Defining “ethical” can be a tad difficult, since everyone is going to have differing opinions, beliefs, values, religions, upbringings etc, all of which can and will influence the things that we each deem as making the world “better”. You may consider certain things ethical that I wouldn’t and vice versa, but for myself I define “ethical” as
“Any product or company that gives back, puts out positivity or makes the world a better place.”
I know that sounds very granola and pretty vague, so here are just some examples of things that I would consider to be “ethical”:
– Free range meat or vegetarian options or vegan options. Basically sparing farm animals from a miserable life. Or, you can go the vegetarian or vegan route (which I often do) and just don’t consume any animal product at all.
– Free run or free range eggs, for the same reason as above.
– Fair Trade Coffee or Tea. This industry is HUGE, but sadly a lot of farmers and workers are not compensated fairly for their hard work. Buying fair trade helps ensure that the farmers can support their families and are paid for the work they do. While the Fair Trade certification process is not perfect, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
– Thrifted clothing or furniture. I love a good thift store, and buying from the thrift shop is generally a good way to A) support a charity such as the SPCA or Salvation Army, and B) gives a new home to things that otherwise would have been thrown out and ended up in a landfill.
– A company that supports a charity with each item sold. There are so many companies like this and it’s really awesome. A good example is the Raising the Roof Toque campaign, in which 100% of net proceeds are fueled back into charities and organizations working to end homelessness!
– Environmentally sustainable goods. The Earth is not just an endless supply of stuff for us to use up. We need to start planning for the future so that there is still enough resource for coming generations.
– Jewelry that contains gems and metals produced and mined in places where workers are treated fairly and/or the profits are put back into the community. Examples: Canadian or Botswana diamonds or recycled gold.
– Locally farmed goods. Support your local community and use up less resources transporting goods.
Of course, there are so. many. more. companies and organisations and artisans and farmers who care about people, animals and the planet. I know that my definition of “ethical” will be constantly expanding and contracting with the more I learn, and I hope you will all learn with me! I will share the things I find, and please feel free to send me suggestions!