If you’ve known me for awhile personally, or followed my Instagram account for some time, you probably saw the rise to what my Dad likes to refers to as “Woke Whitney”. I don’t exactly know how this happened…Oh no, wait, I know exactly how this happened. It happened when a tyrannical, misogynistic, earth raping, sexual predator was nominated to run as candidate for the office of President by the GOP. This is probably the right time to let you know that if you are someone who supports this dumpster fire of a human being you should probably stop reading now, because unlike some people who feel that they have to toe the imaginary line of being PC and sensitive to others opinions, I don’t and I won’t.
So yea, that little thingy is what initially set me off and since then I haven’t been able to reel this little alter ego back in. And why would I? She is like Batman only better, so I see no good reason to put her back in her cage. I am going to be very honest and open with you. Prior to me becoming involved in all of my various causes I subscribed to the belief that advocacy was reserved for granola eating hippies, who wear essential oil as perfume and socks with their Birkenstocks…oh wait, I am literally describing myself. You get what I am saying though. We all have a mental image of people flooding the streets in protest and what they look like and I did not identify with them. In retrospect I can fully realize that that is because of the huge amount of privilege I have experienced in my life, but that’s a whole other topic.
Aside from all the bullshit that comes with feeling like the earth is on the brink of extinction- (it is BTW, I am not being hyperbolic. We are actually experiencing this currently. There is a “biological annihilation” happening right now that is giving way to Earth’s sixth mass extinction. Sorry to be dark, but these are things we need to face if we want to try and fix them.) Is a renewed faith, because I have come to see that one person CAN make a difference. I want to talk about all that but first I want to debunk a few myths that your brain might be telling you right now, and it doesn’t matter what your cause is; women’s rights, immigrant rights, environment… Pick your poison, initially your ego is probably going to feed you the same lies…
- “I don’t know enough about this to speak out on it.” – WRONG. All you need too know at first is that you care; That something about whatever you’re passionate about is causing a stir in your soul. We all have to start somewhere and wherever you currently are is the perfect place.
- “I’m afraid that my opinions will alienate me from my peers/family/community once I express them.” – This one is tough. No one ever wants to feel like an outsider. Not even the most confident person wants to risk their relationships for their truths. I recently heard Sister Joan Chittister speak and she spoke on the importance of bringing back civil discourse. She said all that we need to start is the bravery to say “I think differently”. I am a firm believer that we can all say anything we want, but there is a huge caveat here; we have to say it the right way. Even people who have completely opposing views from ours have them because they hold the conviction that what they are doing or thinking is correct. We have to begin to be able to have respectful conversations with one another if we want to have any chance of changing someone’s mind or even just getting to a place where they can respect our differing belief.
- “Whatever I have to offer won’t change anything.”/ “One person can’t make a difference and I’m sure someone else better equipped will handle it.” – OK, so maybe you alone cannot reverse global warming or solve the wage gap but what you can do though is inspire and encourage other people to get involved and together we can make change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you become one of those people who stands on the street wearing a vest asking if you care about children as you pass by when you’re just trying to have a nice stroll (hate that). I’m merely saying that when you become impassioned by a topic it becomes electrified. The fervor and passion is contagious and you will begin to draw in people who are like minded. This is how the ball gets rolling. No one is better or more equipped to handle your beliefs and opinions than you. Don’t let anyone, including yourself convince you otherwise. You have the privilege of having your own unique perspective and that is so important. No one will be better at communicating it you than YOU.
Ok, now that I am done with my inspirational speech I want to take this opportunity to share what I am passionate about and how I make a difference in the hopes that it can help to motivate you to get involved. It’s not important to me that you take on my causes. All that matters to me is that you take up ANY cause because I know you have one or two or ten…
If you’re reading this you probably live on earth and use her resources so no one gets to sit this one out. Deciding to take on the cause of environmental conversation and reversing climate change is a big one, but there are small, non threatening steps we can all take. Here’s what I do:
MAKE BFF WITH AS MANY REUSABLE EVERYDAY GOODS AS POSSIBLE:
- Reusable straws/coffee cups/water bottles/produce bags/ziplocks: Its been so much easier than I ever would have thought to implement using these items on a regular basis. I started with one and, as I could, accumulated more of these items into my life. Of course I am a human being and sometimes I forget to bring my reusable coffee cup or straw and that’s OK. What matters is not how often you forget but all the times you remember. Don’t let the fear of not being able to be perfect all of the time dissuade you from ever even trying. I have added many of the items I love on to my Amazon Storefront which you can shop from here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/hellowhitney?listId=Z1OS0S6JPCTU&ref=cm_sw_em_r_inf_list_own_hellowhitney_dp_ASrKV7fiJZxSt
THIS SOUNDS SO OBVIOUS BUT STOP WASTING WATER!
- Ok guys, listen up. NO ONE needs to run the shower for 10 minutes before they get in or run the water while they brush their teeth, its so mindless and arrogant. We are SO lucky to have access to clean, running water. Don’t be a douche. Also, consolidate your laundry. Let it build up and then do the wash. No one needs to spend time washing a load of 5 items…Same goes with the dishwasher. Common sense dictates to not be wasteful, exercise it.
STOP USING SINGLE USE PLASTIC:
- I am aware that this ties in with my first “commandment” but i think it’s worth repeating. If you’re confused as to what constitutes as single use plastic that would be things like; straws, iced beverage cups, plastic bags, water bottles, anything that is made of plastic and is made to be used once. Now, I need to circle back for a second and talk about something that is quickly becoming my biggest pet peeve, WATER BOTTLES. I get it that sometimes its unavoidable that we use a water bottle, we are out and dying of thirst, we are somewhere where it’s our only option, I GET IT. But what I don’t get is that anyone would purposely opt in to using one when there is another option. Its not excusable anymore, this is the 21st century and if you’re reading this it means you have access to the internet which means there is no excuse to not be educated enough to know why this is harmful. Forget about the environment for a second even; drinking out of plastic is harmful to your body. Even BPA free plastic leeches harmful chemicals into whatever you’re ingesting. These chemicals affect your endocrine system (hormones) and lead to a variety of problems. If you’re still buying single serving water bottles to use in your home I’ve got news, it isn’t 1996 anymore. Get a water filtration system. I have a Berkey filter https://www.berkeyfilters.com/products/big-berkey which I love SO much but realize it is on the pricer side. Soma https://drinksoma.com/products/10-cup-pitcher is another great option; think Brita filter but made of glass and pretty enough to display. I completely understand that it’s impossible to be perfect all the time with this one. There are a lot of unavoidable plastics that creep into our lives but we can start to be more aware and stay away from it whenever possible.
START CONSIDERING WHAT PRODUCTS YOU ARE CLEANING WITH:
- This should come as no surprise to anyone but cleaning products are poisonous. Most conventional products are chock full of harmful, toxic ingredients that are not only harmful to Mother Earth but also to us! Consider what you’re spraying into the air and washing down into the drains. A great resource for checking to see if the products you use are safe is the Environmental Working Group https://www.ewg.org. Here you will find a database of tons and tons of products that are rated based on their harmfulness on an easy to understand scale. I have been making my own cleaning solution recently and it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a spray bottle, white vinegar, water and essential oil. Mix equal parts water and vinegar and add in some of your favorite essential oil ( I like to use lavender or lemon). I use this for everything.
GET INVOLVED WITH ANIMAL & NATURE CONSERVATION:
- There was a big, complex natural world before human beings got here and it’s our responsibility to do what we can to keep it that way. Our ecosystem is an incredible balancing act that works in ways we cannot see that are vital to our survival on this planet as well as the survival of the planet herself. Pick whatever cause speaks to you; conservation of one leads to conservation for all. Right now I am passionate about Save The Rhino Trust Namibia http://www.savetherhinotrust.org – They are working tirelessly to end poaching of the endangered Black Rhino. Check out the video my husband and friends made on their recent trip to Namibia https://www.instagram.com/tv/ByEHwXbn_r4/?utm_source=ig_web_button_native_share . It’s so inspiring to see the people who devote themselves daily to the preservation of animals for the benefit of all of us. We cannot let this planet suffer at our hands. No matter what race, religion, gender or political party we identify with, this is something we should all be able to agree upon.
Ok buddies, I am going to end this one here. I have so much more to share with you so I a splitting this post into parts as I realize it can be a lot to digest at once and I want do justice to these topics that are so very important to me. Stay tuned for Part 2!