Taking Action Personally
Follow the trail
Think Global, Act Local; Making the Personal Political (or is it the other way round?) and other such slogans. Many people involved in the voluntary sector aren't just interested in their own organisation's issues, but 'doing things' on a wider basis. So here are some web sites which could give you ideas on what you can do personally. This is something of an 'as we come across it' list, so please contribute too!
Of course, many of the charity web sites listed elsewhere on VR will have suggestions of actions to take personally - try Areas Of Concern intro page.
Taking Action as an organisation: check out Lobbying page, amongst others.
Register as an organ donor - use info on British Organ Donor Society website.
Use your resources wisely
Be an Ethical Consumer
- Visit the magazine of that name, or Get Ethical, from Big Issue/Red Pepper mags.
- GreenChoices guide to ethical goods and products from an environmental perspective.
- British Association for Fair Trade Shops to find shops near you.
- Ethical Junction has an ethical shopping mall, although we have heard noises from companies being hassled to advertise.
- Out of this World has a Natural Collection mail-order catalogue as well as stores in Cheltenham, Nottingham and Newcastle upon Tyne.
- Visit Oxfam's Trade campaign (taken over from MakeTradeFair?) to learn more about the issues and take action.
Specific consumer issues
- Clean Clothes Campaigns
aim at improving working conditions in the garment industry, world-wide.
- Ethical pension funds From July 2000, pension fund trustees are required by law to state if and how they incorporate social, environmental and ethical considerations in their investment policies. Amnesty International UK has a free advice pack Pensions: Protecting your future... and theirs?.
- Breakdown services from a responsible motoring organisation, Environmental Transport Association.
See our Social Economy links section for alternatives ways of trading services and goods. Ethical investments: see our Resource Extra which focuses on facilities for organisations, but many of the links will be relevant for individuals too. Also try Ethical Money.
Use a Social Firm, 'a business created for the employment of people with a disability, or other disadvantage on the labour market'.
Reduce energy consumption - go to the Energy Saving Trust.
Sustainable/responsible timber extraction: Forest Stewardship Council. Climate Care takes the global warming out of your consumption by calculating the CO2 cost and uses this to fund projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency or forest restoration. Reduce the impact of car use through a car club.
Tourism Concern Sustainable tourism etc. Centre for Environmentally Responsible Tourism (CERT) signs up Tour Operator Members but web site disappeared, Sept 05.
Don't buy endangered species products when travelling abroad - CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).
Visit Global Ideas Bank for others suggestions on how to improve the world, or add your own.
Change your life
Reduce your demands on the Earth's resources, and improve your life, by looking at alternative ways of working links on our Employment Issues page. Resurgence is a magazine worth looking at, if a bit spiritual for some.
Volunteer for causes you believe in - see our Volunteer Opportunities page for a range of agencies and options.
Wrongdoing at Work - get advice on whistleblowing from Public Concern at Work.
Our Areas of Concern front page Find an issue which you identify with, and follow it up.
You want to take action against shoddy dealings? Check our regulatory bodies page for where to start with a complaint.
We prefer not to repeat info easily available elsewhere, so check out the All About Giving site for stuff on tax effective giving.
ShareGift is for those with small shareholdings not worth trading in - donate to charity instead. They can arrange larger donations of shares too.
(Initial list for this page came from Guardian Weekend, Jan 2000.)