It’s easy to feel a bit guilty when you’re splashing out on stuff you don’t really need with money you don’t really have (ten more Funko Pops plz thx). So we’ve found 5 easy ways to assuage your consumer guilt by buying stuff that helps people or planet without you having to lift a finger. Go forth, shop and save the world.
Since discovering this brand in a Facebook ad last year, I’ve fallen in love with it. Originally from Australia, Who Gives A Crap is a witty toilet paper brand that helps to build toilets in the third world. They’ve donated over £650k already.
You can choose from 100% recycled 3-ply (it’s a little less soft than supermarket brands but you get used to it very quickly, and the brightly-coloured wrap it comes in cheers your bathroom right up) or the premium 100% recycled bamboo paper. They also do forest-friendly kitchen roll and boxes of tissues, and I like to get all of them together in bulk and then not have to buy any more paper products for ages.
You can even subscribe so you never run out, and the boxes are full of compliments. Winner.
2. Amazon Smile
It took AGES for this lovely Amazon initiative to cross the pond and reach us in the UK, but it’s finally here. Amazon Smile is a way to give money to your choice of charity every time you shop with Amazon. It doesn’t cost you anything, but you will need to update your bookmarks etc so you remember to go to smile.amazon.co.uk before you shop. Other than that it’s the same (there is a toolbar you can download to do it for you, but I found it really annoying and uninstalled).
There’s a good range of charities to choose from. I’ve gone with the RSPCA, because animals can’t help themselves. Your chosen charity gets 0.5% of every Amazon purchase you make, which adds up pretty damn quickly if you’re a Prime addict like me.
Like Amazon Smile but for other sites too. You click through from Give As You Live’s website to the shop you’re looking for (they have loooooads, including ASOS and John Lewis and M&S and indeed Amazon), and they donate a percentage of the purchase price to your chosen charity (again, they have heaps).
Essentially, it works the same way as affiliate links, where the retailer pays a fee to the referrer for sending someone to their site who then made a purchase. GAYL then gives half of that to your charity, so some sites offer a higher percentage than others depending on what they pay for referrals.
It’s an easy way to give some guilt-free, cost-free money to charity while buying yourself something pretty.
This one is right up my alley — literally. TOTM does organic cotton, biodegradable tampons, pads and liners, and they’re launching a menstrual cup soon. As well as being much better for the environment than standard supplies (even the box it comes in is made from planet-friendly sugar cane), they also donate 10p from every box to Endometriosis UK. So you can help people having an even more horrendous period than you.
I’m also WELL tempted to buy one of their ‘Be kinder to your vagina‘ tote bags just purely for the looks I’d get on the train.
5. One Gin
Drink gin, help the world? Sounds good to us. This ethical spirit aims to donate £20m for clean water projects by 2020, and you can help them just by getting drunk. We’re in.
It’s apparently pretty tasty too, with notes of orange and nutmeg, but of course nothing tastes better than knowing you’re helping. Well, that and a fry-up to cure your hangover.
Got any good ones we missed? Let us know on Twitter.