Who are your ethical heroes?

I’m just beginning to emerge from the tunnel that is the Christmas period: not that it was a dark experience - just noisy, full-on and overwhelmingly exhausting.

Having functioned on autopilot for the last few weeks, I am awakening to a new year full of new challenges, resolutions and experiences.

However, I still don’t feel in the best mental state to get my head round voting in The Observer Ethical Awards 2008. Having just been on the website, my mind has gone blank - with more than a passing interest in ethical living in recent years, you’d think I could come up with something…

….Divine, Ecover, Ethicalsuperstore, Traidcraft and others spring to mind, but so do my local council, my local Asda, my friend with a passion for recycling…..

To my mind, the success of ethical living depends as much on everyone taking small steps towards changing their lifestyle as on larger-than-life individuals with wacky ideas. And on top of that, does it matter if a retailer becomes more ethical for purely business reasons or because they really believe in the cause? And how can you differentiate between the two?

Still, in the three years since the Observer Ethical Awards were launched, the awareness of issues concerning fair trade, the environment and organic farming have become so much more widespread and such products so much more readily available - I guess it’s good to take time out to identify and thank the key individuals and organisations who made this a reality.

Back to the website, I think….

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