Ethical Hour is the world’s largest ethical support network, and holds the biggest community for ethical and sustainable businesses, consumers and bloggers.
The #EthicalHour twitter chat, which takes place every Monday at 8pm, is where like-minded users interact and give their opinion on weekly-themed discussions on ethical living and sustainability.
Over the last month, we have been taking part in #EthicalHour twitter chat where we have gained some invaluable insight from this welcoming community.
In an effort to understand the issues faced by consumers and businesses alike, we have asked the #EthicalHour community to tell us more about the struggles they have faced with living a sustainable lifestyle and how they have overcome them.
Here we share and explore some of the issues that have been raised, which we hope will help those who are interested in changing their lifestyle, or who are looking to encourage a more environmental approach at their workplace.
Packaging waste is a huge problem for many, and responses to our conversation on #EthicalHour show that even those who have embraced the zero-waste lifestyle are frustrated about the difficulties they face in reducing unnecessary packaging, as well as the confusion around what can and can’t be recycled.
Avoiding, rather than recycling, was a method used by one member as was shopping in bulk and storing in jars and tins are common methods for cutting down on packaging. There was also support for the creation of more zero-waste shops.
One twitter user suggested the option of listing the weight of plastic packaging on product labelling as it could act as an eye opener for shoppers and would help to make product comparisons easier. Another raised the dilemma of whether they should buy organic products in plastic, or non-organic products that are unpackaged. This raises the question over why all products, whether organic or not, are not packaged in a similar fashion.
Responders confessed time is a huge barrier, especially for working parents, and that if they had the time to explore the local independent stores they would be leading a much more ethical style of life.
Connecting with the retailers we buy from was the advice from one Ethical Hour insider., who shared a twitter response from a large supermarket, which detailed the actions they are taking to become more sustainable. It doesn’t hurt to request this sort of information from retailers. By letting them know you are concerned, you can encourage them to take action to improve their ethical practices, but also allows you to receive some great information that can be shared positively.
We were also keen to know what behaviour and activity consumers like to see from an ethical business and so in the following chat we proposed our second question.
Business culture and values are becoming exceedingly more sought out and examined by consumers. Below are some of the responses we received.
Users expressed transparency as a staple within the culture of a business. One user, Jen Gale – sustainable living specialist and writer of ‘My Make Do and Mend Life’ said “Transparency, honesty, some proof that they’ve done their research, ethics that add up across the whole business”.
Some members stated they would like to see brands clearly label the values they stand by with ‘easy information’. Similarly, another wanted trace-ability, without having to chase for the information and suggested the information could be displayed on branding.
Responders also desired transparency through the supply chain, where and when the products were made and who by. One user, expressed how she wanted tailored information relating to a business’s actual impacts, for example, what the carbon footprints of their products are. And another, who owns an ethical print workshop, said they would like to see more ethical consideration through the supply chain, stating that they had experienced first-hand businesses disregarding their ethics to choose price.
You may have heard this phrase before. It is a term similar to the accounting framework ‘Triple bottom line’ and incorporates three dimensions of performance within a business.
Besma Whayeb, creator of ‘curiously conscious’ blog said that in her opinion “people, planet and profit should be held as equally important in an ethical business” with many others in agreement.
It is becoming increasingly clear that consumers want businesses to hold equal value for each people, planet and profit and this is why we are seeing a surge of ethical activity and bold statements from global brands.
The last theme of tweets focused on the inspiration a brand can give, by holding or sponsoring events, giving donations and using its large outreach to promote ethical activities for the greater good.
One responder wanted current brands to use their large followings to provide publicity to communicate new ethical knowledge to customers.
Here at Clarity we recognise the positive impact we can have to help generate revenues for good causes and that is why we have made a pledge to donate at least 1 per cent of our profits each quarter to charitable causes or awareness campaigns.
If you would like some help with living an ethical lifestyle, we have a great Pinterest board you can visit. Or if you are a business and would like to become more sustainable or reduce the amount of packaging you use, please let us know.
Want to join in next time? All you have to do is use the hashtag #EthicalHour and compose your tweet! Have fun and don’t forget to tweet us (Clarity_Enviro) during the Monday evening chat!
We are extremely proud to be supporting a campaign by City Girl Network to challenge unnecessary packaging and inspire positive change for the future.
The Trash Talk campaign will take through this month, and end 5th June 2018 on World Evironment Day, when volunteers of all genders and ages will be collecting the packaging for everything they buy, identifying what they view as unnecessary and sharing ideas for improving the designs.
Get involved and take part in the #TrashTalk discussions, join the Facebook group here show us your daily intake of packaging!