When Kylie Jenner is taking a 17 minute jet ride across LA, what difference will it make if you recycle your cans or compost your trash? Some argue that as long as corporations and the 1% continue to plague the planet in major ways, there’s nothing our minor efforts can do. We respectfully disagree.
As consumers, we have a lot of power. We decide which business’ fail and which succeed. Those decisions can drastically pressure companies to change their habits - we’ve seen it time and time again, especially thanks to younger generations.
Giant corporations, especially in the fashion industry, are only now starting to care about the planet - but not because they have a moral conscious, but because it’s good for business. When millennials and gen-z shoppers ban together against fast fashion, sales reflect that and companies suffer.
For a business to be profitable in 2022, they have to care about the planet and the people that inhabit it (or at least, they have to pretend to) and that’s because of us. Companies feel the pressure from consumers who refuse to shop at brands that miss the mark. And as long as we keep that pressure on, we will continue to see change.
That being said, we won’t see the change we all want and need until the government incentivizes it. Until the private and public sector work together, our efforts won’t reach the impact we are all hoping for (and depending on). Take our friends in Ghana for example. Popular for its climate positive private sector, Ghana is one of the many African countries whose leadership is leading the way in supporting businesses who work to combat climate change. Similarly, the EU has led a handful of initiatives from environmental taxes to greenhouse gas caps in efforts to incentive corporations to act more ethically.
But what about America? Our government is too busy making deals with corporations that work against the greater good. But not for long.
While we continue to put our money where our mouth is, we also need to get out and vote in our local elections. Change starts on the ground and while it might feel hopeless at times, there’s still a lot we can and should do.
We can either wait for a few people with a lot of power and money to “do the right thing”, or we can do it ourselves.