Reevaluating Sustainability and Privilege

For a few months now, I’ve been on hiatus from The Sustainable Awakening. I’ve been reconsidering my own views on sustainability and what I want this site to focus on moving forward.

Just this past summer, I was so sure how I felt. I believed strongly that global warming could be solved by individuals making sustainable choices. But this isn’t realistic.

The ability to make sustainable lifestyle changes is largely decided by privilege. Many people don’t have the time and resources to DIY their own products or to pay a higher fee for an eco-friendly version. So while encouraging individual sustainability is a start, it’s not enough to combat climate change. 

I’ve also come to understand how much I’ve bought into the corporate rhetoric that blames individuals for climate change. I’ve been placing pressure on the wrong groups. I should be demanding corporations and governments do better, not individuals.

Since realizing this, I’ve felt stuck. I used to feel in control by focusing on my personal sustainability. Now, it just reminds me of how powerless I am. But I think understanding my own powerlessness has been a good thing. While I alone have little ability to create change, there is power in belonging to a collective. 

Together, we can create change. We can save ourselves. To do so, we must shift our priorities. We must value the environment enough to fight for it. We need to work together to force governments and corporations to choose the environment over their own greed.

There are many ways we can influence the main contributors to climate change. But overall, I’ve come to a relatively simple conclusion: we must never give up on working together for the good of the planet.

That is why I have decided to shift the focus of this publication from solely individual sustainability to intersectional environmentalism and nature appreciation.

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