Sustainable consumerism is on the rise and it's coming fast. If I look at my 'sustainability at home' efforts and building this sustainable living blog from the beginning of the year to now, my head is spinning. When the pandemic hit and everyone was adjusting to our new way of living it seemed that environmentalism and sustainability had taken the backseat, but now it's back in full swing and stronger than ever. The demand for environmentally and sustainably products has never been greater. Needless to say I am overjoyed to witness this sustainable living movement.
The pandemic has shown us many things, but the most profound one is that business as usual is obsolete. Nothing will return back to where it was. In fact our ways of living on this planet have become obsolete because many of them are toxic. It also has revealed once more how important it is to move into a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Environmental stressors such as air pollution, soil depletion, contaminated drinking water etc. weaken our immune systems, create chronic diseases (endocrine disorders, cancer, diabetes, to name a few) and kill people. Our linear economy is very much responsible for that, which extracts, turns resources into products and then disposes of them. This cycle is called “take-make-waste".
Many industries have become health hazards, e.g. fossil fuels (oil and gas wells pump out nearly a trillion toxic gallons of wastewater a year, air pollution etc.), plastic (part of fossil fuel industry, polluting ecosystems, waterways, oceans), agriculture (monocrop farming leads to soil depletion/nutrient deficiency, use of pesticides lead to chronic diseases, deforestation), fashion (waste, chemical toxicity, child labor, microplastics pollution) beauty (insane amounts of waste get send to landfills or end up in oceans), etc.
The big corporation mentality "to maximize short term profits" at all cost can't be justified for that. We need to do something about it! It's clear that governments and nonprofits alone can’t solve our most challenging problems. Consumers and businesses alike have to roll up their sleeves to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Meet the B Corp
The great news is that there are companies and brands out there, who are making a difference in the world. Certified B Corporations, in short B Corps, are accelerating that global culture shift to redefine success in business.They use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: to reduce inequality, lower poverty levels, create a healthier environment, stronger communities, and jobs with purpose. To identify a B Corp, look for this certification label on packaging.
B Corps meet the highest standards of verified environmental and social performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. It’s the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance.
I finally created a brand directory for ethical and sustainable shopping. The list is a work in progress and includes only B Corps for now, but there are many other companies that have great sustainability certifications as well. It's a big undertaking, so thank you for your patience as I keep adding more. My next blog post will be about what certification labels to look for to identify other ethical and sustainable brands other than B Corps.
Meanwhile the list I have so far is a good one to start with. You vote with your money, don't forget that. If you buy from a company, give them money, you basically tell them to continue what they are doing. So put your money into businesses that have sustainable practices and be part of the solution, and not the problem. This is one of the easiest sustainability efforts you can engage with. Even if you do nothing else, you are still doing a lot. 🙌🏻
To access the B Corp list click here.