Why We All Need to Make Sustainability More Inclusive

January 7, 2019

This is the second time I have written this post. It is difficult writing about discrimination within this industry when I recognize I sometimes am part of the problem. How do I have a right to write about how the eco world can be uninclusive to minorities as a straight, cis-gendered, abled, middle class, white woman. That is a lot of privilege.

Here’s how it started

I read an article on Eco Warrior Princess about eco-ableism, a term I had never heard of before. You should really read the article but to sum it up the author discussed the issue with plastic straws and its effects on the disabled community. It’s a really layered issue because far too often this community has messaging such as we all must say no to plastic straws! and put a stop to single-use plastic. While the idea is pure, it segregates a large percentage of the population that need these single-use plastic products.

As an abled person, I have no right dictating who and who should not be allowed to use plastic straws. Because people live lives differently with different challenges, using messaging that alinates certain members of society is extremly problematic.

This had me thinking

Ok there is discrimination in sustainability towards disabeled people but who else? I started thinking about all of the DIY soap recipes, zero waste shopping, and expensive but fantastically ethical shoes, clothes and jackets. Far too many bloggers, including myself can get our messaging mixed up. Often times it almost appears that there is one way to live a perfectly eco-concious life. You MUST do certain things- like making your own products or buying them at a farmers market, or buying products from small ethical brands in order to live in sustainable bliss.

But that just isn’t realistic. The issue is that sustainability has become one unified voice, saying that there is one perfect way about this. And I at times have accidentally joined in on this unification. But I certainly don’t believe an industry that is doing so much good, isn’t willing to change and become more inclusive, we all just need to do our part to talk about the problems and find solutions.

That means things have to change

This little eco-bubble has gotta burst. First thing is first, living consciously does not mean getting it all right all of the time. However you can implement sustainable purchases in your life is one step in the right direction. We should all start shifting our efforts to encourage other fellow consumers to hold THE COMPANIES more accountable. Dollar votes can only get us so far and being an activist demanding change will have a far greater impact.

So what am I going to do about this issue as a blogger

For the past year and a half, I have used this blog to talk about my experiences. My content includes products that I bought, liked and reviewed and I talk about issues in this industry that are on my mind. I have no regrets sharing my experiences such as buying a bathing suit on a sample sale, but my goal is to make each post inclusive for anyone and everyone. My goal is that anyone that reads my post, despite and variety of differences from me, is able to apply the general message and get something out of it. I also hope to make the message that I send out to you all is that my journey towards being a consiouc consumer is imperfect, and that whatever you do to implement sustainable practices into your life is a step in the right direction.

The point is…

The sustainable industry is looked at as a pretty and privileged idea. I get why it has gained this reputation, and I think the mission has sometimes been lost in translation. I hope to work hard to make my voice a lot more inclusive. And I hope you, the reader, find this platform to be a space that is loving, supportive, approachable and educational. And I hope to raise the voices of more minorities giving this industry some tough love to look in the mirror and reexamine how we got here.

Here are some resources that always challenge me to be a more conscious consumer by offering multiple experiences and perspectives

  • Eco Warrior Princess: is fantastic for offering multiple perspectives to provide for anyone that wants to become more sustainable
  • Plant Based on a Budget: I have been trying to go vegan but overwhelmed by how expensive vegan options are in NYC, Toni provides meal plans to feed you on $25 a week as a vegan!
  • Hara: an inclusive undewear line that I love.

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