INCLUSIVITY IN THE ZERO WASTE MOVEMENT

WORDS: OLIVIA LAPIERRE

1. UPLIFT THE VOICES OF BIPOC (Black Indigenous and People of Color) ON SOCIAL MEDIA
•    Follow BIPOC on social media
•    Display their social media handles in your resources
•    Recommend their pages
•    Explore different ways that you can collaborate 

2. BRING ATTENTION TO THE ISSUES
•    Systemic and structural Racism (i.e. police brutality, mass incarceration, school to prison pipeline)
•    Educate yourself on how systemic racism relates to climate activism: read more here
•    Use your platform to educate viewers about the issues facing frontline communities

3. PROVIDE ACCESSIBLE RESOURCES
•    Share resources
•    Hold events, talks, and workshops in communities that are predominately of color and make the information relevant to them and their lifestyle with the understanding of their oppression and how that creates barriers
•    Invite leaders of color in sustainable movements to these talks so that viewers can feel empowered by that representation
•    Make sure you’re inviting them into the conversation rather than just providing a service 

4. EDUCATION
•    Work to bring racial justice trainings to your community
•    Reach out to environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club (who’s already made the commitment to equity/inclusion) for resources
•    Make sure in your efforts to educate the public that you’re not depicting POCs as poor, helpless, incompetent or any other race based stereotypes but just highlighting that it’s about belonging not capacity 

5. COLLABORATE WITH ORGANIZATIONS
•    Local Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapter
•    Local Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) chapter
•    Environmental organizations 

REMEMBER: If you’re not actively dismantling systemic racism then you are participating by being complacent! Staying silent and choosing to be neutral in the face of injustices is upholding white supremacy. 

 

Olivia Lapierre is a Be Zero ambassador and racial justice activist. She is a recent graduate of Lyndon State College with a B.A. in Applied Psychology and Human Services. She began her transition to a zero waste lifestyle in January 2016. Through Be Zero she works to bring awareness to environmental racism and to provide platforms for POCs in environmental communities, which are traditionally predominantly white spaces. As a community organizer and activist, Olivia is drawn to making the zero waste community more inclusive. She does this by organizing community discussions that address, educate, and work to dismantle systemic oppression. 

 

Instagram: Zero Waste Habesha
Facebook: Be Zero Upper Valley

TV Show: Talkin’ Trash
Appearances: Vimeo