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Ethical Consumer Week 2021 - Closing the Climate Gap Summary by Sabeena Z Ahmed

Ethical Consumer Week 2021 - Closing the Climate Gap Summary by Sabeena Z Ahmed

Ethical Consumer Week 2021

Closing the Climate Gap 

For the second year I attended the virtual Ethical Consumer Conference 2021.

This years theme was closing the climate gap.

Here is my summary of some of the sessions I attended.

I have decided to include the sessions that were relevant to me and had the most impact and were informative, engaging and fun.

The conference began Saturday 16th October and concluded Friday 22nd October 2021.

Hashtag for the week was #ECweek2021.


Addressing the Climate Gap in Our Homes

Saturday 16th October 2021

The session was recorded.

This was the second session of the week I attended.

Addressing the Climate Gap in Our Homes was presented by Charlie Baker of Red Coop and Nadia Smith of South East London Community Energy.

Both Charlie and Nadia were passionate about  incredibly knowledgeable about their work.

I enjoyed the session and learnt about what little changes I can make as a home owner to reduce my energy consumption, valuable information about building retrofits and how to finance a retrofit as a homeowner or landlord.

WHAT I LEARNT: The purpose of the session was to inform participants about building retrofits, reducing energy, services, ventilation, energy storage, heat pumps, cost of pumps and how to finance a retrofit as a homeowner or landlord.

ACTION: What actions I will take?

I will definitely take more time to visit the Red Coop website and local community energy groups in Manchester.

LINKS: I will also try to learn more about RED COOP and South East London Community Energy.




 Electric Vehicles, Car Clubs the myths and the facts

Sunday 17th October 

I'm not sure if the Derwent Valley Car Club recorded this session. 

My knowledge of Electric Vehicles was non existent.

The hosts Derwent Valley Car club were friendly and incredibly knowledgeable.

Each and everyone member of the team had a passion to reduce consumption of petrol and diesel cars and increase the use of electric cars by establishing car clubs run and owned by members.

The café held sewing workshops, workshops for refugees and asylum seekers, organic dye workshops, supported the seed library at Lancaster Library and held events in support of Fashion Revolution. 

WHAT I LEARNT: The benefits of electric cars are, cost effectiveness, reduced harmful gases, cheaper to maintain, reduced noise pollution, energy independent.

It was inspiring to learn about the Derwent Valley Car Club and the positive economic, social, environmental factors.

ACTION: I hope to contact to learn more about car club and will visit the Derwent Valley Facebook page.

LINKS: Here is the link to the Derwent Valley Car Club



Pacari Chocolate Partner Session

Monday 18th October

I don't know if this session was recorded by the Ethical Consumer team.

This was a educational and informative session.

WHAT I LEARNT: Pacari means 'Nature.'

I was amazed to learn how the Pacari team work intimately with all the 4000 farmers and cooperatives in Equador especially those indigenous groups who still use traditional farming methods.

Ethical Consumer magazine UK have accredited Pacari Chocolates as the most ethical chocolate company in the UK.

ACTION: I have been meaning to purchase more Pacari chocolate and will order a gift box soon.

When I'm feeling better and the pandemic is under control I hope to actively participate and learn how to visit farmers as part of eco tourism in Ecuador.

LINK: Pacari


 Ethical Clothing Session

Tuesday 19th October

Participants weren't told if the session was recorded.

This was a educational and informative session.

WHAT I LEARNT: It was disheartening to learn from Mr Khalid Mahmood, Director of the Labour Education Foundation that garment workers earn a mere 119 dollars per month in Pakistan.

Sadly, garment workers in Pakistan live in poverty and never receive any profits from multi national brands. Their working conditions are very poor, and they are prohibited from joining trade unions.

Mr Mahmood said he does not receive any support from the Pakistani Diaspora and would like to see more individuals talking to their politicians to establish conversations about fast fashion, slow fashion, garment worker rights and fair wages/conditions.

ACTION: I hope to email Mr Khalid and ask him to think about joining the World Fair Trade Organization.

When I'm feeling better I would love to visit him and the Labour Education Foundation, Pakistan

LINK: Article: Garment Workers Cannot Foot The Bill For The Pandemic



Why should I bother? The case for individual action on climate change – even when big business and governments are dragging their feet

Wednesday 20th October

  Credit and Source: Ethical Consumer UK

This session was recorded and was hosted Georgina of Pebble Magazine, Rae Ritchie Economist and author Jen Gale.

The ladies talked for two hours and discussed the following issues.

Insulating your home, reducing energy consumption, carbon footprint, switching energy supplier is not viable right now, bank policies regarding fossil fuels investments, A Library of Things, A Repair Cafe.

Getting rid of single use plastic, food waste and insulating the home for winter.

Litter, recycling, plastic pollution. Taking pride in where you live.

Insulate yourself, cardigans and jumpers.

Heat pumps will not work if your home is not well insulated.

I have to agree with a participant called Tina who wrote.

'I'd say, a lot of the things we buy are manufactured in China, so really China's emissions are partly ours!'

Eco anxiety, eco rage, guilt, frustration, recognise and acknowledge them.

WHAT I LEARNT: I thought I was the only one who struggled with climate anxiety.

Jen Gale struggles with it too!

ADVICE: Throw your wait around an issue you feel passionate about.

ACTION: I hope to read the chat and visit all the websites other participants posted during the session.

I have participated in the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label for the past 9 years.

I have also participated in Plastic Free July and Zero Waste Week for the past three years and hope to encourage more family and friends to rethink their carbon footprint.

LINKS: Bank Green

https://bank.green/ -



 Communities V Climate Change

Friday 22nd October

 Credit and Source: Ethex

This was an informative session hosted by Lisa Ashford, CEO of ethical investing platform Ethex, with Rose Marley, CEO of Co-ops UK.

WHAT I LEARNT: I learnt about different community projects taking grassroots action against climate change.

In particular it was very interesting to learn about the Bridport Co Housing project near Bournemouth. I'd never heard about the UK's biggest co housing project designed for local people. It is 53 sustainable affordable eco homes to buy and rent.

ACTION: Read more about retrofitting homes and Ethex.

Write to Ethex and ask if any faith groups are involved in his work.

LINKS: Ethex


Finding a way out of climate confusion

Friday 22nd October 

This session was not recorded

WHAT I LEARNT: This was one of the most interactive and last sessions of the week I attended.

Climate anxiety is real but having conversations about the planet and how we are the change can help and motivate us to make better choices.

It was a small group of 6 participants and we were asked to work in pairs listen and hear each others thoughts/opinions.

Caroline Pakel was friendly, a great listener and presented the session in a structured format.

ACTION: Tomorrow I will eat healthy foods.

Next week I will apply for the Sky Blue Programme 2021 

Next month I will attend the Asian Bridal Show 2021 and research what brands are supporting the circular economy.

I also hope I can complete my very own wheel of change.

LINK: Caroline Pakel


Many thanks to all the guest speakers and the Ethical Consumer team.

I look forward to Ethical Consumer Week 2022.




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