Hello! With Christmas on its way I’ve been thinking, as I do around this time every year, about consumerism and materialism… I’ve always been adverse to mass marketing and would always rather go my own way than follow the herd.
Luckily there is so much more choice out there now when shopping for products and services. People are more savvy than they’ve ever been. Increasingly we are caring more about the background of a company;
- Who owns it?
- Who runs it?
- What are their ethics? Do they align with mine?
So today I want to share with you my own ways of living more ethically, keeping my conscience clear and knowing I’m playing a part, however small, in trying to support the right companies, or ideas, and preserve the world we all share.
- Buying second hand. This is a huge thing for me for so many reasons. No- I don’t buy exclusively second hand- I admire those who do. But simply by reusing something that may have ended up in landfill is a significant help to the weight of stuff that does just get chucked. Be it from a junk shop, car boot sale, friends and family or vintage fair.
- Laundry- washing. Now you probably know we are a family of four and you can probably guess the amount of laundry that goes with that. I’ve used Ecozone Ecoballs for about five years now and they are brilliant. Initially I bought them when my eldest daughters eczema was flaring continually, we’ve never looked back. This saves us a small fortune in buying laundry detergent and fabric softener- we just don’t need it and I honestly think that pharmaceutical companies love the fact that so many of us are convinced are clothes aren’t clean unless they smell of their version of “spring day” or whatever the latest one is. Which brings me neatly onto…
- Laundry- drying. We don’t have a tumble dryer, I know that may shock some of you, and to be honest its taken me a while to get used to (we had one at the old house) and I’ve nearly given in to the temptation a couple of times. But, when the weather is fine the washing goes outside and dries on the line (voila- all natural fresh smell!) and if its not that time of year then it goes on the airier or the radiators. Again this saves us a huge amount of money as we simply aren’t using as much energy, and if the radiators are going on twice a day anyway it seems daft to me not to dry your washing on them.
- Financial. This is a work in progress for us, we have accounts with the major Banks, which lets face it aren’t known for their ethics! Due to the packages that we have though, we cant actually move anywhere yet. If we could though, perhaps in a couple of years, we’d be looking at someone like Triodos who are all about sustainability, renewable energy, community and are completely transparent about the companies they work with. This 60 second video explains what Triodos are about– impressive I know.
- I walk a lot. The school run is a biggy for me here. I see people who live closer to the school than we do and they are still driving then struggling for a space to park, then waiting in traffic to get away. I bet it would take them the same amount of time walking for, and its better for the environment and would keep them in shape!
What are the actions you take to try and live more ethically?
Triodos have actually teamed up with some of their partners to give you the chance to win some great prizes everyday for the next four weeks. If you enter before December 7th you could also win a weekend away care of the brilliant Canopy & Stars. Enter here.