Today is Blog Action Day – the day where thousands of bloggers around the world are all blogging on the same topic – this year it’s ‘the Environment’.
So here’s my tuppenceworth. How do you go and marry up the environment and indeed all things fair trade, ethical and generally fluffy with the dirty business of making money? Most of the jobs I’ve had have been in the charity, public or ethical private sectors so this dilemma has been mine for some time. Now I run my own ‘ethical’ businesses – ie businesses which, I hope, do something inherently worthy but at the end of the day I also need to feed my family.
Green issues have changed and the economy is now awash with ethical products, many of which have genuinely revolutionised modern living while giving us the peace of mind that we are ‘doing our bit’. The most obvious thing that springs to mind is the amazing range of funky, bright, easy-to-use ‘real’ nappies but there are many more examples.
I recently bought, and love, a Mooncup, a fantastically simple, cheap, reusable piece of equipment which has changed a quarter of my life substantially! But, I ask myself, if all the heath food supermarket type shops sell these and everyone buys them how does Mooncup keep going? How do the natural cotton sanitary wear companies keep going? Maybe they don’t care because they will be so happy that the world is a better place? Or maybe the know that will never happen…?
A couple of days ago I was in Fresh & Wild, remortgaging my house to buy a bit of organic cheese (it’s not cheap and cheerful healthy food!). By way of background they are owned by Wholefoods, an American and fairly assertive company who have gradually eroded some of the healthier, organic and locally-sourced fluffiness from this shop. I noticed that they DO NOT stock Mooncup which made me ponder this issue again, the motivations of ethical companies and how they have to survive in an essentially cut-throat world…