What does Ethical even mean?
Ethical means different things to different people.
For me personally, it means having a positive impact by understanding more about the choices we make. I am particularly interested in the choices we make as consumers. By making more thoughtful choices the negative impact on the environment will be less. Everything is connected in some way so these conscious choices include ones that do not negatively affect others too, not just humans. Ultimately through making these choices there may be a more positive outcome for all.
I wasn’t always mindful of such matters.
I’m in my 40s with a husband and four children (two sets of twins by the way!) and prior to children I was less conscious of my choices. I’d go as far to say that having children has changed everything for me and is the reason I am on this path today. I don’t want the world now or in the future to be anything less than safe and happy for them.
Before motherhood, I worked in London and didn’t give too much thought to health (other than going to the gym). I was very much raised as an omnivore and would never have questioned the ethics behind eating animal produce or really where the food I consumed came from - I just enjoyed eating it. Nor would I have thought too much about ingredients such as palm oil causing deforestation.
As a fairly minimal cosmetic and skincare consumer I would still have purchased perfumes, bath products, deodorants, moisturisers, lipsticks etc and would have assumed that they were safe to use and also be cruelty free.
I know now that just because something is available to buy doesn’t mean it is good for the body or that it hasn’t been tested on animals. I wouldn’t have considered the impact of the ingredients on the environment or even where the packaging may end up.
I certainly wouldn’t have questioned where my clothing was made or by whom and would go as far to say that being mindful of waste or landfill just wasn’t on the radar. Positively, I was always interested in second hand both for clothing and home but at that time it was more about finding a bargain and saving money than anything else.
Be More Earth Conscious 2017
The reality of being more Ethical or being more Earth Conscious still comes down to survival in it’s day to day form and doing what you can - not everyone’s circumstances are the same. It’s about awareness and a willingness to learn and then decide for yourself. I am still deciding myself on heaps of stuff. I don’t feel the preachy approach is a positive one if you really want to bring about change.
In 2017 I am basically a Vegetarian and am choosing a plant based wholefood diet as the best way forward for personal health and the planet. I may well fall off the Vegetarian Wagon from time to time, we shall see. I do not drink milk but I do like Cheese although am openly in pursuit of giving that up too. Cheese sandwiches are an easy lunch to grab if buying on the fly but I’m not pleased by the things I read reference the Dairy Industry.
It is unlikely at this stage I would become Vegan as I eat Eggs (less now we don’t have easy access to hens that have been lovingly kept by neighbours) and I use Honey when I have a sore throat - tried and tested medicinal purposes over many years. And, of course, we use Beeswax in our natural deodorant range (not the vegan friendly range obviously!)
Ethical choices including Eco Friendly, Organic, Natural choices are thought to be more expensive and often each purchase will be compared to other perhaps less ethical choices. It does seem a little twisted that things that are better for us should cost more but the saving is in other more important areas.
Thing is, if you don’t have the spondoolicks in the first place you can’t make the purchase! Taking small steps, making and changing choices one step at a time is in my opinion the way to go. This is how I continue my own personal endeavours.
Speaking from a business perspective, it seems reasonable to me that part of our duty as trying to be ethical is that our natural products are affordable and accessible to everyone not just those with more disposable income. If you want to bring about change then people need to be able to get on board.
The ethical learning process continues and the road to a greener & healthier lifestyle continues. Small steps, do what you can when you can, be a little more Earth Conscious each day and hopefully have a positive impact.