Sustainability veers off course

SEA+OF+METAL.+Hydroflasks+are+a+staple+among+students+in+most+classes.+They+vary+in+color+and+shape%2C+allowing+the+user+to+buy+one+that+matches+their+aesthetic.+The+abundance+of+these+water+bottles+is+only+one+common+trend+observed+today+in+the+sustainability+movement.%C2%A0
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Sustainability veers off course

SEA OF METAL. Hydroflasks are a staple among students in most classes. They vary in color and shape, allowing the user to buy one that matches their aesthetic. The abundance of these water bottles is only one common trend observed today in the sustainability movement. 

SEA OF METAL. Hydroflasks are a staple among students in most classes. They vary in color and shape, allowing the user to buy one that matches their aesthetic. The abundance of these water bottles is only one common trend observed today in the sustainability movement. 

Harsitha Kalaiarasan

SEA OF METAL. Hydroflasks are a staple among students in most classes. They vary in color and shape, allowing the user to buy one that matches their aesthetic. The abundance of these water bottles is only one common trend observed today in the sustainability movement. 

Harsitha Kalaiarasan

Harsitha Kalaiarasan

SEA OF METAL. Hydroflasks are a staple among students in most classes. They vary in color and shape, allowing the user to buy one that matches their aesthetic. The abundance of these water bottles is only one common trend observed today in the sustainability movement. 

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 The Earth is dying. It seems like this fact is projected at us from all angles, a suffocating and heavy truth. 

And, in response as the young people we are, we have begun a popular movement to try and reverse some of the damage. 

However, the more I am exposed to this movement through social media, I can not help but notice the elitism and annoying trendiness that is emerging as an effect.  

What began as awareness around plastic use has evolved into a social media tag line: save the turtles! Everyone fixated on plastic straws while ignoring the plastic cup from which they drank and the plastic bag around their wrist.

Companies went crazy with the metal straw idea, producing “cute” kits and accessories that promoted this new niche in the sustainability movement. 

As a result, we continued to feed into the corporate system through our demand as consumers– the very system that contributes the most to environmental damage.

Of course, many of these metal-straw-producing corporations support organizations that are sustainable, but the irony is ever-present. 

Famous Youtubers published videos about going “eco-friendly” for a week, as if protecting the planet was a train they had the privilege to get on and off of at whatever time they chose.  

Other media personalities emphasize eating plant-based while standing behind bags of expensive groceries from health food stores that are inaccessible to the masses.

The vibe from all of this feedback is clear to me. Caring about the planet is cool until it is not anymore and then we just move on with our lives. 

Sustainability is only championed when it is matching an aesthetic that is popular and embraced in society. This trend is exemplified in the VSCO girl’s personality, which The Cut describes as “manic pixie ecowarrior.”

The VSCO girl wears Brandy Melville, oversize tees, has a Fjällräven backpack, Pura Vida bracelets, scrunchies, and a Hydroflask. 

Of course, the term is a label, and I do not like labels. Yet, it does accurately portray a societal trend. The sustainability many young people practice is for the privileged, excludes a large portion of the population, and veers from the true goal. 

Instead of focusing on reducing consumption and what we can do LESS of, the movement has created a list of MORE things someone needs to participate.  

That is not to discredit the many people who are truly involved in the sustainability movement, nor the benefits of social media awareness. My purpose is to bring up one question: how efficient is our approach? 

 

Source:    

https://www.thecut.com/2019/09/what-is-a-vsco-girl-anyway.html 

 

Caption: SEA OF METAL. Hydroflasks are a staple among students in most classes. They vary in color and shape, allowing the user to buy one that matches their aesthetic. The abundance of these water bottles is only one common trend observed today in the sustainability movement. 

    

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