April 19, 2021
Girls gone green: an Earth Day guide to ecofeminism
Happy Monday, ladies! Earth Day is just a few days away (April 22nd to be exact) and we don’t know about you, but we’ve got sustainability on our minds.
If you're like a growing number of Americans who believe in climate change and that it's the biggest crisis facing humanity at the moment, welcome to the girl gang; you might just be the kind of ecofeminist we're here to talk about today.
So let's go green, Feministas, and start celebrating spring in style. First with a little lesson on philosophy's ultimate power couple: sustainability and feminism, and then with a few ways you can flex your ecofeminism and save the planet this week and in your day-to-day.
So what is “ecofeminism?”
First coined in the late 1970s by French writer, Francoise d’Eaubonne, ecofeminism was introduced as a way to highlight the intersections between the fight for women's rights and the fight for environmental conservation.
The core idea is that the patriarchal pursuit of power and profit has historically led to the oppression of women and degradation of nature, and if the causes of these issues are rooted in the same systems and structures, then the solutions must also be linked.
It's not a bad way to think about any societal problem, really... we've seen time and time again that when capitalism neglects compassion in favor of profit, people and the environment often suffer. So why do we need a movement for just these two aspects of that larger reality?
Joining forces for a brighter future
We think of it this way: when you consider intersectionality and nonbinary gender within feminism, lines begin to blur in a useful way. Our approach to smashing the patriarchy, so to speak, becomes more inclusive and our effectiveness and reach grows.
So in the same way that feminism focuses on gender as a way to point out and correct an imbalance and then fight for equality, ecofeminism narrows in on gender and the natural world as a way of zeroing in on more constructive and lasting positive change.
It’s no surprise that women are disproportionately affected by climate change, based on existing inequalities and gender roles. According to the UN, 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty are women. They also represent a very high percentage of communities that depend on natural resources for their survival and livelihoods--like water supply, energy for cooking and eating, and food security.
And with less access to education and job training and more domestic and childcare responsibilities, it’s far more difficult for women around the world to climb out of these conditions or to start again when displaced by climate crises. So it stands to reason that any strategy to address feminism should take into account the environment. And vice versa. And that is something we can get behind.
Destroy the patriarchy, not the planet
This is one of our mantras here at The Feminista... so much so that we put it on a sticker ;) It speaks to the important overlap we've been talking about today, between climate action and feminism, and reminds us that when we think about a brighter future for all people, climate is always going to be a factor.
So without further adieu, here are 5 easy ways to make a difference this Earth Day:
There's nothing more pow-her-ful than investing in movements you believe in, especially when it's babes supporting babes. So, if you want to donate like an ecofeminist this Earth Day, here are two of our favorite ways:
Women’s Global Empowerment Fund - This organization takes on everything from sexual assault and reproductive rights to poverty and political empowerment, always with an eye on sustainability.
- Kiva - If you prefer to give directly, Kiva is an awesome option. This site allows you to find and invest in people and projects you care about, all around the world.
2. Shop sustainably
The fashion industry has a pretty dark history when it comes to environmental impact, and most major brands are still guilty of taking the kinds of cost-saving shortcuts in manufacturing and production that are really harmful to the climate.
Thankfully, small brands are popping up all over the places these days--ones that value sustainability and make an effort to incorporate eco-friendly practices at every level of their supply chain. Next time you find yourself in the market for some new threads, take an extra minute or two to learn about where your clothes are coming from.
At The Feminista, we’re proud to work with eco-friendly partners to share our feminist message with the world.
3. Walk the talk
Let’s quickly acknowledge that the climate crisis can feel like a really daunting thing to combat. It is! But we're here to remind you that women have always been resilient in the face of conflict, so the fact that things are dire should only serve to inspire us. And every movement is made of small and mindful change.
So support your local park system. Walk instead of drive. Buy less plastic! Recycle and reuse what you can. Show the world that you’re not messing around… you know, with an ecofeminist sticker ;) It’s 2021 and if you’re a feminist who believes in a brighter future for women, it’s time to make climate action a part of your Feminista philosophy.
4. Email your reps
We know, this one can feel like a chore. But there are organizations making it super easy to get involved and make sure your local representatives are doing what you elected them to do.
Check out the Sunrise Movement's simple, pre-written form you can fill out, edit, and send in seconds, imploring the Biden administration to follow through on campaign promises and create jobs in the sustainability sector. Want to do more? The Sierra Club also makes it easy to add your name to petitions about climate causes you care about.
5. Support solar
We touched on this a little bit earlier, but self-reliance when it comes to energy can be really liberating for women around the world. And the most cost- and energy-efficient way to do that these days? Sunshine, baby.
Solar Sister, GRID Alternatives, WISE (Women in Solar Energy) are all stellar female-led organizations making serious waves in solar and we are here for it. If you feel so inclined, show them some love.
Looking for more ways to turn awareness into action? The UN has a great list for that.
And for more on ecofeminist style and substance, sign up for our weekly newsletter and blog, The F Word, where we cover everything from important feminist issues, current events, and history to pop culture and fashion. Until next time, ladies, happy Earth Day!