Hello Everyone, I am Thiri, Ethical Choice Intern. This week, I took the time to interview Monica, who is the lead Editor of Ethical Choice, and ask her about her ethical journey.
Monica is from Taiwan, who came to Japan at the age of 18 to study as a University student. She is currently 25, working as a web director in a Japanese web marketing company. Monica is a fun and outgoing person, who is not afraid to speak out and stand up for people she loves! Let’s take a look at what led her to be in Ethical Choice.
Sustainability Started From Home
Monica’s first encounter with ethical and sustainable ideas started from home. In her culture, wasting was unacceptable. Even at restaurants, leftover food was brought home. Taiwan is also strict with separating trash, composable, non-composable, recyclable etc. In addition, many families would bring their own chopsticks to restaurants to reduce single use utensils! She grew up in an environment where many sustainable actions were ingrained in her daily life.
Her school also had ways of bringing sustainable ideas to students, often students brought their own water bottles and were encouraged to be creative when looking for sustainable and ethical ideas. Her ethical journey did not stop there. In middle school, she joined Roots and Shoots, an environmental educating organization founded by Jane Goodall. In Roots and Shoots, she became more aware of the environmental issues that the world was facing.
Monica’s Ethical Journey
Her ethical journey took off in her own form when she came to Japan in 2014 and started living on her own. “Living with your parents can sometimes limit the choices you make in your life, especially when they are paying for it.”
Living alone, she was able to explore new things, make decisions for herself and be ethical. She found herself diving into the world of sustainable and ethical products, and the possibilities of making her life and others’ better.
She does what she can in her everyday life such as not turning on the air conditioner until necessary, recycling properly by washing plastic bottles and containers before recycling and not following new fashion trends unnecessary. She also does her part by educating friends and family about the importance of making ethical choices.
One of her favorite ethical/sustainable actions is using her tumblers from Starbucks. She enjoys the designs of Starbucks bottles and always brings them out when she needs a cup of coffee. Not only does she get to enjoy the aesthetic of her tumbler with her favorite drink, she gets a couple cents cheaper and sometimes even gets coupons for free drinks! She mentioned, it makes her feel like it’s worth washing or carrying the tumblers around with such incentives. She also thinks it is a great way to get more people to join and participate in sustainable actions.
Replacing the Old with Sustainable New
Monica shared with us some products one could swap for your daily product! That she uses and recommends for those that are interested in starting their ethical journey.
It is a beeswax organic wrap that can be reused and composed. She uses this as a substitute for plastic cling wraps. Honey Wrap can be used for vegetables, bread and stored in the fridge. Once used, it is washable and reusable up to at least 30 times! She mentioned that Honey Wrap is not recommended for use on meat and in the freezer or microwave.
If you are interested in Honey Wrap, check out this article Do More for Our Beautiful Planet with Honeywrap to find out more! And if you want something that can be microwaved or used on meat, try silicone wraps.
As a makeup lover, she told me that the best way to contribute to the environment is to reduce your waste. Face Halo is a microfiber makeup remover pad that can be reused by hand washing or throwing it in the laundry. The best part about it is that there is no additional product needed to remove makeup. Just Face Halo and some water! With reusable makeup remover, you can reduce the amount of single use makeup wipes waste.
Here’s Monica’s Review on Face Halo! Click here to find out more :Sustainable & Reusable Makeup Remover + Face Halo Review
Ren Skincare was also one of the brands that she recommended confidently. It is an organic skincare product that uses natural ingredients that are not only good for the skin and good for the environment. What is great about this brand is that all of their packagings is reused plastic, which means they do not produce more plastic than there is already, reducing plastic waste. In addition, the brand constantly strives to improve its sustainability actions.
If you are wondering what else you can do to switch up your daily products to ethical products, here’s an article for you! Read Top 10 Eco Friendly Products to Make 2021 Greener
What is Ethical to You?
When I asked her, what is ethical to you and why is it important? She answered, “it’s about making the best decision for yourself and providing yourself with more options for the future.”
Sustainability is not black and white, right or wrong
She added, being ethical is very personal and sometimes it’s hard to understand the different meanings behind it. That’s why she believes that making the best decision for herself, eventually led to being ethical as well.
One of the many obstacles she faces making ethical choices these days is that it is more difficult to make ethical choices than before as there are many products that define themselves as sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethical. So asking, are they greenwashing? or are they really ethical and making the decision crucial. Do I really need this? Is it within my budget? or is there another even better option for the environment?
How to start being Ethical?
So, are you wondering how to start your ethical journey? Here’s the takeaway from Monica’s interview.
She mentioned in the interview that making ethical choices has to come from one’s heart.
People only choose to believe what they believe.
She speaks, she understands sustainability is not for everyone. It is important to understand your situation and ask yourself, do I have the money for it? Will I be able to put in the effort to continue my actions? She added, being honest with yourself is the best way of being sustainable. Understanding what you can do and cannot do is important when trying to be ethical. Take easy, reachable and small steps. A good way to start off is selecting somewhere you want to start with, such as kitchen, bathroom, fashion or food. Always don’t forget to compliment yourself while you’re doing it, because you’re rocking it, love!
As Monica mentioned, there is no right or wrong in making ethical decisions and doing it for the reason you love, will allow you to be consistent with your actions. Your ethical journey starts with you, making the small changes in your life. Listening to her ethical journey, I couldn’t agree more with the fact that there is no right or wrong in making ethical decisions and doing it for the reason you love, will allow you to be consistent with your actions. Your ethical journey starts with you, making the small changes in your life. It was such a pleasure talking to her and I hope you guys enjoyed this pick up as much as I did!
Thank you for reading till here, until next time!
Check out our Instagram Post where Monica talks about what ethical means to her!