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The meaning of green!

I have seen and heard the word “green” in so many conversations. It has so many different meanings that I thought it was time to tell you what “green” really meant to me and La French Maison.

Numéro 1: C’est “green” when it is good for the environment! Voilà!

It is probably its most universal meaning in today’s society. Green as in something that brings more good than bad to our planet. Something that is green is something that leads to a solution instead of simply fulfilling a desire to buy, use and discard.

A green item will have been manufactured with the environment in mind. For La French Maison, something is “green” because one way or another it has that “ earth-friendly” factor. It can be because of its packaging , its natural ingredients or simply because it has been made by a small artisan instead of a multi-million pound manufacturer. As long as there is a clear effort to reconcile humans with nature,  we believe that it is “green”.

Numéro 2: “Green” as in organic.

No doubt that these two terms are intertwined. They have a close relationship and they usually “dance with each other” during conversations. (I am French, I cannot help myself and I have to make metaphors when I write…je m’excuse!).

The term organic has become a big thing in the UK in the last 5 years.  According to the Soil Association and their 2020 Organic Market Report, the organic market grew by 4.5 percent in 2019 and will keep growing.

One thing that amazes me is the evolution of the concept of organic. Nowadays, not only does it apply to vegetables and meat, but it also refers to cosmetics, fashion, farming or even forestry. Even though some people still doubt the authenticity and reliability of an organic certification, to me it is certainly better than no certification at all.

Of course, being labelled organic does not make up for everything. Other factors such as packaging, country of origin or price have to be taken into account, but La French Maison gives a significant level of importance and credibility to organic labels.

We are convinced that supporting small farmers, artisans or manufacturers that carry an organic label is the way forward. However, we also acknowledge the fact that it cannot be a strict rule. Getting an organic label requires a certain level of financial investment that small producers cannot necessarily afford. In some cases, the requirements from the organic certification body are too strict for the artisan and it would take away the authenticity of the product. For that reason, we thoroughly select our suppliers to make sure that one way or another they are doing something good for the planet and for the community.

Numéro 3: “Green” as in healthy. Oui! Of course!

Voilà another universal meaning of the word green. If it is green, then it is good for your body. I am truly convinced that eating “green” is healthier than not. While not everyone can afford to eat a hundred percent “green”, me included, I make every effort to buy organic whenever I can.

We live in a world where health has become a little bit of an obsession. Deviate from the path of health and you shall feel guilty for an entire week (at least). We are constantly bombarded with new ideas, new diets, or new workouts to be healthier and fitter. One easy way to be healthy is by consuming “green”: ie: organic, local, seasonal, and you get a bonus if you do it with the environment in mind. Happy body! Happy Conscience!

One thing that makes me feel happy and healthy is to go to local markets. I don’t always buy something, but it looks fresh and it smells nice. I can chat with my local farmer, he tells me which seasonal veg is best, he advises me on how to cook such and such, he knows his produce and he is proud of it. Listen closely to a farmer and he will tell you about his passion, his battle to compete with supermarkets and his worries for the future as a small producers. Their hard work brings value and authenticity to our table. It makes sense to buy from them.

Numéro 4: “Green” as in leading the way to a circular economy.

A circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy where you take, you make, and then you dispose. This alternative model keeps resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover or repurpose products at the end of their cycle. Its aim is to reduce waste and our endless use of resources. A circular economy is all about reusing, sharing, recycling, remanufacturing etc etc..This kind of system will allow us to make a better use of our resources.

While mentalities are changing and manufacturers are clearly starting to change their ways in order to be “green”. There is still a lot that needs to be done.

La French Maison wants to reconcile the different facets of the word “green”: one step at a time, one purchase at a time, one choice at a time.

Every “green” purchase you complete, is a way to show your commitment for a better tomorrow.

Every “green” intention is one step closer to a circular economy.

À bientôt,

La French Maison