SUSTAINABILITY SISTERHOOD – STAND TOGETHER TO MAKE A CHANGE
Women and girls are most vulnerable to environmental problems around the world. 80% of the people displaced by climate change are women. In particular, in developing countries it is mostly females who are responsible for food production and household water supply; a task which is becoming increasingly challenging due to climate change. Yet, women only represent 30% of the national and global negotiating bodies. If women are not involved in the decision making process, the problem will continue getting worse.
Despite this, women can be the solution. We are earlier adopters of more sustainable products and can offer the world valuable insights. Around the world women are already becoming positive agents of change – let’s join with them. It is our responsibility as women to empower others across to world to become leaders in this movement. We need to encourage our friends, families and colleagues to make better consumption choices, which will ultimately impact the planet.
Let’s create a sustainable sisterhood where we can stand together and support all women; including Mother Earth.
Seeming like a daunting task? Here are five ways you can get started:
1. Think before you shop
We all want to feel our best in what we wear, but overconsumption and fast fashion is having a negative effect on the planet. Last year 235 million items of clothing were sent to landfill. Not only does it put the environment under pressure, with increased waste and greater demand for water-intensive cotton or denim, but fast fashion also results in poor working conditions – particularly for women and girls.
What’s one of the greatest benefits of being part of a sisterhood? You can share clothes! Before you go out and buy a new dress for an event or a new blouse for a date, think about borrowing something from a friend. Sharing can mean you have access to a bigger wardrobe than you ever imagined. If it’s more than just a one-off, try and invest in timeless pieces. Create a capsule wardrobe of high quality, ethical clothing that you won’t get bored of come next season.
2. Give the gift of sustainability
Whether it’s a friend’s birthday or you’re doing secret Santa with the girls, give a gift that will empower your friends to make more sustainable choices. For example: a personalised water bottle, a fancy lunch box or even a shampoo bar. These gifts will support your friends to cut down on their plastic consumption and feel good about doing it.
3. Host a vegan dinner party
Girls night? Why not make it plant based? Eating a plant-based diet is one of the fastest ways to reduce your impact on the planet; lowering your food carbon footprint by 73%. It can be daunting to make the change, so why not start off small? Get your friends round for dinner – you can cook it all together or each pick a course – but make the challenge that everything must be vegan. It will be exciting to try new recipes and may encourage you to make minor changes to cut down your consumption of animal products.
4. Turn that heating down
I don’t know about you, but I am always cold – and it tends to be more of a trend amongst females. Women want rooms 2.5°C hotter than men, so stop and think before you go to turn the thermostat up. Wrap yourself up in a blanket or put on some extra layers. Who said thermals can’t look good?
5. Talk about it!
Most importantly, let’s discuss these problems, let’s make ourselves more accountable. Creating a sisterhood will allow us to share our ideas and knowledge about making more sustainable choices. Surround yourself with women that empower you to do what you believe in and continue to be curious.
This post was written by Stay Wild Family member Phoebe Nicol. Phoebe is currently studying a masters in sustainability. Her passion for the topic was sparked when travelling through South America and seeing so many natural wonders up close. She is constantly learning more about the challenges we face and how we can collaborate to solve them. She plans on using her knowledge to empower herself and others to make a change in the world.