How can we become more conscious consumers?
The first thing I would say is to start small and make changes that are sustainable for your lifestyle. Nobody is perfect and it is better to go slowly and make realistic swaps rather than embark on lots of big changes if you abandon them after a short time. Identify areas that are manageable for you.
Be mindful with your choices. There are lots of relatively simple swaps we can make to ensure we’re avoiding plastic, for example, but there are plenty of other small steps that we can take to adapt our lifestyle such preventing any food waste at home; looking after our clothes to make sure they last; and buying clothes that aren’t designed to be worn for a season then thrown away.
And of course, a huge part of being conscious is about arming ourselves with information – seeking out and supporting the brands and businesses that are doing the right thing and are behaving responsibly. It’s not always easy to make informed choices because there is so much greenwashing, which is why accreditations such as the Butterfly Mark and the Soil Association logo, for example, are so important. They are visible, vital indicators not simply of whether we’re purchasing something sustainable and ethical, but also that we’re choosing products or services that are going that bit further and using their business to have a positive impact on the planet.
The 2020s are being called the decade of change, what are you biggest hopes for the decade?
Every day I am encouraged and inspired by the voices of the younger generation and they fill me with hope for the future. The urgency of the actions taken by young activists such as Greta Thunberg bring into sharp relief the state of the crisis we are in and remind us all that we cannot sit by and let this happen. Children are taking a stand and my hope is that they will continue to reinforce the message that together we can be a force for change.