Easy Little Ways To Lead A More Ethical Everyday Life
Investing for a better world.
So, we’ve all got a KeepCup after our environmentalist mate gave us one for Kris Kringle. But, beyond that, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to making ethical decisions around everyday things like banking, shopping, and simply getting around.
That’s why we’ve done the research and put together a list of subtle changes you can make in your day-to-day life to live a little more ethically. They might seem small, but if everyone got on board, they could drastically change the world.
Keen to do your part? Let’s get into it.
#1 Get Your Recycling Right
Should I be recycling my empty coffee cup? Do I need to wash out my tin cans before throwing them in the recycling bin? And what the heck do I do with plastic wrap?
Recycling can be confusing, without a doubt. But the good news is, the rules aren’t likely to change anytime soon. So, once you’ve committed them to memory, you can them use them for a good while. Here’s some easy ones to start:
- Common recyclables like plastic and metals really only need a quick rinse before you toss them into the relevant recycling bin.
- Soft plastics that don’t pop back into their original shape after you’ve scrunched them up go in the red bin.
- Hard plastics – that is, things that can’t be scrunched into a ball – go in the yellow bin.
- Coffee cups can’t be recycled because they have an insulating plastic lining. Yep. Who knew?
#2 Consider Sustainable Fashion
You’ve likely heard fast fashion isn’t that great for people or the planet. But did you know that, after the fossil fuel industry, the clothing industry is now the world’s second-largest polluter? Yep, your synthetic summer dresses and yoga pants are causing some serious harm.
So, what should you do about it? You need new clothes every now and then. We get it. But there are couple things you can do to minimise your contribution to the problem and ensure you’re getting your fashion fix. Two things you can start doing now are to:
- Build a capsule wardrobe with only 30 or less quality items like a work blazer, a well-fitting pair of jeans, and white collared shirt
- Buy second-hand at thrift shops or charity stores like Vinnies or the Salvos.
#3 Reduce Your Plastic Use
Let’s face it: we live in a plastic world. As much as we can try to cut back on our reliance on plastics, sometimes, it’s unavoidable. So, until the rest of the world wakes up to the drastic damage the material is doing to the environment, it’s up to us clued-up individuals to do our part. Try to:
- Always BYO reusable bags when you’re shopping for groceries
- Avoid buying fruits and veggies that are wrapped in plastic
- Invest in a reusable water bottle so you’re not constantly buying single-use water bottles
- Refuse to use straws
#4 Give Ethical Gifts
Want to encourage your loved ones to care about the environment without sounding like a nag? Next birthday or Christmas, consider giving them an ethical gift.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:
- A super-sleek travel mug, like this one from Black + Blum. It’ll keep their coffee warm for the morning commute and save a whole heap of non-recyclable single-use cups ending up in landfill.
- A pair of sunglasses, like these stylish frames from Oscar Wylee, who distribute a portion of their proceeds and donate glasses to vision-impaired people all over the globe.
- Sustainable, bamboo-made products like a toothbrush or bedding, like this sheet set.
- A plant-based cookbook like the Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking or the Oh She Glows Cookbook, so your loved ones can cook up a delicious feast without putting too much bad stuff into the atmosphere.
#5 Walk Or Take Public Transport
Everyone knows cars make a significant contribution to air pollution around the world, but it takes a visit to a really smoggy city like Shanghai or Mexico City to completely understand the impact.
Make a dent in the damage by ditching your car and opting to walk or take public transport more. Added bonuses: you’ll be getting some extra exercise and the chance to read that book you’ve been wanting to get into for months.
More often than not, though, a far-away destination does require a drive. If you are getting behind the wheel, remember to always stick to the speed limit. Sure, going over it is illegal, but by taking your foot off the accelerator you’ll be helping the environment and saving big bucks.
(Lead image: chuttersnap)
You could live the most sustainable lifestyle on the planet, but if your superannuation isn’t invested ethically, you could be missing out on a simple change to make a big difference.
Join Australian Ethical and make a difference today.