It’s Time to Shop with Your Values
What does it mean to shop with your values? For far too long, we have been bargain shoppers, ready to jump at anything that looks good instead of looking into the impact these bargain products might have on our health, our environment and the economy. With millions of dollars invested in marketing, any product can become appealing, and so we think it’s time to consciously shop with our values, and be the change we want to see in the world.
Let’s start with the environment. In the ocean alone, there is estimated to be over 250,000 tons of plastic, and by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish that swim in our oceans. If you value the environment, and are serious about protecting it, we need to look deeper then just the packaging of products. Microplastics like Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), Nylon (PA), Polyurethane, and Acrylates Copolymer, are often found within your face and body exfoliants, toothpastes, and cleansers. Microplastics are plastic particles that measure 5 millimetres or less in diameter. Microbeads (the term that the cosmetic industry introduced for marketing purposes) are “primary microplastics” due to the fact that they were intentionally created by the skincare industry. “Secondary microplastics” are microplastics that are the result of larger plastic particles that break down over time and create these microplastics as a byproduct.
Calling All Animal Lovers
Did you know that in many parts of the world animals are still being used as test subjects for many different beauty lines? Places like Clinique, Estee Lauder, Maybelline New York, Victoria’s Secret and many more all pay for cruel tests on animals from China. Tests are performed by rubbing the chemical onto shaved skin or dripping it into the eyes of rabbits, cats, monkeys and even dogs. There are also studies that test oral force-feeding that can last for weeks or even months as they study the animals for any signs of general illness, birth defects, or even cancer. Cruelty free products seem like something that should be quite simple to make with over 7,000 cosmetic ingredients that are safe to use. But still, in many countries around the world, they continue to use these inhumane tactics to test new products. What these animals are subjected to is cruel. They are kept in small cages and often end up maimed, blinded, or killed due to the excessive testing. It sure sounds a lot worse when “lab rats” aren’t actually just rats.
Supporting local while you are shopping with your values within your community is a great option for anyone. For every $100 you spend at a local business, 68% of those dollars will stay within your community. Family owned businesses in a community are all interconnected. Your friends and neighbours own them! They care and want to be a part of and help the community grow towards a better future. Local businesses are also more likely to utilize and support other locally owned business such as banks, farms, and local service providers. When you support these locally owned businesses, they will return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales back into the community as opposed to buying from chain retailers. Even just buying food locally can reduce your carbon footprint by up tp 10%. There are so many benefits to supporting local. Shopping with good values will help your community will flourish, and you’ll feel good too.
Use Your Power to Create Change
Shopping with your values is a great way to begin on the path to change. You need to be aware of what to look for in a product, and that goes beyond the ingredient list. Looking for specific logos like cruelty free, vegan, organic, certified natural products and others is a great start. Some products and brands are already moving towards more sustainable ways of packaging and formulating. Supporting something like True Earth, a brand that sells eco-friendly laundry strips, can be a very smart purchase if you’re looking for a laundry detergent that is kinder to our earth. There are lots of small things that you can change really easily with some simple research! For example, did you know that one plastic toothbrush takes around 400 years to decompose completely? What if I told you, you could buy toothbrushes made from bamboo, the fastest growing land plant on earth? And they’re 100% biodegradable! Although bamboo is the fastest growing land plant, seaweed is the fastest growing algae. Pyrifera, Seaflora’s most used seaweed, can grow up to 2 ft a day, making it the most sustainable resource on the planet! Taking an extra couple minutes to look into what small things you can change in your day-to-day purchases could help our earth immensely. One purchase at a time, surely together, we can make a difference.