Happy Earth Hour Day!
I’m writing from Changi Airport, Singapore where I’ve just spent the last hour sitting with the non-essential lights switched off to reduce energy consumption worldwide.
Whilst an important awareness-raising initiative, we need to do more than turn our lights off for one hour in order to ensure a sustainable future.
If you’re a regular reader around here, you would know that I quite often talk about how substituting ethical alternatives is an easy way to live more sustainably.
In fact, there are six easy ethical environmentally- and people-friendly trades that you can make before you’ve even had your breakfast tomorrow morning!
Make your next phone a Fairphone (or repurposed iPhone)
I don’t know about you, but I rely on the alarm on my phone to wake me up – which means that my phone is the first thing I reach for in the morning. I know it’s a terrible habit, but I’m usually checking email or the news from bed.
It also seems that most of us are replacing our phones every couple of years. Rather than buying the newest model of a well-known brand, why not look into investing in a Fairphone? Built to last and made from conflict-free minerals, Fairphones are an even smarter smartphone combining ethics and performance. If you just can’t deal with Android, consider buying a repurposed iPhone to ensure you reduce waste, and start the day on an ethical note.
Use environmentally and socially responsible toilet paper
At some point not long after waking up, we all pay a visit to the porcelain throne. And though we might not think much about it, this daily bodily function uses a lot of paper. Who Gives a Crap have thought about ways to make our toilet paper better for the world. Since 2013, they have donated half a million dollars to date to help fund hygiene and sanitation projects around the world; they’ve saved over 30,000 trees by using forest friendly paper products; and, through using eco-friendly materials and processes, they’ve reduced water and greenhouse gas emissions by 74 million litres and 5,922 Tonnes respectively. Pretty impressive, huh?
Invest in a set of Fairtrade certified towels
Continue your ethical winning streak each morning by jumping out of the shower and into a Fairtrade certified towel, like these ones by Glo. Fairtrade certification requires minimum environmental standards to be met, helping to protect the environment along the production chain. Fairtrade certified cotton is also organic, helping keep both you and the farmers comfortable by eliminating dangerous chemicals from the production process.
Ditch the plastic and get a reusable razor
If shaving is a part of your daily routine, chances are you buy and throw away quite a few plastic razors per year. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 2 billion razors are thrown away each year.
Disposable razors aren’t recyclable and plastic isn’t biodegradable. So that’s a lot of blunt razors sitting in landfill.
However, the steel blades are recyclable – so why not buy a reusable razor? I bought a reusable razor and a big pack of blades last year after my friend Holly of Leotie Lovely wrote about it and I haven’t looked back. It’s an amazingly simple switch that saves a lot of waste.
Make your morning caffeine-hit Fairtrade certified
Supporting coffee farmers in the developing world is as simple as making sure your morning cup of coffee is Fairtrade certified. With plenty of Fairtrade coffee options on the market, making the sustainable switch is easy (and delicious!). If you buy your coffee out, bonus points for using a reusable cup!
Switch out your toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush
Like razors, toothbrushes are are major culprit of plastic waste. Some 30 million toothbrushes are disposed of each year – which won’t break down for several generations. The solution? Use bamboo toothbrushes, which are 100% biodegradable. Plus, they look nicer in the bathroom!
Next step: head off to work knowing you’ve already kicked some sustainable goals before the day has even started!