Conscious Consumerism: The Power of Appreciation
In recent weeks, our media has been full of the stories of those impacted by the string of hurricanes that have thrashed the Caribbean and Atlantic, not to mention the earthquakes that have shaken Mexico. Leaving huge swathes of devastation in their wake, these storms have flattened hospitals, airports, schools and homes.
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As I write from the comfort of my home, in the mild climate of the UK, my heart goes out to all those affected. And it, quite frankly, makes me appreciate even the very small things in life that we, in the UK, take for granted. Recent events have left me feeling incredibly lucky to live in a part of the world where life is easy and secure. Where we have a welfare system that, although far from perfect, can respond to the needs of people who find themselves in a tough situation.
Many affected by these natural disasters have been left without power, clean water or adequate sanitation. Where people don’t have clean water and sanitation, disease spreads fast. This is not a problem that is limited to disaster zones though. I was surprised to read recently that 1 in 3 people still live without a decent toilet and many have no choice but to regularly go in the open. To put this number in context, of the world’s 7 billion people, 6 billion have mobile phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to a decent toilet. More people can watch silly cat videos on YouTube on demand than can have a number two in a toilet… if the monkey covering his eyes emoji was available on squarespace I’d be using it right now!
One organisation that knows this all too well is Andrex; a brand that has taken the sustainability bull by the horns to become 100% zero waste on the manufacturing side, as well as making their dry and moist toilet tissue biodegradable. No mean feat for such a large brand. They’re also undertaking a project helping to make clean water and decent toilets normal for everyone. Andrex is working together with WaterAid, as they believe that everyone should have access to a toilet and clean water as a basic human right, something I’m sure we're all on-board with. This year, they committed to donating at least £100k to WaterAid which will improve sanitation facilities and raise awareness of good hygiene to change the lives of communities in Bangladesh.
Almost 40% of the Bangladeshi population doesn’t have a decent toilet. That’s more than 63 million people. The programme will build public toilet facilities across cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong.
This programme, as well as the impact of the recent natural disasters, got me thinking about the power of appreciation. Appreciation is the art of allowing our connection to all that is good; allowing us to be grateful for all that surrounds us. Find something to appreciate and notice how quickly you feel better. If you feel anxious, stressed or even depressed, take a moment to find something that brings a smile to your face and your mood will shift for the better in an instant.
Imagine if we could channel this appreciation into our consumption, learning to truly appreciate the impact of our purchases and make the conscious choice to positively impact others, and the environment, when we purchase. For example, when you choose to buy Andrex, you’re choosing to help communities in Bangladesh get clean water and decent toilets. Let’s harness the power that appreciation can bring and consume wisely.
This post was sponsored by Andrex. All opinions and words are my own, I receive no editorial direction and only ever give my honest thoughts.