5 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD UNDERSTAND ABOUT AN ETHICAL LIFESTYLE - An ethical lifestyle is a way of living that looks at the decisions that we make and considers whether anyone or anything is impacted in a negative way because of our choices. Living more ethically could be as simple as choosing cruelty-free products so that animals aren't harmed for your benefit, shopping locally to reduce your carbon footprint, or going paperless as much as you can to reduce your impact on the environment. We've made a list of five things everyone should understand about an ethical lifestyle to help demonstrate how achievable it is to live in a better way.
1. IT TAKES RESEARCH
Unfortunately, the harm is found in many places where we wouldn't expect it. Many of us try to make the right decisions, especially when it comes to our purchases, only to find out down the line that there was harm involved. Let's look at coconuts, for example. Many vegans turn to coconut milk as a replacement for dairy, believing they are doing the right thing according to their ethics. Then a news story comes out claiming that monkeys are being abused in the harvesting of many of the coconuts we consume. All of a sudden consuming coconuts no longer meets the ethical requirements of a vegan lifestyle, highlighting the importance of research in ensuring all decisions made are ethical.
2. BRANDS ARE MAKING IT EASIER
Many brands are getting behind the movement towards living more ethically. ASOS, for instance, is leading the way when it comes to human rights. They ensure that all their staffs are fully educated in spotting the signs of human slavery, so they can be sure that the products they supply aren't tainted by the slave market. We need to support these types of initiatives because brands have the power to really stamp out such harmful practices.
3. SOME WORK HAS BEEN DONE FOR YOU
Much of the research has already been done for you if you know what to look for when you are out shopping. For example, if you look for the Leaping Bunny Logo, you know that a product you are purchasing is cruelty-free. Not only that, but you also know that the company who manufactured the product is not involved in animal cruelty in any way. Fair-trade products are also ethically sound because they support lower-paid workers in developing countries and also promote sustainability. Support these movements where you can because it allows them to keep up the good work that they have already done.
4. IT COULD SAVE YOU MONEY
Living ethically is also about trying not to over-consume. It's about ensuring that we don't contribute towards landfill unnecessarily. This means being careful about each and every purchase that you make. Don't just think about where it has come from and whether there has been the harm in its production, also think about whether you actually need it. If it's not essential, or you could borrow something elsewhere, don't buy it. Shopping ethically could certainly save you money, too.
5. IT’S NOT ABOUT PERFECTION
Living an ethical lifestyle is about doing what you can; it's not about being virtuous. You will make mistakes, and there may be times when not being prepared might mean that you have to make a purchase that you are not entirely happy with ethically. Remember not to be too hard on yourself. Every effort that you make to live ethically has a positive impact on the world - every little bit of help.