Being alive in this day and age means that we have a wide array of choices. From the fashion brands we buy, restaurants where we can eat, to our interior design essentials that transform a space into a home. Making a decision means going through a long list of factors that need to fit and finding things that match our criteria. When you check your own list, does it include sustainability, fair labor, and other planet-friendly initiatives?

Too many people, blind with the sheer selection of opportunities, reach for the most luxurious or appealing option regardless of its ethical impact. Whether you’ve decided to go green with the help of car sharing, or you’ve discovered you waste too much food – becoming a more ethical person is a worthy process to start tackling in 2021. Here are a few suggestions to make it easier for you to kick-start this journey!

Invest in Green Beauty

Start your ethical journey by opening your beauty cabinet. Do you know if the products you use are cruelty-free? Are they made of non-toxic and sustainable materials? Does the company recycle? Thanks to our growing awareness of the damage we’ve caused to our planet, more eco-conscious brands are emerging to take over the leading roles in the industry.

Today, you can find beauty brands like Malin+Goetz and House of Gro with very effective beautifying products that aren’t tested on animals, and that match all other relevant criteria of ethical production.

Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose

Eventually, your goal can become to embrace all five Rs of living more ethically (Refuse, Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose), but if you can start with three, go for the ones we’ve listed above. Invest in recyclable products and then make an effort to find nearby containers where you can leave those materials safely.

Beyond that, you can prolong the lifespan of your possessions by investing in reusable items instead of disposable plastic things. Go for an insulated stainless steel bottle instead of the plastic one, for instance. Repurposing is also a creative way to keep items serving in your life – an old trunk turned into a coffee table is a beautiful memento of your family legacy -  and a good method for reducing waste.

Choose Lifelong Gifts

Sometimes it’s easier to be mindful and thrifty when we’re choosing for ourselves, but when you want to impress someone you love and show them just how much you care, you look for gifts that speak volumes of your relationship. So instead of transient, perishable presents that potentially leave too much waste behind them (plastic packaging and the like), why not get them a present to last a lifetime?

Diamond jewelry pieces that are made from ethical sources like the one Monica Rich Kosann creates are a great example, especially if you go for personalized gifts like customizable diamond lockets that your loved one will cherish for good. Engraved messages or dates add value beyond price, and you should always aim for brands that use recycled packaging, invest in renewable energy, and offer carbon-neutral shipping.

Pick Sustainable Apparel

Ethically made and sourced clothes are no longer so hard to come by. There are sustainable fashion brands that are working hard to raise the bar even higher and make sure that their apparel is not just good for the planet, but also vegan and free of child labor.

You can find brands like Don’t Eat The Homies using durable, organic cotton and natural alternatives such as bamboo or hemp to make their garments, without any toxic dyes in the mix. While some of these garments might cost a little extra, they’ll last significantly longer than your typical fast fashion apparel, so the investment pays off very quickly.

Find Better Cleaning Products

Although zero-waste is a huge goal to chase, you can rest assured it’s one worthy of your efforts. If you’ve found the right fashion brands that contribute to this too, then you can move on by researching green cleaning items. Everything we use to keep our homes clean is typically filled with chemicals and toxins, not to mention stored in plastic containers that can rarely get recycled.

From sustainable laundry detergent like Dropps, all the way to all-purpose cleaners for every room in the house, you can find brands like Frosch that use biodegradable packaging as well as ingredients that aren’t dangerous for you or the environment. Not to mention that there are pet-friendly options, too!

Becoming a more ethical person is definitely not a one-year-long process, but rather a lifetime endeavor that will help you discover an increasing number of ways to be kinder, better, more mindful towards the world around you. Hopefully, these ideas can get you started and help you make smarter decisions with the wellbeing of the world in mind!