Gift shoppers urged to adopt ‘PSR’ policy

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, are big buzz words in the business world, but one company believes all of us should be following the example in our own lives.

UK charity Healthy Planet has come up with the novel concept of ‘personal social responsibility’, or PSR, where people are encouraged to look at the economic, social and environmental impact of their own everyday activities and hold themselves accountable for their actions.

The company allows people to “adopt” a plot of land for themselves or as a gift from one of more than 77,000 conservation parks, including rainforests, mountain peaks and nature reserves.

After adoption, the sponsors – known as Land Guardians – can take part in online forums having their say in how their money should be spent, and creating an online plaque which others can view on Google Earth.

Healthy Planet co-founder Shaylesh Patel, who has two children, said the idea was inspired by a report that said today’s children would have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

“It’s about asking what we are doing to make sure we are sustaining our planet for future generations,” he told edie.

“We wanted to do it in a fun way. If you are going to spend money at Christmas or on gifts, why not spend it on something a bit better for the planet?

“This way, you get the experience of being rewarded and recognised for that.”

He added: “Even if we get a small proportion of the gift market and divert it to parks around the world that can really make a big difference.”

The charity, which works in association with the United Nations Environment Programme, said more than 90% of the money spent goes straight to the parks, with the rest being used to cover administrative costs.

Although the initiative has some similarities to carbon offsetting schemes, Mr Patel said the charity made a conscious decision to steer clear of offsetting because of the uncertainties surrounding the voluntary offsetting industry.

Kate Martin

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