10 tips for ethical living

Want to start living more conscientiously? You're not alone – research carried out by the organisers of the One Life Live event at Olympia found nearly 73 per cent of us believe that a more sustainable lifestyle is essential to the future of the planet. Here are 10 easy ways to start making a difference

A A A

1. The appliance of science



Invest in energy saving equipment. You don't have to live without kitchen appliances to be green, but buying white goods approved by the Energy Saving Trust can make a big difference; replacing your old dishwasher with an Energy Saving-recommended model could save enough money to buy soap for 85 washes! See www.energysavingtrust.org.uk for more.



2. Fuelling change

Cut petrol costs by sticking to the speed limit. Friends of the Earth say sticking to 70mph rather than charging ahead at 80-85mph – which is also illegal – can save you 4p a mile if you drive a small car. Offer to car-share too, to further reduce the impact on the environment.

3. Sounds fishy

Make sure your fish hasn't had its chips. Next time you're shopping for seafood, check it carries the blue logo of the Marine Stewardship Council. The MSC is committed to promoting the use of sustainable fishing and preserving marine environments around the globe, so we don't eat our favourites out of existence. See www.msc. org for recipes and advice.



6. Be cool!

Put on a jumper rather than cranking up the central heating. The Energy Saving Trust says turning your thermostat down just 1C can cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent, saving you up to £40 a year.



4. Fashion conscious

Ethical fashion label People Tree is one of the pioneers of fair trade fashion, but their clothes are not all beige smocks made from itchy cotton. Beautiful and stylish, they have graced the pages of Vogue and are a favourite with celebs including Lily Cole and Sienna Miller. Visit www.peopletree.co.uk to buy.



5. Growth industry

Say it without flowers. Yes, they are beautiful, but many are flown from overseas – the Flowers & Plants Association says on Valentine's Day alone we spent more than £30m on flowers and nine million of these were red roses flown in from places such as Colombia, Israel and Zimbabwe. House plants can be just as beautiful, last longer and help put oxygen back into your atmosphere.



7. Shower power

Having a shower typically uses about a third of the water you would have in a bath, but many modern power showers can use just as much water. However, the Environment Agency says fitting a shower with a simple flow regulator can limit the amount used to just below nine litres per minute. Check your shower is suitable before getting one fitted though.



8. Running flush

Flushing the loo accounts for nearly 40 per cent of household water use, so try to restrict either the number of times you flush or put something in your cistern to limit the water flushed away. Try a brick or a "hippo"; a specially-designed plastic device. See www.hippo-the-watersaver.co.uk for more.



9. A sparkling success

Ethical jewellery can range from simple wooden bangles – check out Oxfam or Topshop for cheap and cheerful items – to luxury fair trade pieces. Fifibijoux.com is one of the best, using ethically sourced gemstones and precious metals, and is committed to respecting the communities and people who produce their raw materials. Now you can wear gilt without the guilt!



10. Off to a tea

Drink green tea. Not actual green tea but tea that has been produced as part of the Ethical Tea Partnership. The ETP, which includes major companies such as Unilever the producer of PG Tips, ensures the way tea is made meets certain environmental and ethical standards, including minimum wages and housing rights for plantation workers.



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee