7 Practical Ways To Live Ethically In 2019
Before I start this, I just want to make it abundantly clear that none of this coming from a place of condescension or judgement. I completely understand that not all of these are viable options for everyone - some of them might not even apply to you. As I said in my last post, I totally trust people to know their own limits and I'm not attempting to guilt anyone, especially not people who aren't in a position to make changes to their lifestyle. This list is simply my ideas and suggestions, here for your consideration. If this list is helpful, great! If not, I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. I, of course, encourage you to take anything I say with a pinch of salt, because I’m well aware I don’t have all the answers. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's go!
1. Buy cruelty-free makeup
Despite the fact that it is entirely possible to make and sell cruelty-free makeup, many major beauty brands such as Maybelline, L'Oreal, and countless others still test on animals. I for one don't want to support any brands that condone testing on animals, and if you feel the same then you should consider switching to alternative, cruelty-free brands. There are lots of affordable cruelty-free brands available in the UK and worldwide; some of them might surprise you! My favourites are Makeup Revolution and NYX. Here are some resources for finding out if a brand is cruelty-free or not - but when in doubt, google!
Also, handy tip: the Superdrug website gives you the ability to refine searches to only include Vegan products.
2. Reduce your animal product consumption
I'm sure we've all heard of vegetarianism and veganism by now, but the idea of only eating plants for the rest of your life sounds pretty boring, right? The good news is that firstly, that's not at all the reality of a veggie/vegan diet (and there are actually tons of foods you didn't even realise were vegan, including junk foods) but, secondly, it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing type of thing. Any change you make involving your consumption of animal products is better than nothing. The animal product industry is bad not only for the wellbeing of the animals themselves, but it is also a massive contributing factor to global warming. You don't need to cut out animal products entirely, you can just start with small things like not buying/buying less of things like chocolate, takeaways, and general junk foods.
3. Use reusable menstrual products
This one might sound really gross, but I promise it's not as bad as it sounds. Not only is it way better for the planet but it can save you a lot of money too! You can get reusable tampon replacements like Mooncup, or you can get reusable cloth pads. You can mix and match between reusable and one-use products depending on your flow, use cloth pads in place of panty liners, etc. There are lots of options for reusable menstrual products so do some research to see if there's any that will suit your needs - but don't feel bad if you don't think it will work for you.
4. Buy more clothes secondhand
Buying secondhand is way more cost effective, and better for the environment too! It can definitely be more time consuming though, and there are certain things you can't buy secondhand such as underwear, so it isn't always an option for the essentials. But if you're ever in a position where you have some time to browse through charity shops, or even scroll through Depop or eBay on your phone, I would definitely encourage it.
5. Buy from ethical brands when possible
Shopping ethically can be more difficult, I know. It can be more expensive and often involves ordering stuff online instead of going out to a shop, which is a massive inconvenience for a lot of people. So I want to emphasise the "when possible" part of this. Any time you're shopping for non-essentials of any kind, maybe just take a minute to check out your buying options and see if there's a more ethical brand you could be supporting instead. Here are some resources that might help with:
Finding ethical products
6. Use social media to support causes you care about
If you don't have any spare money or time to give, you can always keep up with charities and/or organisations on social media and share their posts to get the word out. Spreading the word about important causes is a very underrated way of doing good, and you could be the reason someone learns about a charity they're able to support. You can also take the time to sign online petitions, and share people's crowd-funding pages.
7. Be vocal about your support of groups who face oppression
Standing up for the rights of the LGBT community, people of colour, or disabled people like myself, can again be as simple as sharing a post on social media, or calling someone out for making a hateful "joke". Just make your view known. Speak out about it. Amplify the voices of people who are a part of these communities, and ask what you can do to help and support them. Whatever you do, don't stay quiet about how you feel; people not having the courage to be vocal about these issues is what fuels oppression. Although, of course, I would not encourage anyone to do this if it poses a risk to their safety and wellbeing.
Ethics can take many different forms, and is a far broader concept than just what I've covered in this blog post. I wanted to stick to my promise of 'practical' suggestions for this list, but living ethically can mean a lot of different things. It can mean respecting when somebody asks you to use gender-neutral pronouns for them, or refraining from 'slut-shaming'. It can mean listening when someone tells you that your way of living ethically (i.e. veganism, relying on public transport, etc) isn't a viable option for them. It can simply mean understanding that we each have our own limited world-view that, no matter how much we educate ourselves, will never actually reflect the human experience as a whole. I think that ultimately, as long as we remain open-minded, willing to learn and evolve our opinions, and willing to speak out when we see injustice, then the world is headed in the right direction.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed. As always I invite any responses and would love to hear your thoughts on what I've written about. Before I go I just want to say a huge thank you to anyone who has kept up with my blog despite my erratic work flow! I'm aiming to do more writing this year so, if that works out, I should be posting more regularly. We'll see. I actually currently have about 6 unfinished posts that I haven't been able to find the motivation, energy, or inspiration to finish. Hopefully that changes soon! I hope you've all had a very merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and a happy new year. I wish you all the best for 2019.