Gender Neutral Environmentalism
Hey, readers! It’s a pleasure to formally meet you. My name’s Ethan, and I’m Marina’s boyfriend!
Marina asked me to take over this portion of today’s blog because, well, I’m a boy... I can’t say I’m very qualified to speak about climate change, waste reduction or vegan dieting, but I can talk about being a regular dude! Because I’m pretty good at doing that. So, let’s start from the beginning.
When Marina and I started dating 2 years ago, I wanted to support her as she began a journey to become vegan. She was a couple of steps ahead of me, but taught me all about how even a small change in my daily routine can have a large impact on the Earth! I was reluctant, but in my efforts to be a good boyfriend, I slowly started my own journey.
My first step was to give up dairy, and that was probably the hardest part! Maybe harder than it should’ve been... I liked cheese a lot back then. From there things got easier, I slowly added to my list of things not to eat: beef, fish, chicken, honey. I chipped away at my old diet until, cut to the present day, I’m like 95% vegan and it’s awesome! I actually really enjoy it. I learned that I wasn’t missing out on any good meals by just eating fruits and veggies, and just because a meal is vegan doesn’t mean it has to suck! I now know what restaurants are easy to eat at, and am way better at grocery shopping. The whole journey was so fun, that at some point down the road it got me excited to do more things for the earth! So I kept going.
Marina and I did a lot of research on waste reduction, carbon emissions, and consumer behaviors. We found there was so much more that we could do to help out our planet. I bought a bike and started riding it to work, made a pact to stop using plastic cups at coffee shops, and so on. There’s a lot of cool companies out there that help make living this lifestyle a lot easier, but one thing I noticed as I started to transition into a more earth-conscious life is that these eco-friendly companies mainly market towards women... and that’s a bigger problem than it may appear to be.
If you haven’t noticed or been affected by this issue, that’s okay! It might be because 87% of people who read this blog about the environment are female, so you’re likely not looking out for men’s products... But this just further proves my point! This demographic of readers just shows that out of everyone Marina markets her blog to, females are consistently the only ones interested in learning how to be more eco-friendly.
This whole thing came to my attention as I was trying to do some shopping the other day. I needed deodorant, body wash, shampoo, conditioner and hair gel. Being the eco-friendly guy I strive to be, I think, “Hey I should try to find some of these products that are all natural, and don’t have any palm oil in them!”
That day I spent 3 hours in the store.
I ended up coming out with almost everything I needed, the vegan soaps were all women’s products, and good-for-the-planet hair gels just don’t seem to exist! I start to think again, “why do I have to smell like Shea butter and coconut to take care of the earth?” Anything that’s marketed to men (like Old Spice or Dove for men) actually is incredibly bad for the planet and your skin!
Quick Tip: I found out how harmful most men’s soaps really are via the Think Dirty app. It tells you on a scale how harmful the ingredients in your products really are, just by the scan of a barcode!
This gender separation issue kept coming up in the following days: water bottles, bamboo straws, all-natural toiletries, all-natural foods, marketing in general all just pointed to the fact that women are the only ones who care! Now I’m not saying that marketing is to blame here, I personally took it into my own hands to do research and change my lifestyle for the earth’s sake. But either way, it’s frustrating to be underrepresented in this effort I’m making! I know there are good companies and products out there for guys, but the main issue I’m seeing is the lack of effort with larger companies to really hold themselves accountable on what they’re putting on our bodies, as well as what ingredients they’re using and how they affect the environment.
I’m not sure if the lack of eco-friendly male products is due to the idea that taking care of the earth is feminine, or if marketing strategists just know that men don’t care about the environment as much as women do. Either way, I think that we need to push for a change here! If we’re going to make an impact on the earth then we need everybody on board, boys included.
The other day I found a company with Marina that was taking a step in the right direction: Carina Organics! They kindly sent Marina some really nice products, one of which was a hair gel for men! It’s vegan, all natural, 100% recyclable, certified organic, and actually was very high quality. I was able to ditch my old stuff and finally use something that actively supported the eco-friendly male!
I really think we should push more companies to be like Carina Organics. We can’t leave men out of the picture when we talk about something monumental like taking care of our planet, we need everybody on board! So let’s go @ some companies on Twitter, buy eco-friendly hair gel for your boyfriend, or just kindly encourage a dude that you know to be a little more environmentally conscious! If they need help, I know of a really cool blog they can read ;)
Thank you all for hanging out with me today, I hope this helps some of you!
[Note from Marina: Hey guys! I hope you all enjoyed this little guest post from Ethan! We have been discussing how to approach gender neutral environmentalism for the past few months and I am so glad we could partner with Carina Organics to share these wonderful eco-friendly products with both guys and girls! I hope you enjoy this post and these products!]
Know of any great eco-friendly male products? Let me know what it is in the comments below!