Product review: “If You Care” environmentally responsible products

I wasn’t shopping for aluminum foil. But the packaging caught my eye…
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Smart. Simple. Low impact. And 100% recycled product. Very cool.

The box has a lengthy story of aluminum… Where it comes from, how it’s made, and why it is smart to choose this product… If You Care.

As for the quality of the product, it is a little bit thinner than some of the top name brands I’ve had before, but I think it will do the trick. (Curious about their products? Check them out at If you care.)

It cost $6.50 for 50 feet, whereas the non-recycled Alcan brand cost $3.50. Odd, isn’t it? The product that costs more in energy to produce is cheaper. This must be a symptom of the prodution chain and/or supply and demand curves. Maybe there isn’t a very plentifyl supply of recycled aluminum or a lot of competition for it? (Aluminum experts, please weigh in here.)

I wonder if there would be more demand for the recycled brand, and thus lower prices if more people knew about the lifecycle of aluminum.

You can watch a 2 minute video about the mining of Aluminum here.  You can learn a bit more about aluminum recycling here.

What is important to know, is that mining aluminum requires a lot of energy, and when 1/3 of bauxite is mined in Australia (the world’s top producer), which is largely powered by coal (~70% of electricity in Australia is from coal), this has significant greenhouse gas implications -nevermind the landscape destruction from the mines.

Maybe you’ve heard that Australia is considering a carbon tax – but don’t think that this will make the cheaper foil low-carbon. First, the tax policy is under heavy scruitinty. Second, the alumina industry is pretty certain the government isn’t going to ship jobs overseas to coal chugging China. Third, its going to take time for Australia to transition to a low-carbon/renewable energy society, especially at the rate they’re going.

When ticking those boxes on my shopping list, it’s pretty easy to focus on my objective and fill my basket at the least cost possible. But I care, and the educational packaging helps me to remember why.

To a new world waiting,

Heather

PS. What do you think? Would you make an effort to purchase the 100% recycled product even if it costs more?

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