Updated: Apr 13
Do not give anybody the right to pressure, shame or embarrass you.
You own your own body and your life.
Sustainability is a new science. It’s still elegant chaos, what is the right answer?! Nobody really* knows. (Although we do have some ideas!)
When I first graduated and started my first real job in conservation, I received a fair amount of green shaming. “You use tampons?!?!” Was a big one (as I sat up all night, next to a Poacher, waiting to get to a nesting Green Turtle, and to save her eggs before he got them, and sold them for consumption at market).
I was really shocked. As soon as I returned home 3 months later I bought a menstrual cup! I felt so embarrassed that I was using tampons- and I wasn’t even really aware they were bad at that stage. We are not born with the ability to know these things, and everybody is constantly learning.
I hated my moon cup. I found it uncomfortable and leaky and completely pressured and ironically gave up. I was too ashamed to ask anybody how they found it, for fear of being answered “you’re only just using a mooncup?!” Fast forward 2 years, seeing lots of women saying how they love theirs- I gave it another go, less pressured and eased myself in, and I love it. My moon cup gives me a real sense of empowerment. It saves me heaps of money, I avoid the tampon tax, I avoid heaps of waste and a lot of space in my suitcase 😄 It helped finding a piece of research that said most women take three months (cycles) to fully get used to a cup.
I’ve heard the term “vegan police” flying around, and I know that lots of us have been on the receiving end of this. I also feel this creeping into the plastic free scene, and I found myself doing it to a friend, who’s beautiful and positive and I wanted to see her being more environmental in her posts.. (she took it really well but I felt AWFUL, and won’t be doing it again).
Don’t let ANYBODY shame you. Did you know that by cutting 50% of meat from your diet you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by 19% and reduce your chance ocon a heart attack? Ie, you do not NEED to be vegan to make a positive impact (World Resources Institute says this too).
You do not need to be extreme to make an impact. You do not need to be perfect to join in. Keep doing the small things you’re doing, and find small ways to improve.
Whilst we can and should always try and improve- and science should always be critiqued (that includes ADVICE on social media by the way) your lifestyle IS YOURS.
The extremism that pushed me to originally buy a moon cup, made me uncomfortable and ashamed. The positivity and advice I received since made me USE my mooncup. So, here’s my very dodgy yoga-ing (I have insanely tight hamstrings!!!) to celebrate me doing something that I am enjoying that’s positively benefiting me and I’ll probably get better at but right now, is not perfect, in hope to show you do not need to be the full deal, to do something, and to give you some strength in the face of hate- Even conservationists get green shamed. 😁 Find your own sustainability. Don’t feel guilty! 💕🌿