I spend a lot of time on Instagram. Perhaps too much time. But, scrolling through photos of vegan bowls, vegetarian meals, and overall eco-friendly influencers, I cannot help but see that people who dominate the eco/sustainability/vegan/vegetarian/etc movements are dominated by wanna-be-hipsters or by women that look like Lauren-Conrad-gone-green. This is problematic.
A movement that is supposed to be based on health, politics, and degrowth has in turn become a movement of profit and superficiality.
This is not so much targeting the vegan and vegetarian chefs/foodies that are constantly trying to recreate foods that are plant-based, but rather the beauty, fashion, furniture, and other similar industries.
Influencers and bloggers that decide to “change” the world through consumerism, don’t seem to grasp the entirety this complex, but also, not so complex issue. We should make the information that we know, known. Beauty tips on how to make your own masks at home, tips on how to secondhand shop, tips on how to grow your own food, and even tips of how to make your own hair products at home.
Recently, I read an article on how companies want for individuals to take complete responsibility and fight climate change on their own, as individuals. According to this article, we have been brainwashed to fight climate change by doing what we do best: consume. We should consume organic foods, consume vegan or sustainable clothes, consume special this and special that.
This sort of mentality, in turn, has allowed many people, including influencers, to think that they are fighting climate change and saving the environment by launching their own expensive products for others to consume. Sadly, consumers think that they are saving the environment and themselves as well.
As the article states:
Eco-consumerism may expiate your guilt. But it’s only mass movements that have the power to alter the trajectory of the climate crisis. This requires of us first a resolute mental break from the spell cast by neoliberalism: to stop thinking like individuals.
We should not get lost in the eco/sustainability consumerist business industry. Because that is what this whole thing is about. That new apricot, organic certified, vegan spray that an influencer is now selling on instagram? Don’t buy it. There are bloggers and influencers that are constantly giving out their recipes for all of us to have access to them. Sharing knowledge allows for the community to grow stronger and allows for various people of all walks of life to feel welcomed to the movement.
This will allow for us to grow in numbers and dismantle an economic system that is exploitative and corrupted. I mean this is the reason we are in this mess in the first place.
This is how we become a collective and create change.