The work Which? does, whether testing products or campaigning for change, doesn’t only protect consumers today, but has an impact on the future.
Impacts on the future are particularly true of the environment. When I started working here, buying a diesel car was seen as a smart move as it was cheaper to run, and better for the planet. Or so we thought.
But now we know the dangers of diesel and the VW emissions scandal further destroyed our trust in the fuel. Which? has had to work hard to make sure people hear the full story. The emergence of electric and hybrid cars has given extra choices to those trying to find the most environmentally friendly options.
I drive a diesel car because of the miles I cover, but I’m planning to go electric for my next car. That wasn’t even an option when I started here. Our latest research has tested what is really the best choice for you and the environment when selecting a new car, as well as what the most economical options are.
But it’s not just the big purchases such as cars that can have a significant environmental impact – the everyday items we buy can as well. Plastic and what to do with our used plastic containers has become a huge issue that most of us have to wrestle with on a daily basis.
Even if you do want to recycle the plastics you use, it isn’t always straightforward to find out which can be recycled – and even then it varies from one postcode to the next.
When judging products and developing our campaigns, understanding what tomorrow may bring can often pose the greatest challenge for Which? The world we live in is constantly changing, and so we have to keep rigorously questioning in order to make sure you can make the right choices… and not only for the short term.
It’s vital that we make informed decisions about what we buy today, because where the environment is concerned, tomorrow may be too late.
This contribution to Which? Conversation first appeared in the August 2018 edition of Which? Magazine (page 15: ‘Peter says’). We’d love to hear your views on on our buying choices, and the impact these products have on the environment – George.