With snazzy brands and jazzy products all around us, we are often too dazzled to give a thought to where these products come from, what they are made of, and where they end up after we are done with them. It may be possible that workers making those products are working in inhumane conditions and are underpaid. The manufacturing process might involve animal cruelty or felling of trees. The product itself might be non-biodegradable and hence harms the environment after we discard it.
In present times, it is very important to think of ways to be an ethical consumer. There certainly exist sustainable options for everything we consume.
Here is an easy-peasy guide to get you started with a life of ethical consumption.
Begin with Refusing – just say NO to stuff you don’t need
Then Reduce – try to cut down on your consumption as much as you can and whittle it down to what you can’t do without
And also Recycle – repurpose stuff for as long as you can
Think about Rot – yes, compost all the biodegradable waste you generate
Finally, Rethink – challenge your habits and move to sustainable options
2. Replace plastic
- Cloth bags instead of plastic bags
- Bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones
- Buy groceries in bulk, in your own big containers or bags possibly, instead of the small plastic packages you pick up routinely
- For parties and celebrations, avoid disposable plastic plates and cutlery, go for steel and crockery
3. Replace products loaded with chemicals
- Swap your fluoride toothpaste for an organic toothpaste, or make your own mix of salt, charcoal and mint or clove
- Get soapnuts and use them instead of detergent for washing clothes, dishes kitchen countertops and bathrooms too, add to bio-enzyme and use for hair and body
- You will have a completely chemical free home.
4. Give fast fashion a miss
- Opt for handloom and hand-woven fabrics
- Choose brands that are environment-friendly
- Use organic make-up
- Buy less, wear well
5. And here is a bonus!
Bio-enzyme is a wonder liquid that you can make at home with citrus peels and jaggery and water. It is so versatile, you can use it in place of body wash, dishwashing detergent, glass cleaning solution, toilet cleaner, drain blockage remover and what have you!
It is entirely in our hands to put our money into conscious consumption so that companies also begin to rethink and reduce their environmental footprint.
Written by Anisha Kashwani