Tryna Save the World with Sustainable Living
Have you ever been on an “I’m going to save the world!” kick and thought, “Why can’t everyone else care about sustainable living as much as I do?!?” Nope? Just me? Well, even if it is just me, I had to sit down and really think about this. I came to the conclusion that everyone has their own big goals, issues, and desires in life. There are things going on in their lives that are simply more important, need more immediate attention, or that take all of their attention in order to get through.
My solution? Meet people where they are. Make sustainable living easy and fun. Share info on it consistently so that they can see it and maybe it will reach them one day. Remember that I take it a day at a time, and everyone else does the same. I honestly believe that if I continue using this here blog and my platforms as a vessel to share info, it will reach a few people and truly make a difference for them. This thought alone makes me happy and excited!
Humans First, Sustainable Living Second
“If you want to take care of beings, you have to take care of human beings.” – Styles P
Styles P is a musician. A rapper, to be niche specific. I heard this quote by him on a radio show where he was recently interviewed. He said this in reference to him being really fascinated by and interested in becoming involved in PETA because he supports their mission and purpose. Then he went into a little detail about the disparity of black people supporting things like this, though, because we, as black people, are often faced with issues of discrimination. He said he feels like animals receive better treatment and protection than black people, but if humans were cared for ahead of all other things, more of them would have time to care for these other beings.
I couldn’t agree more. In my blind passion for caring for the environment, I’ve often wondered why other people who look like me had little to no concern for it. I’m sure they often look back at me like, “Girl you’re still broke. You haven’t accomplished all that you want. Why are YOU so worried about it?!” People of color, women, and people from lower income backgrounds and households put a lot of things before sustainability. Why is that?
Yes, Skin Color Matters
Sustainability has been largely seen as a well-to-do white woman cause. I feel like that’s how all issues start. Take the suffrage movement, for example. Many black women didn’t participate. They knew that even if “women” got the right to vote, their blackness would exclude them. Black women who did participate did so knowing that the results would not immediately benefit them.
See, in my community and others similar to it, disparities exist that sometimes make living a “normal” life difficult. Being born into poverty makes you focus on getting out of it before you even give one thought to living sustainably. Having a target on your back by some simply because of the color of your skin makes you want to focus on moving, growing, and becoming the best version of yourself in order to disprove a stereotype, instead of chatting it up about the next eco-friendly trend. Being given a name that isn’t European enough makes you focus on securing a job based on your talent and hard work versus being turned down at the sight of your name, instead of focusing on sustainable living. Some people will dispute this fact simply because it has never happened to them, but I’m not here to change minds like that.
My only goals are to encourage brand and influencers to include nuances in their products and work so that they help people of different cultures, skin tones, and backgrounds feel included in the sustainability movement, and to remind people of all background that SUSTAINABLE LIVING is for YOU, too.
More than Ethical Imports – Caring for People At Home
A big fad in the sustainable community is buying products, creating businesses, and telling stories about buying directly from underprivileged workers in 3rd world countries. I would never take away from these efforts with my actions or words. They are NECESSARY. But, we can’t forget about the people who live 10 miles from us whose life experiences are nothing like ours. How are we reaching out to folks? Are our sustainable efforts getting through to other people? How are we helping them improve their lives so that they, too, can find the time to care about leading more sustainable lifestyles?
Meeting People Where They Are
As a sustainable living influencer, I am not like other influencers. My fellow influencers are different, too. Our main goal shouldn’t be sales or consumerism because it is counterintuitive to what our morals and principles are. I think that we should all also consider “meeting people where they are.” Frugal influencers do this by really providing ways to cheaply incorporate sustainable lifestyle changes. I want to do this by getting from behind the screen and just being around people. Teaching at the library and community centers, hopefully speaking to large crowds like TEDx and SXSW one day soon, and attending sustainability conferences to network with sustainable brands and influencers and possibly teach a class among my peers!
I started a tribe for other sustainable living influencers called Eco-Influencers because I want us to reach the stars while helping educate anyone with access to the internet about leading a sustainable lifestyle. Sustainable living is becoming “popular,” and I don’t want those of us who have been living it and sharing it for a while to get left behind. I want us to rise to the top and continue to share our lifestyles so that others can see that sustainable living doesn’t have to be hard or in total contrast to our norms. It is my hope that as we help each other grow within this tribe, that we also help people all around the world grow to be better stewards of the earth, leaving it better than the state it is in now.
Showing Diversity in Sustainable Living
My final remark in this conversation is that REPRESENTATION MATTERS. Barak and Michelle influenced so many young black and brown boys and girls to believe that they could become leaders and president simply by seeing them in their roles as President and First Lady of the United States of America. It may sound like lofty goals, but I want to be apart of the group of influencers that everyone immediately turns to for a diverse perspective on sustainable living. Kinda like the Barak and Michelle of it lol.
Besides elevating my brand, I really want this platform to be seen by little brown girls and boys, men and women, and by people who’ve had to struggle a lot in their lives. I want them to see that it is possible to rise above all adversity and go on to care about issues that continue to affect us globally. At the same time, I hope anyone who visits me here will want to say No! to straws, stop being things on a whim, and doing other things to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
Back to the point at hand – let’s take care of and put humans first as we tackle saving the world from pollution and disrepair. It is only by our collective efforts with humans from all walks of life that we will succeed in changing the worldwide culture from one of fast fashion, trash, and waste, to a more eco-conscious, sustainable living society.
xoxo dolls & dudes,