What are the ways to shop ethically on a budget? Would you'd like to make ethical choices when you shop, but think you don't have the money? Fortunately you can do so by shopping wisely and focusing where and how you spend your cash. Here are some ways to ways to shop ethically even if you're on a budget …
1. Buy from Charities
One of my favorite ways to shop ethically is to buy from charities. This way I know that my money is going to a good cause and not just boosting the profits of a corporation. Buying from charity shops also ensures that unwanted goods get a second life, rather than being thrown into landfill - it's a very satisfying way to shop.
2. Local Businesses
Spending your money with local businesses is also a very ethical way to shop. You will keep money in your local area, and if you buy products direct from the manufacturer you'll know that they haven't been transported for hundreds or thousands of miles (creating pollution and adding to traffic problems).
3. Target Your Budget
You might not be able to buy everything ethically, but even on a very limited budget you can target at least some of your money. For example, if you eat meat then buy it less frequently, but when you do buy it opt for meat that's been raised and slaughtered humanely. Or buy organic fruit and vegetables, and save by eating less junk food. It's about focusing your money and spending it on the right things.
4. Buy Second-Hand
Buying second-hand is brilliant for your budget, and it's also a very ethical way to shop, whether you buy from a charity's thrift store or from a business. Lots of things are fine if you buy them second-hand, and if you buy second-hand furniture or goods you're helping the planet. You're also helping create work and keep people in employment who sell or recondition products.
5. Cruelty-Free Makeup
Even a budget beauty can find makeup that isn't tested on animals. You don't need to spend a lot to buy makeup items that are cruelty-free, so check before you buy any makeup that it isn't tested on animals. Products sold in the EU cannot now have been tested on animals, so stock up when you visit - and similar legislation is hopefully on the way in the US.
6. Buy What You Need
The consumer society isn't a very ethical one - it wastes resources and often exploits the people who make the things that we buy. This is especially common with the clothing industry - and how many of the clothes that we buy do we actually wear? Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it. Only buy the things that you want, and buy quality items that will last.
7. Shop Direct
If you buy direct from the manufacturer, you can find out about the ingredients, the product and how it is made. So you can be sure that you're buying something that's ethically produced, and you'll also be helping small businesses and artisans.
So you see that it is possible to shop ethically, even if you don't have a lot of money. It requires some thought and research, but isn't it worth spending a little time so that you know your money is supporting ethical practices? Do you think we should stop shopping online with big companies?