How to spend more ethically
The feeling of doing something that might help to make the world a better place is profoundly satisfying. And in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, a disaster which has heightened existing inequalities and accelerated poverty across the world, the time is right for all of us to find ways we can live more ethically.
If we spend our money with retailers who use our money for good or run their operations sustainably, we can make sure that our cash is doing good after it leaves our wallets. Even making a small change to the way you spend could help change the planet for the better. Here is a far from exhaustive list of retailers that work to have a positive impact on the world:
- Loop is a brand making one of the most ambitious attempts to reduce single use packaging. Launched by the recycling giant TerraCycle in partnership with Tesco, the brand is backed by several large corporations including Unilever and PepsiCo. Customers can place online orders for goods that usually come in single use plastic packaging and are delivered in refillable containers that can be collected from the doorstep and cleaned for reuse up to 100 times.
- Toilet paper is the ultimate throwaway product and using recycled toilet paper is a great way to say no to trees being cut down for loo roll. Serious Tissues is a recycled toilet paper brand with a difference – it donates all of its profits in aid of NHS Charities. The brand was set up by Change Please, a British social enterprise that helps homeless people build a better future by training them as baristas. It seems to us that when you buy Serious Tissues bog roll, you help a whole host of important causes.
Food and drink
- Teapigs is a London based tea company that is leading the fight against unnecessary plastics. The brand uses sustainable materials to eliminate the need for plastic in either its packaging or its bags. Their teas are delicious and the firm was the first tea company awarded the plastic-free TrustMark from A Plastic Planet.
- Tony’s Chocolonely is a Dutch chocolate brand leading the charge against slavery in the chocolate industry. The brand was set up by former broadcast journalist Teun van de Keuken (Tony to those who know him), who discovered the scale of child slavery in the cocoa industry while making a documentary. Amazingly, the brand is now the market leader in Holland and selling strongly in the UK, with bars finding their way onto some supermarket shelves.
- Despite what you might think, not all seeds are created equal. Real Seeds is a Welsh family-run seed firm that specialises in open-pollinated, non-hybrid vegetable seeds. For those of you who aren’t so hot on your horticultural knowledge, this means you can save seeds from anything you grow. Real Seeds include seed saving instructions with every pack they sell and produce a wide range of seeds, from oriental greens to heirloom beans. Their packs contain a generous quantity of high-quality seeds at a competitive price.
- The campaign to ban peat from compost is slowly gaining momentum as more become aware of the destruction of peat bogs in the UK and beyond to create this kind of compost. Dalefoot Compost produces a range of superb quality peat-free composts. While their composts might not come cheap, their Lakeland Gold contains enough slow release feed to last two years. The company makes its compost mixes from bracken and sheeps wool sourced from the fells around their farm in the Lakes.