Now that we’re -finally- settled into our new home, there’s finally space in my brain to move forward with making different aspects of our life more in phase with our personal ethics.
Truth be told, making ethically-proofed consumer choices is no easy task.
There’s so much to consider. So many fronts to fight on. And once you start digging, it seems like the list gets longer and longer. Because the thing is, sustainability is a complicated thing and reconsidering an entire lifestyle isn’t easy in any way.
So this whole ethical consumer journey of mine might well end up being a lifetime project sort of thing.
Which doesn’t mean I (and you) can’t start doing smart, small changes right now to improve our ethical footprint and make a big difference to the environment, animals and other people.
Here’s what I’m starting with:
Reducing household waste
Top of my list of things I want to make a significant change about is reducing the amount of household waste we send to landfill by at least half.
1. Pay attention to what goes into the rubbish bin.
The first step to reduce household waste is to figure out what actually makes its way into my rubbish bin.
So for the past week or so, I’ve been paying extra attention to what I put inthere. And the results are in: half of it is food waste (fruit & veg peelings, bones, tea leaves…), the other half is non-recyclable packaging (with a few other bits such as paper tissues and other personal care bits thrown in as well).
This was an easy step to take and yet a very important one. Finding out what you’re throwing away will allow you to single out what next step makes sense for you on your rubbish-reduction journey.
2. Check how your local council can help with recycling.
From recycling bins, compost boxes and collection services and more, most local councils offer free or low-cost solutions to help you reduce your household waste. So find out what recyclable materials can be collected from your kerbside.
As far as I’m concerned, that means a shiny new recycling box is on my way, as well as a food waste caddy so those items can be upcycled & composted instead of ging to landfill.
3. Buy fruit & vegetables at the market or greengrocers.
One – it’s much cheaper to do so than to buy those items from the supermarket anyways. Two – Fruit & veg have absolutely no need to be kept in those little, non-recyclable plastic wrapper things. Three – You’ll be supporting people instead of corporations.
Win, win, win.
4. Start using non-disposable feminin hygiene products.
Now, this one terrifies me, but here it is: I, tampons no.1 supporter, am thinking of switching to a mooncup. Good luck wishes and advice welcome.
5. Walk, cycle, sleep, repeat.
If you know me, you know I’m not the biggest fan of cycling bikes. And yet, for about 2 months now, they’ve been my main means of transport!
It saves me a lot of time (not having to wait for the bus is an absolute game-changer) and money (£90/year to use the Santander bikes whenever you want you guys!), it helps me feel healthier AND I’m having a near-zero carbon footprint.
Fair to say I’m LOVING it sofar!
Making my purchases count
6. Switch to cruelty free beauty
There are now excellent alternative to animal testing (and the cruelty-free certification is a free one), so companies have absolutely no reason not to keep outdated and cruel practices going.
That’s why I’m slowing switching to cruelty free beauty and personal care items, following this simple rule: whenever I finish something, I’ll replace it with a cruelty free alternative.
7. Keep reducing how much of my groceries come from supermarkets.
I’ve talked about it before – reducing my reliance on supermarkets has been an ongoing goal of mine for a while now, and it’s still going strong today.
I do most of my grocery shopping via Farmdrop, with a few visits to local markets and food stores when I’m after something specific. It does take a bit of getting used to (the opening hours aren’t quite as convenient as traditional supermarkets). But in the end, it is quite manageable. And a small price to pay to have access to fresh, local (and not too over-packaged) ingredients and support small producers instead of big corporations.
What ethical considerations affect your consumer choices? What steps are you taking to make things change?