While climate change deniers may stick avidly to the up and down nature of global temperatures during the preceding millennia leading up to the emergence of humanity, the line on the graph is, as we speak, right now, regardless of the cause, going up. And the line is climbing fast. More than twice as fast, in fact, than ever before.
Whether you believe the data-backed science regarding climate change, or whether you choose to believe mother nature is just having a hot flush and everything will be alright again soon, the fact that things are getting warmer is nevertheless a fact. And we can all help, starting with what we buy (see this ethical consumer guide for more information).
Let’s take a more refined look at how you can become an ethical consumer without breaking the bank.
Pearly whites, brought to you by bamboo
Your teeth require a toothbrush. Toothbrushes are made from plastic. The brush wears out after a few months, and you throw it away and buy a new one. You are happy that you are looking after your teeth, but the hidden issue is that plastics break down slowly (it degrades over about 1000 years) and along the way, it releases small petrochemical particles that get into the bodies of our wildlife and choke the oceans from the inside out. All for that Hollywood smile. Seems like there must be something we can do? There is.
Bamboo toothbrushes are fantastic for the environment. You will save money, and when you are done, the bamboo will naturally biodegrade without causing any hassle.
As a material, bamboo is increasingly being looked into as a replacement for plastic. Disposable plates and cutlery are also available – meaning you can make smart choices the next time you host a party!
Bulk up your spending habits
Buying in bulk is such a game-changer that it should be taught in schools along with mortgage advice and pension planning (alas). Here’s why buying in bulk works for both you and the environment in one fell swoop.
Purchasing things that will only last a few days and then returning to the supermarket for a repeat order means you will likely drive your car a lot more often, while incentivising the supermarket to order more goods, meaning more trips by trucks and lorries. The cost of these trips is passed on to the consumer (someone has to pay for the fuel and for the driver’s wages!).
By switching to buying in bulk, you cut down on your trips while benefiting from economies of scale (that’s where whatever the amount you buy, the overheads you have to cover are covered once and only once, no matter the size of your order, meaning a cheaper price if you buy in bulk).
Save money today by going online and bulk ordering the things you can’t live without. The environment will thank you, too. And as for the delivery driver? They can switch to bulk orders and keep their jobs. It’s an all-around modern solution to the very old problem of ethical consumerism on a budget.