Reduce, Reuse, Rethink
The pressure to conform to societal expectations is consistent and widespread - the environmental community is no exception. I’ve found that many self-proclaimed environmentalists have high expectations for anyone who claims to belong to their community, as they rightfully should, but often times those expectations can be seen as exclusive. In reality, the environmental movement should be more supportive than critical and remain open to educating people who might not understand the issues at hand. Unfortunatly, many people do not have the resources, opportunity or desire to live a plastic-free, zero waste, 100% organic, minimalistic lifestyle - but that doesn’t mean they aren’t able to lay claim to caring about the environment.
Going green is about being environmentally conscious, or #stayingwoke if you will. Maybe instead of using one-use cups and plastic cutlery at work or in school for example - you’ll keep reusable alternatives in your bag. It's about making conscious decisions and understanding the benefits or casualties of them by educating yourself about the full life cycle of items before bringing them into your life and replacing them shortly after.
A zero waste movement won’t happen overnight, but you can certainly start lowering your waste as early as right now: try using reusable utensils instead of plastic, bring your own bag to the grocery store, bring your own mug to the office, turn off the lights when you leave the room....etc.. The more we demand from our product producers - the better life cycles our products will have. We need to start putting our money where our mouths are and start buying the way we think. Little by little let’s work towards reducing and reflecting on our progress and how we can continue to improve.
Caring about the environment is about learning to consume a bit differently and through living by example, you’ll help light a spark in your own community that could spread like wildfire.