about ourselves.

[Global Excess] "...many developing countries
at the Earth Summit in Rio
described northern nations,
which pressurised developing
countries into protecting their
rainforests and other habitats
without addressing northern
levels of consumption, as
'green imperialists'"
Ethical Consumer, issue 27

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