Eco Guilt is a Form of Bullying. Let's Stop.
I just said the B word: Bullying.
Bullying is a VERY strong word. It’s a deep word. And I’m sorry if this offends you. It’s not a word I use much. But in this case, the shoe fits.
Eco Guilt, or Green Guilt, is a real thing. The professional word is: Environmental Guilt Syndrome. It even has an abbreviation: EGS.
So what it is? Well, if you’re reading this then I’m sure you’ve experienced it. Eco guilt happens when you make a decision + feel TERRIBLY guilty or anxious that you didn’t do more for the environment while taking action on that decision. It happens when you put the overwhelmingly impossible burden of climate change, pollution, extinction, etc on your own shoulders. And it also happens when a fellow environmentalist SHAMES you for making one of those split decisions.
“OMG is that a plastic bag you’re holding?” or “Ugh I forgot my travel mug” or “Just one quick look around Zara.” Sound familiar? Whether someone is bullying you or you’re bullying yourself… we need to stop.
Because here’s the thing, Babe.
If you’re reading this, then you’re ALSO an eco warrior already. You do SO much for the environment + our future generations already, just by your daily actions. You NEVER need to feel guilty. We all make mistakes. I MAKE MISTAKES ALL THE TIME. And what you’ve already done today… whether it be recycling, using a metal straw, buying second hand, packing your kids an organic lunch, opting for electronic bank statements, whatever.. all of that! All of those things have by far cancelled out the to-go dinner wrapped in plastic you just bought because you’re exhausted from a long day.
Look at this way: perfection will simply get in the way of your low impact lifestyle. Because no-one can be perfect. Which means your zero waste-ness can’t be perfect either. It’s collaborative baby steps. All those daily, (by now) instinctual steps you take… they make such a big difference because people see you. And they’ll take those same baby steps BECAUSE of you. And when we keep taking those baby steps TOGETHER, when we keep paving the way + getting people around us to pave the way WITH us… THAT’S when great change happens.
So QUIT beating yourself up. You don’t deserve it. In fact, if the term zero waste makes you feel crappy, use a new term like low impact, low waste, just say you’re eco-friendly for crying out loud!
Listen: We NEED more people like you making those same mistakes. Have you ever thought about it this way?
If we had more people on this Planet like you making the same mistakes you’re making but ALSO crushing all those day to day ECO steps, SHOOT. We’d be living in a WAY different world!!!
But this also leads me to point I briefly discussed above. STOP THE ECO SHAMING.
I see eco shaming on social media all the time. Calling out babes for not being eco enough. I’ve been called out. It’s not nice. Or Fun. But it goes both ways — trust me.. whenever I see a big influencer holding up a plastic Starbucks cup with a plastic top + plastic straw, or telling their trusting audience to go buy some piece of shit toxic makeup that I KNOW is full of aggressive chemicals.. I want to SCREAM!!! I want to call her out! I want to SCHOOL her! It makes my skin CRAWL that these women accept money to promote products that are UNhealthy for the young girls who want to be them + will therefore buy whatever they show them. But you know what? I don’t. I let it go. Because 1. I’m not here to make anyone feel badly + 2. I’m so proud of myself + so proud of YOU + how much awareness we’ve spread TOGETHER… I don’t have time to stoop that low. All I can do is hope they catch on sooner than later. And move on.
For Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — MLK Jr.
We HAVE to be the light. The world needs us + our light. We have to stop picking each other apart. Our light will shine a million times brighter TOGETHER. Strength in numbers!!!
The reason I wanted to share this with you spawned from a comment on my social from one of you babes. I was talking about ‘collaborative baby steps’ + a babe chimed in saying something like “OMG I’m so glad you said this because I feel horrible all the time.” And I NEVER want you to feel like that.
But I get it. OH I GET IT.
Diving into environmental problems is like digging your own 6 foot grave. Except even deeper. And filled with garbage lol.
It’s never ending. And one problem leads to the next problem + to the next + so on. It’s overwhelming. It’s saddening. It’s maddening. It’s terrifying. And it feels like no matter what we do, we’re doomed. So why do anything at all? Which is a stance that many people actually take: It’s bigger than us as a population so my actions won’t matter at all. But if we all took that stance, OMG can you imagine?? It’d be one huge fiery hell on earth with no possibility for even the tiniest of future resurrections.
Here’s what it comes down to: once you start informing yourself, there’s no going back. Ignorance IS bliss. Because once you’re informed on what the world REALLY looks like on the surface, under the surface + in the oceans… it’s… OBLITERATING.
Basically everything we do as humans has some sort of detrimental effect on Mother Earth. Even small things like washing our clothes + even things we think are healthy like drinking almond milk. It’s truly never ending. And it flat out sucks.
But here’s the truth: If we didn’t have people like you + me, doing zero waste at a standard level… meaning not an Elon Musk level + not even a Trash is for Tossers level… just ‘commoners’ proudly living our lives as eco as possible yet full of mistakes, our Planet would be incredibly WORSE off. We’d really be doomed.
Our future DEPENDS on people like you + me. Practicing zero waste as best we can. Teaching younger generations to do the same + care even MORE. Because Then. Only THEN will there be a light for a new dawn.
And I’ll be damned if that new dawn doesn’t come. I have faith. Faith in US. Together. As ecobabes.
So give yourself a BREAK. Let’s STOP the eco guilt. Stop shaming yourself + shaming others. Because we’re all doing the best we can. And THAT is good enough. In fact, it’s GREAT.
Thank you for being here, for being ecobabes + for making all those mistakes. Thank you for having a heart + for caring. LET’S LET OUR LIGHT SHINE. X