Choosing to live a more ethical lifestyle one step at a time

Choosing to live a more ethical lifestyle | rhianna olivia

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the outrage that surrounded a certain ~influencer~ (god, I hate that word) and their promotion of a real fur coat. My main issue with it wasn’t JUST that she was wearing it, but that she was outright promoting it. In turn, influencing her (rather large) audience to do the same. I mean, I don’t agree with her wearing it either, but promoting it somehow feels even worse?

And, on top of that, when the backlash came, she didn’t DO anything. All she did was delete comments that called out her shitty behaviour and block people.

Not cool.

I think about living ethically a lot. I’ve thought about it for a few years, but never in any real depth.

After the fur coat issue, an episode of Blue Planet II aired that showed just how much devastation plastic is causing to our oceans and marine life. It was absolutely heart breaking.

All of this, alongside some other underlying feelings and opinions, got me thinking about how ethically I live.

Obviously, with us living with Joe’s parents, it’s not *always* easy to choose ethical living. Not everything we do/eat/use is our choice. But, with us moving out next week, I think I’m going to make an effort to make it the start of a more ethical life.

We’ve already talked about cutting down our meat consumption and trying some vegan meals a few times a week. Joe’s parents are EXCELLENT at recycling and I want to continue that. I’m also currently in the process of cutting dairy from my diet due to a suspected intolerance.

I suddenly realised a lot of the steps I’d want to take, I’d already taken without thinking. Which made it all feel slightly less daunting.

One of the other major changes I’m decided to go through is swapping to cruelty free. Makeup and skincare primarily, but I’m in the process of researching where else in my life would benefit from this (household cleaners etc.)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to change to a 100% cruelty free, ethically-living vegan overnight. That’s not how this works and it frustrates me when people think otherwise.

I’ve seen a lot of people online berating other people for not being ethical “enough”. For only being vegetarian, not vegan. For being cruelty free, but still eating meat. Thankfully, especially over the last few days, I’ve also seen people contesting this view and emphasising every little helps. So that is the mindset I’m following.

I may never be fully vegetarian. I may never be fully vegan. I may never be fully cruelty free and I may never be fully ethical. But I’m going to try do my best to improve my ethical living choices from what they are now.

I’m going to cut down on my meat consumption by eating more vegan/vegetarian meals. I’m going to do my best to cut down my single-use plastic use to the bare minimum, and recycle/reuse anything else. I’m going to swap as many products as possible to cruelty free, and try not to support brands who test on animals. I’m going to try only buying faux or second hand leather and suede.

I’m going to try embrace a more ethical lifestyle, one step at a time.

I’m going to document this journey wherever and whenever I can. Whether that be recipes I love, tips I’ve found, cruelty free products I’ve fallen for or non/low-plastic alternatives I’ve discovered. And if anyone has any tips for me in the meanwhile, it will all be appreciated.

I may not ever be “perfect”, but surely every little helps?



  1. 3rd December 2017 / 9:35 am

    This is so inspiring! I am trying to do similar, cutting down on meat and dairy. Never thought to consider make up and cleaning products so gonna look into this! I feel like even little changes can help some how and its nice to know we are doing our bit!

    Anna x

  2. 1st December 2017 / 10:32 pm

    I totally agree with this Rhi – I am making such an effort to live more consciously in 2018 … I’m already quite good at recycling, I have my own compost bin and always ensure that my food comes from a sustainable source so I’m hoping the small changes I make over the next few weeks will make a big difference!

    Emma |

  3. Bailey Nunez
    29th November 2017 / 10:21 pm

    In all honesty as someone who is vegetarian and doesn’t eat a lot of dairy, because I have a mild intolerance to it, I try to be cruelty free in all my purchases which isn’t always easy. I would not become vegan, I think the idea behind it is wonderful however if everyone went vegan it would cause a shock to our ecosystem. Many lower life forms will die and go extinct due to the influx of animals that used to be eaten by humans and no longer are. I think what you are saying is the best way to live. Be more conscious about how we treat animals and our environment but also knowing that being vegan is not as great for our ecosystem as people want you to believe. I think you talking about this is amazing! Because you’re right with so many in the community it’s all or nothing which is bull in my opinion, especially when you can’t afford to be all.

  4. 25th November 2017 / 11:42 pm

    I love this! I got a bit of backlash when I said I was no longer a vegetarian, and people question as to why I am still against animal cruelty/real fur etc, which I understand but a veggie lifestyle just wasn’t working out for me and I’d tried it for 5 years, but I like to do my best to live ethically and I think that’s ok. I’m also trying to look into the makeup products I use too and try and only buy cruelty free!

    Meg x

  5. 25th November 2017 / 7:09 pm

    Brilliant post, and one I also think about a lot! In my view, even if you had just one meat free meal a week, you’re still making a difference! Any small changes you make add up to the bigger picture! Alice xxx

  6. 25th November 2017 / 6:13 pm

    I read somewhere this week that those of us who are in a position to start making more ethical choices are still in the top percentage for carbon footprints. It’s the nature of the lives we live now. Which is why I don’t have a lot of patience for the “not ethical enough” position. Like, neither are you, unless you live in a tent and don’t use electricity. It’s all about conscious consumption, to me; thinking carefully about your choices and making the best ones that you can.

    I’m looking forward to reading all about, and finding inspiration in, the things you learn on this journey.

    Lis / last year’s girl x

  7. Courtney Hardy
    25th November 2017 / 3:18 am

    Congrats on your choice. Real fur is just unnecessary because it takes away the lives of many animals. Fake fur and vegan options in general are awesome because it’s good for the earth, and makes you feel better about yourself because you know you’re making a difference.

  8. 24th November 2017 / 11:36 am

    Great choice! I THINK Method do a range of cleaning products, and they are all about ethical living, cruelty free etc. I’m planning to make the move to their cleaners over the stuff I currently use. I saw the Blue Planet II episode about the damage our current lifestyles are wreaking on the planet, and it really made me think. I hope it did a lot of other people, too. x x

  9. 23rd November 2017 / 3:11 pm

    Of course, every little helps! It’s good to try ethical living one step at a time. I’m so glad I do things like recycling, seeking cruelty-free makeup and not wearing real fur, but a lot of this is about awareness and being a conscious consumer.


  10. 23rd November 2017 / 9:49 am

    Amen to this approach! You can’t ever guarantee it will be a perfect change but like you said every little does help! Xxx

  11. 23rd November 2017 / 9:33 am

    You go girl! I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently, especially cutting down on meat and potentially going vegetarian, and switching to cruelty free makeup. You’re a very good egg xxx

    Abi | abistreetx

  12. 23rd November 2017 / 9:15 am

    Love this approach, so many people feel like they have to be perfect to be more ethical but none of us are perfect and every little definitely helps! I’ve been eating almost 100% vegan since Jan and using only cruelty free makeup and beauty for almost two years, obviously I’m no expert but if you have any questions I can try and help. xxx

  13. 23rd November 2017 / 3:36 am

    i can definitely relate with this! you probably know this already but for me, the big four have been a really easy way of helping me with producing less waste and using less plastic which i think are a simple little steps we can all do to make a big change when it comes to living ethically.

    so that’s carrying a reusable coffee cup (keepcup’s my fave), water bottle and straw (if you like to use them) with you all the time, along with a canvas/reusable bag to eliminate the need for a plastic bag. also, just being mindful of what you’re purchasing – package free if possible from markets, or in glass rather than plastic – because then you just don’t have to recycle as much, or put as much in landfill. also! if you have a garden you should make a compost, they’re amazing. and trying to buy second hand clothing, or spending less money on fast fashion.

    like you say though, it’s all about baby steps, doing things that are achievable for you, and making sure to celebrate your successes even if they seem like they’re small :) loving the blog as per!

  14. RosieBaillie
    22nd November 2017 / 9:09 pm

    I already said it on Twitter, but every small change makes a difference. I’m getting sick of seeing people moan at people for not being something ‘enough’. Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen people berating others for sharing the petition about getting the government to change their minds and agree that animals are sentient beings, saying “oh, you’re upset about that but you’re going to eat meat and dairy?” I’m sick of it. These aren’t easy changes to make, most people can’t do them overnight, and it doesn’t mean your efforts are less valid. Let me know if you have any questions :)

  15. Siobhan Llinos Gale
    22nd November 2017 / 7:53 pm

    This is great! And I am truly of the every little helps mindset and never belittle things that people do to better themselves and the world. Proud of you girly! If you need hints and tips I’m always happy to help! 💗x

  16. 22nd November 2017 / 6:23 pm

    I loved this gal! I think my biggest bugbear is people making out that veganism or ethical living is about perfection when it’s actually about good intentions – and every little does help. I’ve been vegan and cruelty-free since the start of this year and I am getting on really well with it, but there’s still SO MANY things that I could be doing to live a more ethical lifestyle. I’m going to do some research and start making more small changes over time.

    When you look into cruelty-free stuff you will probably find you already own some bunny-friendly products, there are quite a few both high end and high street make up/skincare brands which are cf. For household products, Method stuff smells amazing and is great and Co-op and Sainsburys own brand are cruelty-free :) Really looking forward to hearing how you get on as I still have loads to learn, particularly with waste/plastic etc xxx

    Sophie | Sophar So Good

  17. 22nd November 2017 / 3:30 pm

    I had EXACTLY the same reaction to both these things and they’ve really given me the push to be more ethical. Vintage (or second hand ;)) shopping is something I used to really enjoy so I’m going to start doing that more again because you can’t get much more ethical clothing that way. Superdrug is actually a really easy way to get into ethical skin care and makeup, they’re own ranges are all certified by leaping bunny and is easily accessible and relatively cheap too. I’m going to write my own post about this and I’m looking forward to more from you! xx

  18. 22nd November 2017 / 3:26 pm

    This is an amazing choice! I 100% agree with you that doing something is ALWAYS better than doing nothing, and when people are putting down others who are trying their hardest really upsets me too. I’m vegetarian, but I try to eat a vegan diet as often as I can, but I still sometimes feel so guilty for not making “enough” effort when I see those posts. But it’s so important not to let that get us down – after all, if everyone did at least something, the world would be a much better place already! xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  19. 22nd November 2017 / 12:52 pm

    This is fabulous Rhianna, I too sit in that category that I know I’m not 100% ethical. But we can make small steps and progress from there.
    Bee xxx

  20. Alice Dunbar
    22nd November 2017 / 12:29 pm

    I’m similar to you in that, although I’m not fully vegan or vegetarian and I do still own makeup that isn’t fully ethical, I’m making a concious decision to change this moving forward, and to make better choices. Vegan recipes are now part of our weekly staple (my favourite is this African Peanut Stew which is healthy & delicious!
    Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear more about your journey!!
    Alice xxx

  21. 22nd November 2017 / 11:52 am

    Hi Rhianna, I think small steps and small changes is the way forward, no one, even the most ethical of all the ethical people can be 100% ethical all the time and it’s totally un-realistic for most people to even try (How many times can I say ethical). I don’t want to come across as spammy, but I started my blog to try and find “easy ethical” solutions to everyday things, mostly in regards to fashion and beauty. So if you would be interested in having a look that would be great :)

    I’ve also recently started cutting out red meat, I wanted to do it for the duration of a job I was working on but it seems to have become more of a habit now, not sure I could give it up fully though either, also trying with dairy but the cheese aspect is difficult!

    Anyway great post and good luck, would love to hear your updates
    Charlotte x

  22. 22nd November 2017 / 10:25 am

    Every little helps for sure and the fact your even thinking about any of this is already step one done and dusted. For cruelty free beauty Superdrug is always going to be one of the more affordable places to find things like shampoo, moisturizers, shower gel and toothpaste. You can also check out Tesco own brand and Sainsburys as both are usually wayyyyy cheap and not tested on animals. You have brands like LUSH, Body Shop, Original Source, Palmers, Urban Decay, Bare Minerals, GOSH, Collection, Real Techniques, MUA, Makeup Revolution, Barry M for makeup and skincare. For house hold cleaners I use either of the big stores own brands or a brand called Astonish which you usually can find in pound/discount stores or Asda. You’ll probably find you already have some of these things in your home already.

    When it comes to the whole zero waste/plastic thing I try to buy loose veg in Tesco. Not only is it the amount I actually need (so I’m not over buying and wasting) it’s also a lot cheaper and not wrapped in plastic. And when it comes to eating you’ll find a plethora of recipes out there. A vegan person saves 198 animals roughly a year so even if you only ate vegan half of the weeks your gonna save almost 100 animals.

    Good luck with your changes and I am soooooooo bloody happy to see one of my fave bloggers taking this step no matter how small or large it’s a positive move. Always remember I’m only a tweet away if you need any help :)


  23. 22nd November 2017 / 9:56 am

    I’ve been eating vegan for the past 6 months or so but it started slowly a few years ago but limiting how much meat I ate! X

  24. 22nd November 2017 / 9:51 am

    This is a great attitude to have! I have also taken steps in the last few years to live much more ethically, which was prompted by my desire to be both more cruelty-free and more environmentally friendly. I have been vegan for a few years, was vegetarian before that, and I buy vegan and cruelty-free beauty products and clothing whenever possible (I also buy 90 percent of my clothing used, which is both way better for the environment and way cheaper). Going vegan was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life, and even if you don’t go fully vegan I encourage you to explore what the world of vegan cooking has to offer. Through exploring new foods I have become a way better cook than I ever was as a meat-eater and have discovered truly delicious food that also makes me feel good both physically and mentally. I am tempted to list off all the great resources I’ve used, like vegan food blogs, but I think I will keep it short and post the link to a blog post I wrote about being vegan: At the bottom of the post I’ve listed a ton of resources that can help during a transition to a more vegan lifestyle, but I of course also encourage you to read the main post as well.

    Another thing I want to mention that you might want to try out is a menstrual cup. I have the Lunette menstrual cup and it is hands down one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It is basically waste-free (no more tampons or pads to throw away), healthy for your body, cheaper in the long run than disposable products and can be kept in for up to 12 hours at a time. It’s totally a win-win. There is a steeper learning curve than with other menstrual products, but once you get the technique down it also doesn’t leak (for me it never leaks anymore). I combine that with cloth panty liners and I couldn’t be happier. Switching to reusable menstrual products seriously improved my relationship with my period and improved my life, and I encourage anyone reading this to give it a try.

    Danielle |

  25. Everyday Aimee
    22nd November 2017 / 9:39 am

    YAY!! you’re doing something great. I changed to cruelty free makeup brands and I honestly believe my skin has been changed as a result!
    For medical reasons i cant go meat free (thanks stupid body) but im actively trying to cut down in areas where i am unnecessarily wasteful. Good Luck!

  26. 22nd November 2017 / 9:32 am

    This! I feel exactly the same as you after the fur coat/Blue Planet thing (I have a post in my drafts about it aswell). I really disagree with fur but it got me thinking – Am I a hypocrite because I wear leather boots and eat meat? It made me think about the lifestyle changes I want to make and sure it won’t be overnight, but every little helps doesn’t it.
    Jess xx

  27. 22nd November 2017 / 9:28 am

    This is great! Congrats on your choice. I’ve been vegan for five years and it frustrates me when people say “I’ve been thinking of giving up fur, but I eat meat, so I feel like a hypocrite”. You just know that somewhere along the line, someone made them feel hypocritical for taking one compassionate step. And I think that sucks! We should be applauding anyone who’s fur-free, even if they still eat meat. It’s better to be cruelty-free and eat meat than do nothing at all. Baby steps are better than no steps, and baby steps was how most of us got to veganism anyway. We should really stop judging people for not being “ethical enough”. If you need advice on vegan fashion and cruelty-free beauty, I run a digital vegan fashion magazine: