7 tips for becoming an ethical shopper

FILE - In this July 9, 2018 photo a "USDA Organic" label is printed on the label of a pound of ground beef, in Walpole, Mass. Labels such as “Fair Trade Certified ” or “USDA Organic” signify that a product’s supply chain has gone through some level of vetting. However, standards can vary widely.

Sustainability, labor conditions, politics and other issues prevalent in the news have left many consumers wondering how to be socially responsible. For some, this seems like an impossible task.

"Trying to create a perfect world or be a perfect consumer is not at all realistic," says Dr. Ellis Jones, author of "The Better World Shopping Guide" and assistant professor of sociology at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. "We just have to try our best to practice and get better at navigating this so that collectively, our dollars start moving things in the right direction."

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