An Interview with Ethical Lifestyle Guru Emily Waddell of Honest Consumer.
Going eco isn’t easy, and yet it’s one of the top things we all must start doing as consumers. That’s why we reached out to our friend Emily, a fellow ethically-minded shopper to dig up some dirt on how she manages to live an eco-friendly lifestyle - without breaking the bank!
Note: For Emily’s MUST-HAVE eco products, stay tuned and keep scrolling!
I think the reduction of consumption by using reusable items helps simplify ethical living. For example, I’m able to wash and reuse my beeswax wrap to save food which means I’m purchasing less at the store and sending less plastic to landfills.
The lack of eco-conscious practices from businesses can be overwhelming sometimes and slow down my attempts to live ethically. When I go to the grocery store and notice all the plastic packaging it frustrates me that businesses aren’t doing more to be eco-conscious.
To combat these challenges, I do what I can by bringing my own bags and produce bags to the grocery store.
I also write tips, tricks, & guides on my conscious lifestyle blog, The Honest Consumer , in hopes that it will inspire consumers and businesses to make more conscious choices. Technology and innovation have so much potential to help consumers reduce their environmental impact.The next few years will be a defining moment for technology and innovation given the current environmental situation. Hopefully more solutions are discovered. Note: For a look at my absolute favourite brands that give a damn, keep scrolling!
In 2019 I furthered my knowledge on recycling and learned how composting is what we should all be striving for. While recycled is obviously better than sending things to the landfill, composting and not creating waste in the first place are more eco-friendly solutions.
Yes, when I first started my ethical and eco-conscious consumer journey I was very focused on finding conscious brands online because it is hard to find socially responsible brands at a shopping mall or regular store.
While I still do the occasional online shopping for ethical clothing brands, now I’ve also increased the amount of local shopping I do. I’ve made friends with a few local business owners through farmers markets and other events. For example by shopping local produce stands that don’t use plastic packaging this helps support the local economy and reduces what I’m sending to the landfill.
The ethical and eco-friendly lifestyle can be overwhelming. I would say start by valuing what you have. If you then feel that you’re ready to start shifting your consumer habits pick a single item, like coffee.
Find a fair trade coffee brand that uses eco-friendly practices and make the switch there. That one change helps ensure farmers are getting paid fairly and makes a difference. Overtime the small changes will add up. My tagline for living ethically is Stressed, a Mess, But Still Ethically Dressed...it’s so much my tagline that I made a t-shirt out of it. To me this phrase means no matter what is going on in life or how overwhelmed I am, conscious decisions can easily be incorporated in your lifestyle. It can be as simple as the t-shirt you put on or the food you eat.
And finally, the moment you've all been waiting for: [insert drumroll here]
THINX are incredibly comfortable and reduce the amount of waste I’m sending to the landfill with my menstrual cycle. According to Well & Good, it’s estimated that women use 10,000-11,000 tampons in their lifetime... think of all the plastic applicators we could prevent going to landfills if more ladies were using period panties.
4. Reusable Snack Bags
Reusable snack bags are great because I’ve been able to permanently cross plastic bags off my grocery list! They do a great job preserving food and are easy to clean.
3. Beeswax Wrap
I love the beeswax wrap because I feel it is a safe way to preserve my food. Since beeswax wrap is crafted with fabric and natural materials, I don’t have to worry about any sort of toxins sinking into my leftovers.
4. Yuhme Plastic Free Water Bottle
The Yuhme water bottle is so unique because it is made from sugar cane and not plastic. I can feel confident drinking out of it and knowing it’s recyclable at the end of it’s life. But I’ve had mine for four years and it’s not going away anytime soon!
And last but definitely not least...
5. The FoodCycler
The FoodCycler has made it easy for me to compost. Living in a small apartment downtown I never had the space to compost and it always bothered me. We keep ours right on our kitchen counter!
I felt guilty whenever I dumped extra food on my plate in the trash, but when I reached out to FoodCycler I was so excited to discover how they combined technology and eco-friendly practices to create a machine everyone can use!
My favorite things about my indoor electric composter:
The electric composter reduces my carbon footprint by removing the methane from the food scraps. I feel like I’m living more ethically now that I use the FoodCycler because I know I’m disposing of scraps in a more eco-friendly manner. I learned through chatting with the FoodCycler team that even if you throw away the by-product it’s more eco-friendly than throwing away the food scraps because the methane has been removed.
It is truly odorless. I was a bit hesitant at first about having a composter inside, but this machine is really odorless. have used some of the fertilizer it in our plants outside. However, since we live in a small space we don’t have much room for plants so I throw away the extra by-product.
The FoodCycler is quiet. You can hardly hear this machine when it’s running and it’s amazing.