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Being a conscientious objector is something of a rite of passage at some point in most people’s lives. No matter who you are and where you come from, the existing structures that together create the fabric of society will eventually become outdated, and you as a savvy and progressive 21st-century thinker will need ways to play your part in moving society forward.

The only problem is, well, money, and whether you can live ethically while remaining financially viable (check out Wealthify for more research on the topic).

Take air travel, for example. Fuel guzzling planes zip through the air at breakneck speeds, taking you to where you need to be (either for business or pleasure). The convenience of air travel is undeniable. But burning all those fossil fuels is tantamount to encouraging people to set permanent bonfires in their backyards and pretending the pollution will eventually just sort itself out. Hmm. Perhaps more thought is needed…

You are what you eat

A while back, there was a story in the newspaper that kiwi fruit was not ethical. Specifically, kiwi fruit grown in New Zealand and transported to the UK was actually terrible for the climate, despite the best intentions of anyone choosing to eat said fruit instead of tucking into an intensively farmed steak. Wow, you might well think. Sometimes you really can’t do right for doing wrong. It’s a puzzle.

The solution is to eat as much locally sourced seasonal produce as possible. Not only will this dramatically reduce your carbon footprint regarding transport considerations, but you will be supporting local businesses. Is it cheaper to eat this way? Often, yes. Fresh produce cannot be stored and must be sold, usually for a bargain. Bigger supermarkets can store their fresh produce for longer, meaning they can keep prices high. But for the smaller seller, it all has to go. Pick up some great deals and enjoy the cleaner air as a result.

Switch to solar energy

Readers who reside in grey-sky countries where the sun is spotted for only around 10 minutes per year, leading to an influx of concerned calls to the authorities about an unidentified glowing disc in the sky, will be thinking that there is no point in switching to solar power. You may have also heard that you’d need a 20,000 sq mi solar panel to meet America’s power needs per year (which is actually only a panel roughly one-quarter of the size of tiny England).

But your home isn’t the size of the US, and solar power works even on cloudy days. Often, the power company will even install your panels for free, and any energy you don’t use will be fed back into the grid. Win win.  Save save. Job done.

Lastly, reduce your heating bill

Keeping warm means setting fire to something (e.g., burning the gas in your home gas heating system) or using electric power from possibly unethical power stations. Look into home insulation and keep your bill down, saving money - and the planet - each time things get a bit chilly.


Can you live ethically while saving money?
Digital Mag

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