Recently, I shifted my business ethics to only work with clients who I believe are doing good things in this world.
In this blog article I wanted to talk about what my personal ethics and environmental views are, and how they run through to my business.
It all starts with our own definition of ‘ethical’. I feel that this means different things to different people.
For me, being ethical mean contributing positively to society, helping those around me and reducing my impact on the world. And by impact I mean my negative footprint.
It’s an obvious one. And one that more people and local councils are getting on-board with. My local council are really good, I have bins for: all garden and food waste, tins and plastics, paper and cardboard, and the smallest of all…the general waste/non recyclable bin (which never manage to fill up).
· I aim to not buy overly packed food. And if there is packing involved, then I make sure to find products with cardboard packaging.
· I don’t waste food. This is a pet hate of mine. I love to eat, so why would I want to throw any of my food in the bin?
· I don’t over-buy food. I only buy what I need. This again reduces food waste.
I’m somewhat of a minimalist. Meaning that I don’t have a lot of ‘stuff’. I have quite a lot of gear for my hobbies and passions. My climbing gear for instance gets used almost daily.
Impulsive buying is something that we’re all guilty of. When it comes to resisting the urge to impulsively buy anything I use a combination of strong willpower and also I’ll us a 24hr method: If I want to buy something, I’ll think about it for 24hrs before I make the purchase. If it doesn’t improve my life in some way, then I won’t purchase it.
Yes I own a car. I know, shocker. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to go rock climbing, my one passion. I also own an old motorbike, which I don’t get to use much, as it’s usually broken. With my car, I keep journeys to a minimum, and I’ll car share with my rock climbing partners if we’re going on trips.
I also walk and cycle to places. I walk to get my groceries, I walk, run or cycle to go to the indoor rock climbing centre where I train, which is 2 miles away.
I use technology, but I don’t need the latest and greatest piece of tech. I treat my devices correctly and therefore they last quite a long time. I’m yet to break a mobile phone!
I don’t waste food. This is a pet hate of mine. I love to eat, so why would I want to throw any of my food in the bin?
I’m lucky enough to have an office at home. This means no commute and therefore my car doesn’t get used really during the week. I’ve done the jobs where I’ve had to commute long distances each day. It doesn’t help the environment and it certainly doesn’t help your mental state.
I don’t tend to use much paper. Other than sketching out project ideas. Any project notes from client phone calls or meetings are done digitally in my notes app on my computer.
I don’t tend to have face-to-face client meetings unless they’re really necessary. Most meetings nowadays can be conducted via phone or email. If I’m nearby to a client, or if they’re a local new client then I’ll meet up with them and have a face-to-face meeting.
Physical print projects are a tricky one, but thanks to modern print processes I’m able to offer recycled paper stocks and vegetable based inks.
The good thing about design in the modern world is that it’s mainly digital. It lends itself well to low consumption of goods. My computer (which is a necessary tool for a designer) doesn’t consume much power.
I’d say that my ethics and environmental awareness in my non-work life definitely influence my working life. Hopefully this article helps a few people. To me, the points raised in this article seem natural, as I’ve been doing them for a while. But I’ve met many people who lack environmental awareness and ethics and who could probably benefit from a bit of help.