Having an ethical lifestyle seems like such a big change that it’s often difficult to know where to start. Whether it’s going vegan, vegetarian or just living a more sustainable life, treat this article as your starting point. I know it’s difficult to break your usual habits, but just know that becoming more ethical will definitely be worth it in the end.
1. Find reusable drink bottles and coffee cups.
Buying your daily coffee in a disposable coffee cup or regularly buying single-use water bottles can have a major impact on the amount of waste you create. Finding a good quality reusable water bottle and coffee cup will dramatically make your lifestyle more ethical. Some cafés even provide a discount if you bring your own coffee cup, so what have you got to lose?
2. Bring reusable bags to the supermarket.
Why use up multiple plastic bags in one trip to the supermarket when you can use reusable bags every time? Plastic bags pose a major threat for the aquatic life in our oceans, so making this switch is one of the most important points on this list.
3. Bring metal cutlery and straws with you.
When going out for lunch or dinner, reduce your waste by bringing your own cutlery and straws. Instead of using plastic utensils that will just be thrown out, there’s plenty of brands online to get a reusable set of your own.
4. Prepare your own meals to reduce waste.
When on your lunch break, you often don’t realise how much packaging is used for your lunch. When preparing your own meals and bringing them with you in a reusable container, you’ll instantly reduce the amount of plastic packaging you go through every day. And what’s better than enjoying food that you’ve made yourself?
5. Buy from ethical clothing brands.
Currently, the fast fashion industry is one of the most unethical industries. Fortunately, there is now a wide range of ethical, vegan and sustainable fashion brands selling high quality and on-trend garments for affordable prices. Ethical pieces are often of a higher quality and will last longer, so your wardrobe can thank me later.
6. Repair and recycle instead of going straight to the bin.
When we get holes in our clothing or simply don’t wear certain pieces anymore, we often turn to the bin, which is one of the most unethical things you can do. If possible, donate your old clothing to op shops or friends and family to give them a longer life. And if you’re really feeling creative, bring out your sewing materials and repair any holes or damage in your clothing to help it last longer.
7. Decrease your animal product intake.
Whether it’s going vegan, vegetarian or just slightly lowering the number of animal products you eat, it’s a step towards an ethical lifestyle. The animal product industry is full of animal cruelty and is a major pollutant to our environment, so cutting down is easy to lower your environmental footprint.
8. Avoid impulse buying.
We’re currently living in a highly consumerist and materialistic culture, and we buy way more than we need. If you see something that you like when shopping, don’t buy it right away. Walk away and realistically think about whether you need it and if you’ll actually use it. If you still like it, then buy it! An easy way to be more ethical is to make more thoughtful and considered purchases.
9. Switch to ethical and natural beauty products.
Just like the other industries I’ve mentioned, the beauty industry is full of animal cruelty and unsustainable practices. Luckily, there is now a wide range of ethical beauty brands to choose from. Whether it’s for makeup or skincare, you’ll find a natural brand that’s perfect for you and your budget. If they use sustainable packaging, even better!
10. Opt for a bamboo/recycled version.
Toilet paper, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, packaging and clothing all have a more sustainable version. Regardless if it’s made from bamboo or recycled materials, it’s way more sustainable than the original, and that’s better than nothing. It’s surprising how such a small change in your routine has such a large impact in your lifestyle right?