Give Something Back

Here’s a thought for your Wednesday – how do you personally define shopping ethically?  I’ve thought long and hard about this, and came up with no real, tangible or easy definition of ethical shopping.    You see, what one person might consider as shopping ethically may not be seen as ethical to another.  It very much depends on your priorities – whether they be environmental, where your purchase makes very limited impact on the natural world around us, or socially, where your purchases benefit the poorest or most vulnerable people in society.

Give Generation

I’ve found a new American site, called Give Generation, that aims to cater for all definitions of the term ‘ethical shopping’.  You see, Give Generation brings together all stores that give something back ethically, be it environmentally or socially.  You can select which cause is most important to you, from a list of 16, and then shop with stores that donate to or support your aligned causes or charities.  These causes range from human trafficking, orphan care, the empowerment of women, and suicide prevention; to causes such as clean water, hunger and health; to animal advocacy and environmental sustainability.

To test it out I searched for stores that benefit the environment and was presented with a long list of stores; from some that help with reforestation projects, to some that help with ocean conservation, to stores that use recycled or salvaged materials.  From a consumerist point of view, it’s certainly really useful to see where I can purchase things I need that can also make a positive difference, or at the very least off-set a little the true cost of an item’s impact on the earth during its manufacture.

ethical shopping

{some of the products on sale through Give Generation that give back in some way}

Giver Generation caters for all – women, men, kids, homes, and even pets; and to me it seems like a great way to empower shoppers to make socially and/or environmentally conscious purchases.  Unfortunately it’s not particularly UK friendly, but if you are a US Moral Fibres reader I would certainly recommend having a look.

eco-friendly sunscreen

Eco-Friendly Sunscreen

 eco-friendly sunscreen

I’ve still got holidays on my mind over here, thanks to a weekend of glorious sunshine, so today I thought I’d share some skin-friendly paraben free eco-friendly sunscreen on the blog today.

Unfortunately, even in the eco-friendly market, not all sunscreens are equal.  Be wary of brands that say they offer “complete protection” without any further detail – this is  to get round marketing regulations.  Instead look for ones that specifically say that they give both UVA and UVB protection.  Also be wary of sunscreens saying they offer protection above SPF 50, as there is no evidence anything above SPF 50 offers increased protection.  This also fools you into thinking you can reapply less – you still have to reapply the cream every couple of hours regardless of the SPF.

To help you through this minefield I’ve done some research and came up with a few reliable eco-friendly sunscreen brands, offering a good SPF, and with both UVA and UVB protection, that are safe for all of the family to use:

Eco-Friendly Sunscreen Recommendations:

Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen

Badger Sunscreen is one of the best eco-friendly sunscreens on the market, offering a sun protection factor of 30, and protection from both UVA and UVB rays.  It’s 100% chemical free, contains 87% certified organic ingredients, and is hypoallergenic – making it safe for every member of the family, even little ones.

If you’re planning on snorkeling or diving in coral reefs or other environmentally sensitive ecosystems, then it’s a great choice as it’s completely biodegradable and  won’t cause any harm to the reefs or waterways.  And for the final thumbs up, it’s not tested on animals, although it’s not vegan as it contains beeswax.

The downside is it is not readily available in the UK, however I’ve tracked it down on Amazon for £20.85 for a handbag sized 87 ml.

Green People SPF 30 Sunscreen

Free from parabens, alcohol, Lanolin, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals and colourants, Green People’s* 78% certified organic eco-friendly sunscreen packs great protection from UVA and UVB rays.  I’m not certain if it’s reef-safe however: it’s worth checking with Green People.

It’s suitable for the most sensitive of skin, even babies, and rubs in really well.  It’s not vegan however, due to inclusion of beeswax.

Available with free delivery from Green People for £22*  for 200ml, a great size for holidays.

Jāsön Sun Family Sunscreen SPF 45

Free from parabens and SLS, the Jāsön eco-friendly sunscreen offers a hefty SPF45 protection from both UVA and UVB rays, making it great for all of the family.  It’s gentle and non-irritant and rubs in well.  It’s not tested on animals and vegan friendly, but not reef-safe.

It’s available from Holland & Barrett for £11.99* for 113g, making it budget friendly, and a handy size for carrying around in your bag.  It’s often on offer at Holland & Barrett: when I picked up my tube it was 25% off, but at time of writing it’s currently buy one get one half price, so it’s worth checking out what the current offers are.

 If you’re after a reef-safe sunscreen then try the Jāsön Mineral SPF30 sunblock, which is £11.80 from Look Fantastic.

Invisible Zinc SPF 30 Sunscreen

Invisible Zinc is apparently the eco-friendly sunscreen choice of celebrities, from Elle MacPherson, Nicole Kidman,  to Cate Blanchett – all fair-skinned beauties.

Invisible Zinc is a light and non-greasy eco-friendly natural sunscreen offering very high UVA and UVB protection.  Unlike other creams, Invisible Zinc provides a physical (not chemical) barrier between you and the sun using only one active ingredient: Zinc-Oxide.  Zinc Oxide is a mineral reflector found in nature, which creates a reflective barrier on the surface of your skin.

As it’s low on ingredients it’s suitable for use on all skin types, and the good news is Invisible Zinc is also vegan friendly, and not tested on animals.  I’m not sure how it fares in sensitive waterways.  I would imagine it would be ok but it’s best to contact the manufacturer for verification.

UPDATED May 2017 – Invisible Zinc was available in the UK through Cult Beauty but they have stopped stocking it.  Selfridges stock it, but isn’t available to purchase online.  It’s also available on Amazon for £17.32 but shipping is quite pricey (£8!)

Have you found any other eco-friendly sunscreen brands you love?  Do let me know in the comments!

* denotes an affiliate link.  Please see my disclosure policy for more information