Ethics and activism: blogging for change

Increasingly I am finding myself drawn to those bloggers who are writing about what they are doing to bring about change, making a difference to something somewhere and making the world a better place to live.  As the use of social media and blogging increases, blogging is becoming an increasingly powerful platform for bringing about change by raising awareness so that others might be inspired to take action.

I have been involved in ethical and environmental issues and animal welfare all my life and more recently I have become more involved in charity endeavours too. I support campaigns to end poverty and campaigns to prevent maternal and childhood deaths. I continue to ask for trade justice, tax justice and to drop the debt owed by poor countries since I first became involved with those issues during the Live8 campaign.

As a family we try to live ethically. I buy as many fairtrade goods as I can and practice positive buying. I  boycott companies like Nestle and I try to read up on the ethics of businesses that I deal with. One of the arguments I meet about the Nestle boycott is ‘why boycott Nestle when there are so many other companies that have an equally bad track record? Isn’t it hypocritical to boycott one and not all?’ My thoughts about this are pretty simple. Lots of people are not interested in boycotts or ethical living in general and I have no problem with that. Some people may choose to boycott several companies in the hope that they can make a difference. But others may choose to boycott one company, perhaps the only problematic company that they know about or perhaps it is the company or issue they feel the most strongly about, in the hope that they can make a difference. Any or all of those are good enough. It’s OK to make small changes. We can’t set the whole world to rights.

We are also starting to think more about the ethics of clothes production. We already buy a lot of second hand clothes and use hand-me-downs and I am starting to check the ethics behind some of the cheap clothing companies and supermarkets that we use.

I support animal welfare and sign my name to campaign letters. I won’t buy anything that has been tested on animals and I check before I buy. I buy food which has been produced in an ethical way: no battery eggs/chicken, foie gras or factory-farmed milk or meat. I boycott companies like KFC. But as someone concerned about animal welfare I’m not sure that’s enough for me. I am leaning towards vegetarianism for health reasons, for animal welfare reasons and for environmental reasons.

I have fostered dogs in the past that are waiting for a forever home. Fostering is so much fun and when the children are long gone to their own grown-up lives I imagine a house full of rescue and foster dogs! At least I won’t suffer too much from empty nest syndrome. In fact, I’ll probably be loving it as I’m pretty sure they won’t be giving me attitude when I ask them to ‘sit’ or ‘be quiet’.

We live a green lifestyle and I try to reduce our ecological footprint in as many aspects of our family life as I can. The chief of these is reducing our consumption, followed by reusing and recycling. So there’s lots of reusing cardboxes for craft and then recycling them when the children aren’t looking and reducing things like our water use (which does not, as my children insist it must, involve having a bath only once a month).

With four small children I haven’t really been able to get out there and make changes but I can make a difference in the actions I take at home, the things I buy and in the things I support online.  This year I want to be involved with projects where I can really make a difference by taking action and it is fun trying to decide what that might involve.

Photo: justinbaeder

Since writing this post, the terrible events in Japan have happened. If you are looking for somewhere to donate, please consider the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

There are lots of bloggers who are working to bring about change either by blogging about what they believe in or by blogging about what they have done to raise awareness and inspire others. Here are some inspirational posts by some of those bloggers, please click through and read about the fantastic things they are doing:

Merry at Patch of Puddles writes about better buying in Poking a Toe at Off Grid – Buying Better.

Jax at Live Otherwise writes about the Nestle boycott and changing behaviours  in Time for a New Consumerism.

Hannah at Muddling Along Mummy blogs about why she boycotts Nestle in Is it better to do the popular thing or to do the right thing?

Heather at Note from Lapland has a very detailed post about the Nestle boycott in The Nestle Boycott – what’s that all about then?

Hayley at Simply Hayley writes about educating herself about the Nestle boycott in Our household and the Nestle Boycott.

Dara at Readily a Parent writes about the Nestle boycott and other changes in In a Boycotting Kind of Mood.

Rachel at Midlife Singlemum adds her thoughts to the Nestle boycott debate in The Nestle Boycott – Truth or Hysteria?

QWERTYMum discusses positive consumerism in Eggs.

Mama Syder of At Home with Mama Syder writes about rehoming battery hens in Life from The Henhouse.

Kirsty at Imperfect Pages blogs about ethical clothing in An Ethical Epiphany.

Wendy of Inside the Wendy House tells us Why She is a Vegetarian.

Onykahonie of We Don’t Eat Anything with a Face discusses animal welfare in Zoos – The Moral Dilemma.

Jacq of Mymumdom writes about animal welfare in Make Every Animal a Wanted Pet.

Gemma at HelloitsGemma’s Blog tells us about the demonstration she took part in in Strands Together.

Jax at Live Otherwise organised a 100 books challenge to raise money to build a library with Oxfam Unwrapped.

Michelle at Mummy From The Heart writes about taking part in Operation Christmas Child.

Liska at New Mum Online writes about aspartame and asks readers to read and vote with their feet in Aspartame is legal because…?

Ailbh at Who Teaches Whom writes about Passing on my values to my children.

At Tots 100, Christine of Thinly Spread writes about ethical blogging in Blogging Activism: making a difference? and there’s also a survey of parent bloggers about ethical blogging.

Jax at Live Otherwise writes about the sometimes problematic relationship of companies supporting charities for marketing purposes in Charitable Thoughts and about companies using bloggers to advertise their charitable campaigns in Charitising.

Nova at Cherished by Me writes about the power of blogging and social media in making a difference.

Josie at Sleep is for the Weak blogged about her trip to Bangladesh to raise awareness of the Save the Children Blogladesh Campaign in Beauty and Horror: Two Sides to Bangladesh.

Rosie Scribble blogged about her trip to Cameroon to raise awareness of the Pampers and UNICEF vaccination campaign in Pampers, UNICEF and my blogging trip to Africa.

Jules from Curtains For The Window blogged to raise awareness of the many women in poverty stricken areas of the world in Get Lippy! Nazziwa’s Story.

A few bloggers have taken part in the Save The Children Born To campaign. Michelle at Mummy From The Heart writes about what she was born to do in What were you Born to do? It’s a Big Question! and Bod for Tea blogged about the fundraising playdate she had for the Born To campaign in Can a pasta necklace save a child’s life?

Mummy Beadzoid blogs about her involvement in the BLISS charity for premature babies.

Cara at Freckles Family discusses whether we really need a census in Census and Sensibility.

Aspergers, Family Life and Me writes about spreading awareness through the blogosphere about autism in Why Do I Blog?

Looking for Blue Sky tells us why she has set up a special needs group in Meeting people in the real world is important too.

Susie at New Day New Lesson writes about judging each other in The Only Way To Really Understand Something is To Experience It.

And finally Becky from Baby Budgeting gives us a lovely quote to round up these inspirational posts in A hundred years from now it will not matter….

Thank you to all these lovely bloggers for taking part in this carnival. I would love to think that someone might read here today, read one of the brilliant posts above and think about something they could do.

Updated: I’ve added in a couple of posts that people pointed me to. If you don’t want your post included for any reason, please let me know!

Have you blogged about something you’ve done to bring about change? Please leave a link in the comments so we can come and show our support!

23 thoughts on “Ethics and activism: blogging for change

  1. Pingback: Where I am around the internet VII — Notes From Home

  2. midlifesinglemum

    After thinking that I didn’t have anything to say, I wrote a blog about the Nestle Boycott, with information entirely gleaned from the Friday Club. I linked to you in the blog but have not put it as part of the carnival as it is already Monday. Thanks for educating me – Rachel

  3. CherishedByMe

    Ella your post really made me think a lot and I realise as a family we need to become more aware and ‘greener’. Thanks for highlighting that and for the links which I will come back to. X

      1. Mama Syder

        Thanks Ella, I appreciate that. Fab carnival with loads of great information and inspriration from everyone. I’ve been really enjoying making my way through everyones posts x

  4. Pingback: Call for submissions to the Friday Club Carnival: Ethics and activism — Notes From Home

  5. Sally

    Hi Ella

    Great round-up, thanks for the Tots100 mention, too.

    One of the things I love about blogging is that it’s not just about people blogging things I agree with – sometimes I don’t agree with the views being expressed but that’s fascinating too – I love getting insights into why people make the choices they do, even if they’re not the choices I make, and sometimes, I guess, I change my choices as a result.

    1. ella

      Yes, blogging opens up such a huge world that it’s inevitable that there will be differing views and that’s what makes it so interesting. I don’t always change my behaviour based on what I read but I still like to know what makes other people tick.

      And over time, reading enough of the same, I have changed my behaviour when otherwise I might not have done so, in fact that’s where I am now about ethical clothes buying.

  6. Pingback: The Friday Club: Friday carnivals — Notes From Home

  7. Cass

    Some excellent posts to read through here – they inspire me to want to do something too. I think I always feel that one person can’t make much of a difference but it makes me realise that if we work together then one person becomes part of a whole that actually can change things. Thank you x x

    (BTW – It was a great prompt this week, I didn’t enter as I had one of those weeks last week, and this week for that matter – not because I didn’t have any ethics lol)

  8. Mummy Beadzoid

    I have to confess that I had so much on last week that I completely forgot to add the links in – sorry! I’ve rectified it now but am feeling very guilty!

    Did visit lots of the links though still got plenty to go at. This was a great carnival x


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