action-story | 10th May, 2016

Andrew Rainbow: empowering Victorians to make ethical choices

Andrew Rainbow is the Editor of Melbourne magazine The Vagabond, a free, online, Melbourne-based magazine that aims to inform and empower readers to make ethical choices.

ActionStory_Vagabond heroFor Andrew, taking care of the environment is a matter of common sense.

“If we as a people want to survive we need to start taking care of the planet that allows us to live. Also, when you take a good look at how intricate life on this planet is, it’s mind-blowing. I see a much higher value in protecting endangered species than supporting bad business that is responsible for wiping them out.”

A big part of the Vagabond’s work is promoting ethical consumption on a large scale, in order to promote sustainable business practices.

“We believe in the power of popularity and hope that with enough people becoming aware of what they personally contribute to and putting their money where it counts, business will adapt. We see the power money has and are excited to offer people a voice that they may not realize they have: the voice of their dollar, their everyday actions. We are all about promoting the ‘good guys’ and exposing ‘the bad’.”

Most articles in the Vagabond offer some form of personal involvement for readers.

“It may be as simple as promoting a different product choice based on discovering a company’s history in environmental destruction or human rights abuse, or encouraging people to … demand Fair-trade or sustainable choices at their local retailers or to join campaigns to help bring political change on these issues.”

The idea is to promote a sense of empowerment and possibility.

“Through The Vagabond, I hope that more people realize the power they have and use it to bring a safer, cleaner planet. I hope that we can all loose the “what can I do?” attitude and instead actually look at what we can do and what we already are doing.”

Beyond informing others, Andrew takes multiple actions in his own life to promote a sustainable future, and plans to go on doing so:

“I will continue working with my local climate action group, keep riding my bike, using my Ethical Supermarket Guide, continue to join campaigns as they arise and demand a transition to renewable energy in Victoria.”

His vision for Victoria, as you would expect, is bound up will all Victorians taking some action and responsibility:

“I would like to see us drop the dirty old coal habit we seem to cling to for the sake of a quick buck and make the transition to renewable energy…I’d also like to see better laws to protect our oceans and forests. And I would like to see happy and informed Victorians demanding real change and working together to achieve it.”

For those who would like to take action but aren’t sure how to go about it, Andrew offers this advice:

“Read up, look at your own personal impact, make some positive changes, get informed on what your local, state and federal government is doing with your money and if you don’t like it… let them know! Join campaigns that you believe in, talk about what you learn, be proud of your efforts however small, and… subscribe to The Vagabond @!”

Story by Sophie Gillies