Ten Shopping Hacks for a Kinder World
Hi there and welcome back to our blog
It’s been a long time!
In honour of Earth Strike Day, we have a shiny new blog from our founder Clare Honeyfield
Ten Shopping Hacks for a Kinder World
1. Stop shopping. No really. Pause before you click – think about why you are shopping. Ask yourself these questions “How do I feel right now?” (Am I trying to fill a void in myself which I could better fill with connection, yoga, meditation, a walk in the fresh air?)
The ask yourself “ Do I need this?”” Will I use this? Can I afford this? Will this give me joy”
The more we change our habits the more our life expands
“The chains of habit are not felt until they are too heavy to be broken”
I have been following The Minimalists for some years now and have fully committed to finding purpose in my life through giving and through connection with family and friends.
I have also become a massive fan of decluttering
I worked with Neatly Cotswolds to declutter my home and it is something that I keep an eye on – not bringing in more stuff that I don’t need and don’t have space for
2. Second hand September -check out the charity shops, check out DeBop, check out Ebay, you know the score. Fast fashion is fast going out of fashion. None of us wants to feel responsible for sweatshops, poor working conditions and for goodness sake we do not need our jeans pre ripped!!
3. Shop local/use community businesses – shop on the High Street, use family owned and independent businesses, shop at farmers’ markets. Not only are these friendlier but more money gets generated in the local economy and of course you support small business to stay open in testing times. Waitrose and the Co-op are community owned so there’s a fun way to do a big shop. Both also treat suppliers with respect and the co-op were the first to sell re-usable fair trade cotton shopping bags – and I was lucky enough to be the person who sourced those for them. Although this is now mainstream, at the time it was radical and trailblazing!
4. Go plastic free
Take your own shopping bags. Although this seems like such a small thing, the introduction of the 5p charge in supermarkets there has been a 90% reduction in carrier bag sales – that represents 5.85 billion fewer plastic bags in 3 and a half years!! Yes! Taking your own bags makes a difference!
And on that subject - Get into using refills! I now refill my washing up liquid, laundry liquid, fabric conditioner, shampoo and conditioner at a town centre eco shop which sells non toxic eco products. This is one of the best things I have achieved this year in reducing my plastic waste and going ‘green’ in the home. I also love Koh cleaning products for the same reason. Just add your own essential oils! Great stuff! These little changes add up to a lot less pollution of the water course and a lot fewer plastic bottles in production if we all adopt them.
5. Go organic
Mostly when you mention “going organic” people think of organically grown fruit and veg. I mean yes, absolutely. Less toxic residues on the food and in the soil, I’m all for that. But did you know that one of the most toxic crops on the planet is cotton? Unless of course it is grown organically. Not only is organic better for the health of cotton farmers and for the soil and water course, the seeds can be used for the next crop and demands a better price, improving the plight of growers, which is pretty desperate in general.
Organic fruit and veg tastes better. You can’t prove it, but it does, in my experience. It’s also better for biodiversity and soil health. Winner!
6. Go fair trade
Cotton, bananas, cacao, sugar, rice, I could go on!! Paying a fair price to growers isn’t just about wages, it’s about access to health care, education and good working conditions. We’d want it for our own family, after all.
7. Buy hand made
Clearly a passion of mine, having been working with local makers for more than twenty years now. Buying hand made creates community, keep skills alive, and let’s face it, aren’t hand made things often lovelier, longer lasting and better quality?
8. Go animal friendly
I’m not saying ‘go vegan’, although a plant based diet is so much kinder and so much better for the planet, so why not? At least go more plant-y! Lotsof people say “I couldn’t go vegan because I love…blah blah blah..so start by going vegan apart from the (blah blah blah). Some change is better than no change! I’m not vegan but have reduced my dairy intake massively over the past two years and feel a lot better for it.
Cruelty free beauty is another key area. I find small batch hand made facial products so much better quality than mass produced animal tested ones and so much nicer on my skin. None of the products we sell in the shop are tested on animals and all are palm oil free (and there’s another way to be planet friendly)
9. Make your own
Lots of makers offer workshops at festivals and events in the summer and in their studios or in shared spaces in the winter. Learn a new skill, make something fabulous and discover just how highly skilled these folk are! It’s also relatively easy to make some simple products like bath salts, lip balm, bake your own bread and cakes, make preserves. The list is endless and it’s so much more fun than ‘shopping’
10. Contribute/give back
This is my favourite. Use your supermarket vouchers to buy food bank supplies, talk to people in the street, be friendly, skill share, help people out. With all the time you save shopping, and all the energy you gain from changing habits, you will want to engage more with others. Share experiences rather than giving unnecessary gifts. The list goes on!