Spiral Garden is a family-run, Tasmanian-based online retail business, specialising in environmentally-friendly toys, quality art and craft supplies, and inspiring gifts made from renewable materials. We also supply a large range of books about home education, Steiner education, unschooling, natural parenting, and gardening. We are constantly seeking and sourcing new and interesting products for our store. Our emphasis is on quality products that are made with love and care for the environment, hence our motto “play, nature’s way”.
Global Footprint Rating
At Spiral Garden we love to supply quality products that are made ethically, and with special care for the environment. We support products that will decompose at the end of their life, and not add to toxic landfill.
We are also mindful of the potential impacts of long travel distance impacting on the ecological footprint of our purchases and so try source as local to Tasmania as possible, unless quality equivalent products only occur further afield. We also prefer to buy directly from the maker to support stay-at-home-mums and small businesses. For us, these factors contribute to the global footprint of a product.
We also want you to know about each item’s global footprint. So, to help you in your shopping, we have provided a simple set of stared-ratings at bottom of each item’s description:
(★★★) - Product made under fair trade practices (if from a developing nation), otherwise production is known by us to be ethical, based on our supplier information.
(★★☆) - Production conditions not publicly stated or known to us, but believed to be fair.
(★☆☆) - Production conditions may be unfair based on information available to us, or completely unknown.
(★★★) - Product composed largely or wholly of renewable ingredients (including post-consumer waste products, or completely recycled or upcycled products).
(★★☆) - Product composed of a fairly even mix of natural ingredients and non-renewable or unspecified ingredients.
(★☆☆) - Product composed largely or wholly of non-renewable or unspecified ingredients.
(★★★) - Product made in Tasmania.
(★★☆) - Product made in Australia, but outside of Tasmania.
(★☆☆) - Product made overseas.
(★★★) - Product made by us or bought by us directly from the maker.
(★★☆) - Product bought one-step-removed from maker (e.g bought by us from a distributor).
(★☆☆) - Product bought more than one-step-removed from maker (bought by us through a retail chain).
We have not added scores for each rating type because we feel that hides the specific pros and cons of each item.
Please note that this rating system was devised by Spiral Garden and reflects our opinions only. We have tried to score items to the best of our knowledge, but if you think you have spotted an obvious error, feel free to let us know, with supporting information. Remember, the intent of our global footprint ratings is to inform customers and advocate more ethical and environmentally conscious retail practices. We understand that ecological footprint accounting is a complex and developing science, and that our ratings tell only part of the story of each item's global footprint. We hope you find our measures useful nonetheless.
Regards, Oberon and Lauren.
Last updated: August 7th 2012.