I'm so incredibly proud to be celebrating Blackness and sustainability during one of my favorite months of the year - Black History Month. As a Black Environmentalist, I take pride in incorporating my culture with my love for the planet.
My name is Lacie Wever and I am an eco blogger. On my blog, Teach Go Green, I talk about practical eco-friendly living tips for busy women and parents. I share my enthusiasm for sustainability with helpful and relatable steps for a more eco-conscious life.
Growing up, sustainability was not a word that was used in my house. In fact, before I took an environmental science class my senior year of high school, I'm not even sure if my family recycled. I was completely unaware of the concept of environmentalism and therefore didn't think twice about acts of sustainability.
After reading the book “Silent Spring” for a class summer assignment, I realized, for the first time in my life, that we depend on the natural resources from the Earth and each of our decisions has an environmental impact. Yup, mind-blown!
Fast forward through me completely falling in love with sustainability, learning that I could actually pursue a career in it, and being accepted in the environmental science program of my dreams in college – I was eager to learn more about sustainability and understand how I could truly make a difference.
I quickly realized, however, that most of the people in the sustainability space didn't look like me. I was often the only Black person in my class, at conferences, and events. As I began my career in environmental science, it was a similar situation.
I found the lack of minority representation so interesting because research states that minorities are actually more likely to face the impacts of climate change. Recently, the EPA released a report saying the most severe harms from climate change fall disproportionately upon underserved communities who are least able to prepare for and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts (source).
For a long time, there have been significant stereotypes surrounding sustainability. Specifically, connecting sustainability to affluence and being white. In reality, sustainability is for everyone, everywhere, because we all live on the same planet and all need its resources to survive. Increasing minority representation and awareness surrounding sustainability issues are imperative to creating a more equitable climate future.
Having adequate representation and seeing others that look like you is so incredibly important! It was something I had been lacking in my sustainability journey for a long time. With that in mind, I created my blog Teach Go Green.
I use my knowledge and experience to show others that they can be sustainable too! I also emphasize the importance of teaching our children about the environment. If we want to create a world where minorities are not suffering the brunt of climate change impacts, we need to teach our children about the environment so they also learn how to protect it.
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama
As an imperfect Black environmentalist to all of you, Happy Black History month!