GREEN GUILTY AS CHARGED
Eco lifestyle used to be quite expensive and hard to lead only a couple of years ago. Organic food was costly, fairtrade products were not available everywhere, ethical clothing with original designs wasn’t easy to find. These days not only sustainable options are easy and affordable, but also society eventually seems to realise that we have a huge problem. The planet drowns in plastic, water, soil and air are polluted, people die working like slaves in sweatshops. Our reality is cruel and a new phenomenon was born. Green guilt, or eco shaming, is pointing out behaviors harmful for the environment. The goal is to keep carbon footprint as low as possible, which results in shaming others for eating meat and animal products, flying, buying clothes made in sweatshops, using non-recyclable plastic. Swedes invented the term flygskam, flight shame. They consistently resign from taking a plane in favour of trains. Many countries and town councils have already banned single-use plastic. Eyes are opening worldwide.
SPREAD THE SUSTAINABLE CHARM
Promoting a sustainable lifestyle among your friends is always a good idea. Everybody cares, but we all have imperfections. Convince your buddies to switch to fairtrade cotton bags and in consequence reducing plastic waste. Show them how convenient a reusable water bottle can be, especially if it contains a filter or a purifier. Check it out! Encourage choosing biodegradable detergents and cosmetics over chemicals tested on animals. Sometimes people are willing to change their habits, but they don’t know where to start. Be the bright star, and show them the way of eco enlightenment.
EVERY (ECO) MOVE YOU MAKE...
...I'll be watching you. Activists shame others aiming for positive change, but it usually brings opposite effects. Nobody likes bossy behaviour and aggressive attitude, right? Remember when your vegan mate was yelling at your carnivore friend and accusing them of contributing to a horrible industry? Or when you got mad at people not picking up after their dogs? Shaming drives people away, creates conflicts and an unnecessary feeling of guilt. Be gentle. Talk, but calmly. Don’t push people to entirely give up their current life and commit to save the planet. You’d waste your energy and their enthusiasm. Changes are slow, every step counts. Many people (especially politicians and celebrities) get involved in eco-movement, but they keep on flying airplanes often. They have to, it’s what busy people do! They really do a lot for the planet, observe and learn. Spread the word and watch the world slowly getting healthier.