Truth be told, they are onto something, those free spirited, non-conformists.
The world is now overwhelmed with huge corporations cashing in on the latest trends. From fashion, to beauty, to technology, these companies seek out what people want, and find ways to give them to the masses without giving a second thought to the environmental impact or personal health and welfare of the people actually creating these products. These corporations want to make money, and they want to make it fast, spending as little of their own money as possible. Whilst that is, after all, the way business works - spend a little, make a lot, but should it really be at the price of our people and the planet? No.
This is where the beliefs of the hippies and the eco activists become imperative to the sustainability of our planet. The naive (or ignorant, depending on which way you want to look at it) will buy their goods from these huge companies, whether that is food, beauty products or clothing, and not give a second thought to where it has actually come from. They would have no idea that the items they have bought could have been made by a women working 15 hours a day for £1, in horrendous conditions, and being beaten for not meeting her targets. This all happens so that us lucky lot in the western world can have our Adidas trainers, our smartphones and even our coffee.
We are already aware of the problems pollution can cause. Granted there are many companies now that are doing everything they can to ensure they are still meeting the demands of their consumers, whilst remaining as eco conscious as possible. IKEA for example, plan to be 100% renewable by 2020. Being a furniture company, their main material used in their products is wood. They ensure the wood they use to make their products is sourced from responsibly managed forests. They are also working towards reducing their carbon footprint by eventually powering all of their stores with solar panels.
As consumers, there are many things we can do to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep the planet a safe and happy place for the next generations to come. Following these steps will all count towards building a more sustainable way of life:
1. Opt for handmade, small batch products.
That includes beauty products and clothing. Yes, it may be more expensive, but the quality is likely to be better, the ingredients will certainly be purer and you can guarantee that whoever made it has put their heart and soul into that product to ensure it is the best it could possibly be. I don’t know about you, but having a product that is unique, rather than something 2 billion other people have, makes it a lot more special.
2. Always buy fair trade.
This means that the product you are buying has been produced in a safe working environment and the workers are being paid fairly. It also means the quality of the product is going to be better. The workers take pride in their work, and pay closer attention to detail.
3. Recycle everything.
Everything that goes into that black bin bag in your kitchen ends up in landfill. The gases produced by these landfills mainly consist of greenhouse gases such as methane, which contributes towards climate change. Yes it is much easier to just chuck everything into one bin bag rather than having to think about separating it. However, for the future of our planet and new generations, it is worth the extra 5 seconds to think about whether it should go in the recycling bin or not. It is our own personal responsibility to sort through our own rubbish, no one else is going to do it, but you.
4. Ensure you are buying products with recyclable packaging.
Leading on from the point above, many cosmetic companies use a ridiculous amount of unnecessary packaging for their products. It is important to consider where all that packaging will go once you have used the product, and also how that packaging was made in the first place. All those plastic bottles and cellophane wrappers are not needed. All the products sold here at Glow Organic, are packaged in recycled, recyclable and minimal packaging, proving that it is not necessary to have all the extra frills to make a product look good. Take a look at ZAO Makeup and how their use of bamboo for their packaging gives them a negative carbon footprint.
5. Buy organic.
There are endless reasons why you should be buying organic products over non organic. Organic means that the produce has been grown without being genetically modified. Pesticides, fertilizers, growth hormones and antibiotics are found in food that isn’t organically grown, and is therefore ingested or absorbed into our skin and our bloodstream. Food that hasn’t been genetically modified to meet the demands of the supermarkets, will have more flavour and be chemical free, meaning you will be getting more nutrients from that product.
It is important to us at Glow Organic that we are providing you with products that are produced in a sustainable way. We also want to make sure they are safe for your health. A great deal of time is spent researching the companies we sell. We strongly believe that beauty should not come with compromise. We are lucky to have the luxury to make ourselves look good, and should not be exploiting anything in order to have that luxury.
It takes small changes to our every day lives to become more eco conscious. It may not be possible to live a completely eco conscious existence, as we are in the 21st century and the modern world just isn’t able to be completely sustainable. But if each and every one of us are more informed of the effects our actions can have on the world, and its people, we may be able to stay on it just a little bit longer.