Yes, I think it has but I've been left with a nagging concern...
Is it possible to be both thrifty and ethical?
The dictionary didn't have the answer but it did tell me that;
Thrifty means- carefully managing money/resources, frugality
Ethical means- conforming to accepted standards of conduct & morality
Some clarity had been offered but no real answer (especially on the ethical front- that just added more confusion)
In a recent post from the Non-Consumer Advocate (thanks for the tip Sue!), there was an interesting link to a New York Times article entitled Eco meets the Economy. It was good to know that other people were thinking like me & battling with a similar dilemma.
Then, a few weeks ago, I watched a programme where the presenter was dressing a woman in new clothes & shoes from the high street, a complete new outfit for just £50. Yes, that is thrifty but is it ethical?
I don't often get wound up & annoyed (actually that's not true I often find myself shouting at the radio these days but that's in the privacy of my own home) but seeing that programme really got me thinking...
I want to be both thrifty & ethical. Sometimes it's hard to be both at the same time, compromise is needed. A middle path has to be sought, a personal line has to be drawn. After lots of ongoing discussion with Mr TH we have started to draw our line...
To be more thrifty, we will;
- think before we buy (do we really need to buy it?)
- buy in bulk where possible (& reasonable) to reduce costs
- grow more of our own vegetables
- try to re-use/recycle/mend more
- try to reduce costs on travel where possible, by walking, bicycling or using public transport rather than the car
To be more ethical, we will;
- buy local &/or seasonal produce wherever possible
- try to buy fairtrade (or equivalent) when buying imported goods
- only buy fairtrade (or equivalent) when buying luxury goods (coffee, chocolate, etc...)
- try to ensure that sweatshop labour has not been involved in the manufacturing process of any new clothes (I know that this can be difficult to do- I think I need to spend a few hours doing some research online for this one...)
- buy meat from our local butcher because we know that is local, ethically sourced & it tastes really good (but it is more expensive so we will therefore eat less of it)
- buy fish that has been ethically caught & is not endangered
- try to further reduce the amount of rubbish we are responsible for in landfill
|Gratuitous picture of coffee and chocolate...|
This is where we have drawn our line. We are well aware that we will frequently encounter clashes between thrift & ethics...I don't know how we'll get on but we're going to do our best!