Unleash Your Inner Eco-Warrior: Easy Steps to Make a Big Impact

girl holding up a cardboard sign that says: less is more, it's eco-logical

Climate change is no longer a distant threat, but a reality we face today. And unfortunately, its effects are not distributed equally, with marginalized communities often bearing the brunt of environmental degradation. Now, sustainability isn't just a trend, it's a call to action.

And while we may not be able to single-handedly reverse the effects of decades of environmental damage, we can make a difference by adopting sustainable habits in our daily lives. Let's face it, going green can be daunting. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and what impact our individual actions can have. But the truth is small changes can add up to big results.

So, if you're feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the climate crisis, remember that you're not alone. There are countless resources and communities out there to support you on your journey toward a more sustainable lifestyle. After all, sustainability is not just about sacrifice, it's about innovation and creativity in finding solutions to the challenges we face.

Here are some practical and achievable tips that can help you reduce waste, conserve energy, and promote a healthier planet.

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Our mamás have always been ahead of the eco-friendly game – they knew how to work their magic by turning cookie tins into sewing kits and ice cream tubs into frijoles storage. It's time for all of us to hop on board and make sustainable choices by cutting back on consumption. Remember the three R's: reduce, reuse, and recycle. By doing our part to minimize waste and find new uses for old things, we can make a big impact and keep those landfills in check.

Support brands that implement sustainable practices in their supply chain

Sustainability goes beyond not creating waste or emissions - it’s also ensuring that garment workers are fairly compensated for their work. From beginning to end, the entire lifecycle of a garment shouldn’t cause harm to the environment or the workers producing that garment. We love brands like Selva Negra and Wasi Clothing that are Latine-owned and sustainable!

Adopt zero-waste lifestyle practices into your routine

Some of our favorite examples of this include bringing your own bags to the grocery store, composting garbage at home, and creating less trash by purchasing packaging-free foods or products. You can usually do this by buying from farmer’s markets that typically use less packaging overall, or by buying from bulk food stores and bringing your own reusable packaging. It’s all about making less trash!

Give garments a second life

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: around 57% of all discarded clothes end up in landfills, producing half a million tons of microplastics each year. So next time you're eyeing that fancy new outfit, think twice about the true cost of fast fashion. Thrifting is a great way to give clothing a second life cycle, and some of our favorite ways to do this are by purchasing used clothing to upcycle it into newer pieces that fit your style. This way the fabric gets used again, and you get to fire up your sewing machine to show off your fashionista skills. Not into sewing? No problem! Thrifting is still a great way to use clothing that is already out there and make sure it doesn’t become trash at the end of the season.

Take public transit or use alternate ways to get around when possible

Public transit, ride-sharing, riding a bike, and even just walking are all excellent ways to get from point A to point B without hurting the environment.

BYOC - Bring your own cup

Love a morning coffee but always get a disposable cup? Try bringing your own to your outings to save on the trash (and money). This also applies to refusing disposable cutlery, using reusable straws, refusing receipts (opt-in for e-receipts when possible - they’re amazing), and avoiding wasteful single-use packaging.

Replace your hygiene products - or make your own

There are a few options when it comes to getting more eco-friendly period products, but we love reusable silicone soft cups or period panties. Going chemical-free for your pads, tampons, and opting for an aluminum-free deodorant also makes a huge difference not only for the environment but for your body as well - we’ll say thanks but no thanks to the unnecessary exposure. Into DIYs? You can make your own products at home, including soaps and more if you’ve got the knack for it!

Eat less meat

We know this one can be tough for some (we all love our carne asada) but meat production is one of the top emitters of greenhouse gases. Animal agriculture accounts for more greenhouse gas than all of the world’s transportation systems combined. Can’t go fully meatless? No problem! We recommend a Meatless Monday to start off with and work your way up from there.

Follow social media accounts to inspire your sustainable journey

We find that just seeing more things in our feeds reminds us to be more environmentally conscious. After all, we’re all in this (earth) together. Here are some of the accounts that keep us feeling inspired:

a four image collage featuring queer actresses MJ Rodriguez, Aubrey Plaza, Tessa Thompson and Sara Ramirez

Amid the ongoing push towards equality and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, the influence of public figures who identify as part of this community is undeniably crucial. They contribute to this narrative significantly, their impact transcending their professional boundaries to create safe spaces and ignite discussions that shatter stereotypes and nurture inclusivity. Today, we shine a spotlight on four prominent Latina trailblazers who are making their mark:

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson, an Afro-Panamanian actress, has earned widespread recognition for her performances in films like "Creed" and "Thor: Ragnarok". Thompson is open about her bisexuality and uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ representation in the entertainment industry. Her role in "Thor: Ragnarok" is considered a landmark as Valkyrie is one of the first explicitly queer characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the explicitness of Valkyrie's bisexuality was contested in the cinematic release, Thompson has confirmed and embraced this aspect of the character. Thompson continues to champion diversity in media, raising the bar for representation in Hollywood.

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza, of Puerto Rican and Irish descent, is widely known for her role as April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation". Plaza publicly came out as bisexual in 2016, and she has since been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. By openly discussing her bisexuality, she has helped increase visibility and eliminate the stigma associated with non-heterosexual orientations. Additionally, her portrayal of queer characters, like in the film "Happiest Season", provides much-needed representation and adds to the authenticity of LGBTQ+ characters in media.

Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez, a Mexican-American actress, singer, and activist, is best known for her role as Dr. Callie Torres on "Grey's Anatomy". Ramirez, who identifies as non-binary and bisexual, has been a tireless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Their portrayal of Dr. Torres, one of the longest-running queer characters on television, has significantly influenced the way bisexuality is understood and depicted in popular media. Off-screen, Ramirez is heavily involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy, serving on the board of organizations like True Colors United, which works to combat homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth.

MJ Rodriguez

MJ Rodriguez, of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, has made history as a trailblazer for transgender individuals, particularly in the world of television. Rodriguez's groundbreaking role as Blanca Evangelista on "Pose" earned her critical acclaim and marked a significant milestone for trans representation on screen. Rodriguez is open about her identity as a trans woman, leveraging her platform to call attention to issues affecting the transgender community. Her achievements, both as an actress and activist, provide a beacon of hope and inspiration for transgender individuals worldwide.

Through their activism and their work in the media, these prominent figures are not only changing the conversation around LGBTQ+ rights and representation but also shaping a more inclusive and accepting future. In honoring their contributions, we also acknowledge the progress still needed and the ongoing efforts of countless others in the fight for equality and acceptance.