LGBTQ+ AND ZERO WASTE
These two topics go hand in hand! Both are topics of conversation and both our growing and gaining support every year.
You might be asking yourself: Where does climate change fit in to all of this?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that everyone will feel the effects of climate change. It might be felt differently, it might hit some people more slowly than other people, but everyone will notice a change in the way we live our lives due to the overexertion of our resources.
Last winter, on the east coast of the United States, it was one of the coldest winters of the decade. Something that was once extremely rare has become commonplace. The same goes with heat waves that feel as though they’ll never end. Every year since 2015 has become the hottest year on record, and the duration of heat waves keeps increasing.
The LGBTQ+ community is one among many that make up humankind on our beautiful planet. The earth is home to so much life that works constantly to thrive or in some cases struggle to survive. Contemporary advancements in technology have long since wiped away any plea of ignorance as concerns the increased negative impact of human waste and irresponsible development and use of resources worldwide.
The LGBTQ+ community is particularly progressive and proactive when it comes to environmental awareness and participation in everyday acts of environmental sustainability. LGBTQ+ rights alongside ideas about environmental stewardship and combating climate change tend to be championed in large part by more progressive, socially liberal politicians, which in turn puts these ideas under a shared ideological umbrella. Even the iconography in queer communities has ties to environmental movements, like the green stripe of the pride flag. The green stripe was specifically denoted to represent nature, likely in both terms of our sexual and gender identities being natural, as well as the more literal support of the environment.
As all Americans consider their environmental attitudes, lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBTQ+) adults, especially, express personal commitment to pro-environmental issues, according to a survey from Harris Interactive.
A majority (55%) of all LGBTQ+ adults, when asked if they “personally care a great deal about the current state and future of the environment,” say this statement describes themselves completely or very well, a description that characterizes just one-third (33%) of heterosexual American adults and 36% of overall American adults.
Nearly one in two (48%) LGBTQ+ adults also say it is “very to extremely important” to consider environmental issues when buying and using products or services, compared to 25% of heterosexuals. It is also important that we stay conscious of the connection between the community’s needs and the environment – which are more intrinsically connected than you might expect.
ORGANIZATIONS ARE SETTING GOALS & SO SHOULD WE
Individual organizations have been setting sustainability goals, from the 2014 Gay Games extensive sustainability protocols meant to cut down on waste and energy waste, to the establishment of sustainable development goals in combination with LGBTQ+ with OUT4S, organizations in the LGBTQ+ community are taking important steps in their operation and further development to embody green values in the structure of their operation. It is important that we do similarly in our own lives, the normalization of everyday green activities like less food, water, and energy waste as well as recycling.
Creating a green culture, like the 400 European municipalities that have moved to zero waste models that work on a more circular economy are incredibly beneficial on both a global and local scale.
Binding together as a society to draw attention to environmental issues and challenge lawmakers on all levels to do more for our planet is essential to both the protection of those actively facing the challenging repercussions of human irresponsibility as well as the potential lifeblood of global ecosystems that allow us all to thrive and develop as we do.
We not only can do more, we should take every possible step to do more! Check out this guide to getting starting on living zero waste! No matter what change you make, it makes a difference.