Taking their professional responsibilities seriously, practitioners of a wide variety of professions, including medicine, psychology and social work; journalism, tourism and the arts; architecture, civil engineering and the law, engage in reflection about ethical issues as part of their daily practice. Most professions have an ethical code with which its members are expected to comply. But ethical issues are not to be found only in the workplace. Whether we know it or not, we all make decisions with ethical significance every day – about, for example, what we eat; how we behave towards others, including strangers, as well as family and friends; about the extent to which we are willing to share what we have with others who have less; about the energy we use in travelling and in heating our homes, and about where we should shop for food, clothes and the other essentials of modern life.
Probably the most debated problems about the intention to live responsibly arise in relation to human induced climate change, which has provoked heated debate at every level – about what we can to do to limit our impact on the planet – from changes in the ways we produce and package goods, to how we build, heat and insulate our homes; and from the advantages of using locally produced food and other necessities, to those of recycling almost everything. Of course, global warming is not the only area of life in which ethical living has become a major focus for many people.