Jenna Matthews

Ethical Moms With Big Busy Families

Ethical Trade Stories: Jenna M.

I want to make sure we do what we can to keep this world clean and safe for the next generation.

I’m a busy mom of 4 little loves and over the past 2 years or so I have been moving our family to a more sustainable lifestyle.  For me, as a parent, I see the importance of being aware of what is happening in the world around us and I want to make sure we do what we can to keep this world clean and safe for the next generation.

Take Care of Those Who Make What We Use

I was first made aware of the importance of living ethically when I heard about the tragedy of the earthquake in Indonesia at the textile factory, Rana Plaza. It was that incident that propelled us into looking into the clothing we wear and brands. From there my eyes were more open to see what else is happening that we should know more about; child labor in the cocoa fields, the damage all our second hand clothing is having on markets in other countries, and how plastic is killing our planet.

I want to live a life that honors God.

It can be so overwhelming when you hear of all the things that we “should” be doing differently. For instance, no plastic, sustainable clothing, recycle, save the glaciers… the list goes on and on. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and helpless. But instead instead, we as a family, have made small continuous changes in areas we do have control over. As a mom and a believer, I want to live a life that honors God. I want to not only take care of what He has given us but I also want to ensure we honor the people who make the things I use on a daily basis!

Our Ethical Family Plan

These are a few little things that we do or use to try and live more sustainably:

1. Reusable grocery bags

I feel happier knowing that we are keeping plastic bags from being used. And for me the reusable bags are much easier to carry. Also, when feeding a family of 6 you can pack those bags much heavier!  Its a win win!

2. Sustainable straws

We have swapped out our plastic straws to stainless steel and other sustainable types of straws.  That was a decision our girls helped with as well. We all love our new colorful reusable straws and now have found that we are even more aware when dining out.

3. Buying second hand clothing.

Sustainable brands can be more expensive and since we work on a family budget those purchases can be hard. But I also know there are so many good clothes that people have given away or consigned that have a lot of life left in them! For fast growing kids these purchases are a great choice (they go through clothes so quickly anyways).  When we are investing in pieces for my husband and I, we try to choose more ethically sourced or sustainable brands.

We can all do our little bit.

We can’t do it all nor are we supposed to, but together we can all do a little bit and that will make a world of difference, especially when we invite others to do the same along the way!