Life, Low-waste Living, Plastic-Free Living, Random Thoughts

Implicit Bias Within Sustainability

I remember when I started our family’s low-waste/plastic-free journey I had to really research to find other folks within social media doing the same thing.  I got creative in what hashtags I utilized just to make sure I was being inclusive  and learning from everyone.

Just like other aspects of life, sustainability is portrayed as something that only a particular group performs – which is not true.  And because of that, people that don’t identify with the aspect of said group are overlooked and undervalued.  For our society has made it seem that only one particular group knows the best way to live sustainably.

Implicit Bias (Unconscious Bias): Views we hold about others which are influenced by past experiences, media, passed on knowledge which cause specific conclusions about particular groups/ethnicities (Maranda’s adapted definition)

A person’s action of only following or learning from a particular group is directed by one’s implicit bias.  I want to stress that, for the most part, it isn’t intentional – just a hidden thinking.  And quite honestly media (all aspects) is the main reason for this.  Who do you traditionally see in promotions for sustainable(eco-friendly) products/resources?  I personally find it quite ironic when I know that my ancestors were performing sustainable actions before it was coined.

Now the question becomes what can we do to change the narrative?  Just a few suggestions (some I’ve stated before)

  • Start supporting and amplify folks traditionally overlooked or undervalued.  Yes diversify your feed but promote and properly pay folks their needed respect.
  • Collaborate with folks you typically wouldn’t on an event or activity.
  • Question organizations/companies about their marketing of sustainable material/products – hold them accountable.

What else do you feel needs to be done?




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