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ETHICAL ANXIETY
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
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Lately I have been suffering from ethical anxiety: I doubt what effect my efforts to live green really have on the wider world. Maybe it is the falling leafs, the darker days and a cold that keeps on bugging me, but I need some reflection. What have I been doing lately that is supposed to make a positive contribution?

Since finding out that we can bring packaging back to our supermarket, our trash bin is carrying a much lighter weight. In addition, we take our veggie and fruit peels for a compost walk every week. We are now also in full swing with our washable nappies which keep our baby dry around the clock. Only when we travel, we fall back on disposables: comfort surpasses feelings of guilt.

We cancelled our fall holiday, mainly because of baby, but also to work on our PhD's. In general I have lost the strong desire for travelling. Because I am tired of being a nomad the past few years, but also because baby makes me an indoor Christoffel Columbus: there is always so much to discover. Positive result: less CO2 emitted and less waste created.

We bought a second hand buggy instead of paying $ 1.500 for a new model. It is bright orange and family members call it our 'Testarossa', since we don't own a car, but we're proudly roaming the streets with it. Because baby does bring along some extra luggage, we have just registered for a try-out at Mobility cars: the hugely successful 'borrow a car' company in Switzerland.

We have made an effort to become active in our local community. Two weeks back we organized a music evening in a multicultural café to bring together people from various backgrounds, including many who have come here as refugees. I have also started a weekly children's group to support my neighbour's kids deal with the fact that they are being discriminated for the color of their skin.

Baby is only wearing new clothing when it was a gift, otherwise it is all second hand (just like 50% of my own wardrobe).

We have increased the number of TED talks we're watching in comparison to light Hollywood movies that became quite boring. Outcome: we feel more inspired to create positive change (not counting today…).

Because of baby's colic, I had to cut dairy from my diet. By now, I realize that dairy has lost its attraction, even the amazing Swiss cheeses that I thought I could never live without. I have been cooking delicious meals from a vegan blog and whenever I bake a regular cake, it suddenly feels too heavy for my body. I am not sure if I will become entirely vegan, but I do know that my system is quite happy with this new diet.

We have changed our bank accounts to the co-op bank which offers less interest, but investments in green companies and micro-insurance projects.

I have really lost my zest for women's magazines even though they're good to stay updated on fashion trends. Instead I derive inspiration from printed media such as Yoga magazine and Ode, but mainly through newsletters and websites that also save me the walk to the paper bin.

On my to do list are:
Learning more about the ingredients of our body care and cleaning products. I thought I had bought green products, but found out that some ingredients cause cancer. While finishing up old products, Ecover in the kitchen cupboard and Weleda in the bathroom are steadily becoming a more familiar sight.
I want to make baby wipes and cleaning wipes from old cloth.
We aim to further fill our regular grocery basket with fairtrade and organic produce. Even if it takes a shopping detour around town to several stores. I also need to remember to take money with me next time we go for a walk as to be able to buy fresh jam, eggs and fruit from local farmers.

Writing this down has showed me that trying to live ethically is really a process, ´for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them´ (Aristotle). It is ok to not be perfect (after first answering the question ´Does perfect exist?´). It is ok to feel anxious sometimes. And it is ok to take a day off once in a while. But it is also good to make an overview like this and realize that all small contributions do help. This uplifts my spirits, even on a rainy Sunday afternoon, at least a little bit. I hope it does yours too.

Photo: Titanium Aura Quartz ring by Nicole Mebane via Fashion Conscience.

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Aoife, February 11, 2011
Hello!
I'm currently a student doing my dissertation on Ethical Fashion. I would really appreciate if you could fill out my questionnaire by following the link below:
http://www.kwiksurveys.com/online-survey.php?surveyID=IJKOGG_eb85a2df

Please forward this link on to other people who may be interested in taking this survey.

Thank You
xX

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