How do we live—
by Siobhan Strode
It’s easy to feel like everything is out of our control, daunted, overwhelmed - especially when it comes to the huge task of saving the planet. Hasn’t the point of no return passed? Are we – as individuals – powerless to make a difference? Is it only the big companies changing their behaviours that can save us? The truth is there can be an element of truth in both.
And burying our heads, hoping the problem goes away or that someone else will deal with it simply isn’t a plan.
So, what can we do? We have choices. We have power as consumers, particularly – we can withdraw our custom from brands whose ethical credentials aren’t there, and we can support and promote those that are prioritising ethics and helping us on our way to a more sustainable way of living.
So here is a selection of companies doing some game-changing work for your perusal.
Green dental hygiene is a great place to start: you can say no to landfill by subscribing to a biodegradable toothbrush instead.
The Goodwell Company caught our eye with their ‘personal care with a purpose’ campaign. Frustrated by the billions of unrecyclable oral health care products piling up, they have created a range of dental care that allows their customers to “have the same quality of brushing equipment and products that they have become accustomed to whilst being 100% natural and sustainable”.
I use an electric toothbrush, so I am interested in their ‘Be’ - a snazzy wind up version that’s now on my Christmas list.
Tampon Tribe and OHNE are both on a mission to revolutionise periods by creating plastic and pesticide-free products so women have options. Both companies recognise the differing inequalities faced by women. On one side of the globe women face the challenge of a recognised, mainstream alternative option that doesn’t harm their health or the environment. Whilst on the other, women lack education, resources and access to sanitary protection. Both offer subscription services for their innovative products, and use part of their profits to support other women.
Unethical clothing has been on our minds a lot recently, not least because of brilliant documentaries like Stacey Dooley’s. We don’t want dirty fashion: sustainable processes are kinder to the environment. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter - after oil - and the impact on the people involved in the production process is too often detrimental. Here are two brands who are leading the way in sustainable fashion. People Tree have been leading the ethical way for nearly three decades with a beautiful organic clothing range and a commitment to putting their workers first.
Dungaree-heroes Lucy & Yak have recently installed solar panels on their factory roof in Rajasthan, so soon a large percentage of their products will be made using renewable energy.
Or explore the options vintage offers – read our article by Emma O’Leary, here.
Finally, the superb Anything But Plastic is on our radar and probably should be on yours too.
Philosophy student Jenny Dara wants to change the world and is leading by example by changing her own behaviours. She has set up a shop selling a range of plastic-free sponges, sun cream, toothpaste, Christmas wrapping tape and much more and for that we want to champion and support her.
Want to do more? You’ll find a wealth of ideas on how to live more sustainably at Trash is for Tossers. From how to recycle your old clothes (including your grotty pants) to what to do with your leftovers. It’s a great resource. Go have a peek
We’d love to hear what steps you’re taking to live more sustainably; did this piece inspire you to go further in your actions? Get in touch @abouttimesnews