Have you ever been sustainability-shamed?
Updated: Jul 6
Being called "extra" and "over the top"...
"Oh you're so dramatic." Even "cheap". ...Oh the irony.
Meet Nakul, Plastic Pollution Advocate.
I heard it a lot when I first started being eco-friendly with my choices and even though more people are clued up on current events, there's still a sense of stigma attached to being sustainable. For example, when you've got a stainless steel water bottle and keep refilling it, I often used to get told "well you do know you can buy plastic bottles of water everywhere, they're not that expensive". That statement is factually correct, but it defeats the point and is highly problematic. Price isn't the problem. Environmental damage is. One plastic bottle of water causes hardly any damage to my wallet but an infinite amount of damage to the planet.
Initially, this made me question a few things. Obviously, I never felt any guilt or shame because I am not the ignorant one. However it did make me question and understand to some degree why many people continue to be reckless in their choices. I feel that a lot of people see being sustainable as a drag when in reality it's really quite easy. They may also see it as being "cheap" which is why I decided to try and make it cool (and succeeded). There are some really simple changes we can all make to help the planet.
Instead of giving you a long list of how to improve, here's just 2. Buy a sustainable water bottle. Buy a reusable straw. You'd be surprised at how this will help bring down your plastic consumption in the long run. Promote the message. Imagine if you made just 3 of your friends make this change. And then those 3 told another 3. And so on. Think of the impact that would have. Small steps. But it's the small steps that lead to the big change.
The trend starts with us. It's cool to be sustainable.
Now, just because you're being sustainable, doesn't mean you need to be boring. Jazz it up. Let's be honest, style is important. To make things cool, I made sure I had the trendiest water bottle on the market and I had a stylish reusable copper straw which I have to admit looked great especially when I would whip it out at cocktail bars to use instead of plastic straws. It became a style statement. I became known for having the coolest straws. I have a collection and always switch it up. I also went through a number of cool sustainable water bottles. I would take time and pride in selecting a trendy aesthetically pleasing bottle. The goal was never to be cool but if that's the way to get people to make the change, so be it. Let's make it cool. It should be.