Hi, we are Helen and Carl. We want to change the way we live. Like a lot of people in Britain when we watched the BBC Blue Planet television programme in 2017, we saw that change was needed.

The image of the seahorse swimming with a plastic cotton wool bud alerted us to the impact the way we live has on the planet.
We started to pay a lot more attention to the rubbish we threw away into general waste.

So, slowly we started to try and live differently. Where possible, we bought products with reduced plastic packaging and found shops that used no packaging.
We noticed that this led us to eat healthier. We made more food from scratch and ate a lot fewer takeaways.

We felt better.

As we watched other TV programs like ‘Stacey Dooley Investigates: Are your clothes wrecking the planet?’ we realised we had to do more. Helen went from being a shopping addict to a charity shop enthusiast, starting to live differently felt good.

Our desire to find out more about the impact of the way we live led us to pay more attention to messages from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. In 2018 the Channel 4 television show ‘Orangutan Jungle School’ showed us the problems caused by Palm Oil deforestation.

When we found out about the number of products that we used contained palm oil, we were shocked. From the bread we ate to the soap we used, it was time to change.

We started looking at all the ingredients and researched online for new retailers to buy from.

As we researched more about the products we bought, we learned that many large companies still test on animals.

We couldn’t believe that animal testing still existed so started to buy cruelty-free products. With further research, we found out that the large companies that sold cruelty-free products also sold products tested on animal, so we changed our buying habits.

By now we’d gone from wanting to reduce our plastic waste to a desire to change everything. While we became aware of the problems created by the way we live, it got frustrating to see that the world around us was not changing.

Large retailers continued to use single-use plastic. Mass-produced chocolate by Cadburys and Nestle continued to use palm oil.

It was still challenging to know what could and couldn’t be recycled. We only recently found out that shredded paper and receipts can’t be recycled.

Finding ethical retailers was also tricky and took quite a bit of research. We are still very much at the early stage of changing how we live, but we created Ethical Zest to share and learn.

Ethical Zest has been created as a reference and a blog to share how we progress. We want to collaborate with other like-minded people and companies to share information.

Our Ethical Zest aim is to encourage others to join us to live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of life.

Small actions lead to big changes.

Are you ready for change?

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