Morgan’s Mumbles: Sustainable and Ethical Switches by teen contributor Morgan Randall
Like most teens today, teen contributor Morgan Randall is very much aware that climate change is real and is interested in making the world a better place with ethical consumption. Today, Morgan is sharing some resources for us all to use in our libraries or share with our teens who want to do their part to create a sustainable lifestyle.
Recently, I have really been looking further into ethical and sustainable swaps that we can make in everyday life that will have a positive impact on the world around us. An important note before I get into the list is that if you have items that aren’t sustainable make sure you get the full use out of them before you throw them away and buy new ones. The point of sustainable living is to produce as little (unnecessary) waste as possible and to limit our carbon footprint on the Earth.
What to do with old clothes?
If you have clothes that you no longer wear, an ethical way to get rid of them (rather than throwing them in a landfill) is to donate them (be it to someone specific or a thrift store) or sell them. Normally, I would encourage a garage sale but due to the current state of the world, I recommend using apps like DePop or ThredUp which both act as online thrift stores.
Want to shop ethical brands?
These are also great ways to shop when you are looking for clothes, buying from second-hand vendors is a great way to guarantee you are reducing your carbon footprint. If you have a little more money to splurge on brand new items, I recommend buying from brands that are opened about their impact on the environment and their labor sources. A great (and free app) that can help you determine how ethical brands are is called Good On You, it ranks brands on their environmental impact, animal use, and how they source/treat their laborers.
The best way for you to discover brands you like is to research, then support ones that you feel like are making a stride to create a cleaner planet and take good care of their workers.
Looking for ethical brands that go beyond clothing?
This goes further than just clothing, but also into daily products. MadeTrade is a website that sells multiple brands, all of which are ethical.
Know the Origin does this as well
Do you know that lots of brands are trying to create a cleaner planet?
There are also brands that are making strides to create a cleaner planet through products you wouldn’t normally think about. Blueland ( https://www.blueland.com/ ) sells eco-friendly cleaning products. Pela ( https://pelacase.com/ ) sells eco-friendly phone cases, I have one and I love it.
A few more recommendations that are easy swaps are to begin to try and cut out excessive waste. This includes plastics (for example shampoo/conditioner bars are a great alternative to prevent plastic waste that comes from bottles) and also buying items that are typically one-time use. For example, cotton rounds can easily be replaced with reusable face wipes.
Try to replace paper/wood products with bamboo, because bamboo regrows really fast and often times isn’t as harsh on the environment. Glass and steel are both very sustainable, and can be recycled often. For paper products (especially loose-leaf papers or notebooks) try and buy ones made of recycled paper.
These are just a few resources that can be shared with tweens and teens to help promote sustainable living.
And for information on Zero Waste Programming, check out this older post:
Morgan Randall, Teen Contributor
Morgan recently graduated high school and is currently enrolled to attend college in the fall getting her BA in Theatre and Dance with an emphasis on Design and Technology. She loves theatre, writing, reading, and learning. But something that has always been important to her is being a voice for those who feel like they don’t have one, and being a catalyst for change in any way possible.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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