Are you a “set it and forget it” environmentalist, or do you need to know the details behind each action you take?
In this week's episode, we take a look at some of the broader issues that intersect with sustainable practices and advocating against climate change. When so much is interconnected, how do we take action?
We have a conversation that many of you will be familiar with. Do we focus on individual or systemic action? How do we choose where to focus our energies? Do we choose to trust the information that comes to us from NGOs or other organisations? Or do we need to research everything for ourselves?
In a world where there is so much to be done, how do we choose what to do?
So grab some tea, get comfy, and hit that play button to hear us attempt to answer these questions for ourselves.
Find our previous episodes at https://theteaonsustainableliving.com.
Connect with us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/theteaonsustainableliving.
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Links and resources:
#8 | Life isn't Fair, but your purchases can be
#11 | Moving (house) and living with roommates
#12 | Spilling the tea on (wasting) water
What is white tea?
Teabox - White teas
Nepal’s transition to Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (GRID)
Nepal Water Supply Sustainable Development Project
UNICEF - Girls’ Education
Global advantages of female education
How girls’ education benefits our entire planet
Improving Health Outcomes through Community Empowerment: A review of the literature
Health at Every Size: The surprising truth about your weight
Charity : Water
Data point: climate change is a feminist issue
-Brandee and Hannah
Note: This transcript is mostly unedited.
Hello and welcome to The Tea on Sustainable Living Podcast where your hosts, Hannah, and Brandee, try to help each other navigate the big messy gray area of giving a shit about the planet and hopefully helping you along the way.
Each episode we have honest chats about our sustainability fails, sometimes amongst ourselves and sometimes with guests, while also leaving you with a little sprinkle of hope and inspiration to keep on giving a shit.
So go make yourself a cup of tea, get comfy, and let's dive into the episode. Hello, give us hitters. This is Brandy, Mrs. Hannah, and you're listening to episode number 13 of The Tea on Sustainable Living Podcast.
Welcome to episode number 13.
What are we talking about today Brandee?
Well, we are going to attempt to talk about the intersectionality of like climate change and social justice. And we've touched on it in the past and like small ways. I feel like this is just a general topic that I don't feel like I really know enough about or know well enough to like talk about. I don't know like an overview and like a bird's eye view. Like I know like specifics about you know, like materials for iPhones, like how were their mind like that doesn't the people who live there? It's not great, specific things like that, but I just feel like it's such a complex issue and nuanced issue that. Yeah, I don't know much about and I've known I don't know much about it for a while,
though, I guess Welcome to a potentially uninformed chat about intersectionality and climate change,
climate, justice sector, etc.
You drinking tea? Because I'm not drinking tea. It's too hot for tea. I am drinking. It's like 32 degrees, Brandy.
I know. But I let it get a lot cooler than I normally would like lukewarm nettle tea, which is from a past episode. I'm not drinking. I'm about to tell you about because I finally was able to find it. Yeah, I got nettle tea. How is it tastes like green tea. Okay, bit earthy, and it looks like green tea. And I don't know enough about tea and the flavors to get more specific than that. It's like wine. I know enough to know whether I'm drinking Red or white and beyond that.
Well, at least you're easy.
So yeah, like it, I think. Yeah, I would buy it again. Have a bit to go through before it runs out. Yeah, I'm drinking. I also managed to find oolong tea, which from another past episode, but I haven't tried that yet. Maybe I'll try that next episode in just words, but I'll catch up eventually. Yeah. So yes, already covered nettle tea, the tea I before we spill the tea. Let's talk about the actual tea that for this week's episode, we haven't covered white tea yet. Which was that a thing? It is a thing as we discovered in a previous episode that
did we didn't already know
that the tea is like black tea, green tea, white tea. I forgot what else are all from the same plant the something said something.
We're getting detailed today. Yeah.
Yeah, we'll link it in the show notes. That it's all about the process and something with optimization. So white tea is like basically the least process the least messed with. And I found this really cool, really project but organization in Nepal. The partnership for sustainable development or PSD for short, and I'll just read this little blurb from their website. PSD builds capacity in the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Nepal, notably amongst children, women, orphans, those with disabilities and in rural communities, functioning as an intermediary organization between the haves and the have nots. PSD serves to link Nepal with international grants, donors and fundraising projects. PSP is a non governmental social development organization. And they one of their goals from their website. There were several but the one jumped out at me was environment to resource civil society and the youth of Nepal in particular regarding the their ability to influence the environment around them by promoting sustainable, responsible and economically viable environmental projects, including startup social enterprises. So I thought this tied in very well with conversation we're going to attempt to have today website we'll link in the show notes as PSD nepal.org You can read more about it, and I found some other cool things happening in Nepal, so we'll link them as well. And yeah, I just thought that was really good. Pool.
sounds really interesting. I mean, I think anything that gives people power helps helps them gain the skills that they need. It's, yeah.
One of the things that I've heard in relation to this in regards to the topic of like intersectionality, and climate justice, social justice, all of this is that one of the one of the ways to combat like climate change is by like educating women, specifically educating girls, or wherever that. But just the more, the more you educate girls, and the more I mean, I could what I what the title is,
but it is an interesting, I've heard that as well, like, the more like focusing on female education, women's education in general, somehow, I mean, it's a complex issue, right? Because then you're going into like social dynamics, like, what is it about women having education, that means they're more more likely to bring that back into their communities? Or is it that they're more likely to be involved in some of the community projects?
We are educating them, they're not like stuck at home doing, like domestic things? And depending on where in the world, you know, spending half their day going to get somewhat clean water?
So yeah, this is yeah, an element of conversation that I am not qualified enough to talk about. I just know, it's a thing. I've heard it. I'm glad you've heard it as well.
Yeah. I mean, I think it's, it's everyone's thing, right? I mean, does that is like touching on, you know, the more equal societies are, whether that's to do with gender equality, or wealth, equality, or whatever they are, like, racial equality, the more kind of sustainable their societies are, like, in a general sense, you know, the bigger you inequality you have, you know, the more people you have living in difficult situations, or without the opportunity to bring people who would make a big change, you know, they don't have access to the jobs or the money or the, whatever it is the resources to make those changes. You know, and like, I don't know so much about that in terms of sustainable like, environmental stuff, but I know, you know, in terms of like poverty, like how the, the inequality between the richest and the poorest is like a very high indicator of like, Yeah, I mean, it just creates more and more poverty. Yeah, I've also not
very well articulated No, I get what you're getting at, I feel like you have the more equal groups that people feel in a society then then yeah, it's more sustainable because everyone's happier, the more kind of acts if they have equal access to things equal opportunities, equal treatments.
Yeah, I mean, it's like crazy stuff about this is this is again, not really this is related to health, I was reading about studies which show so if you take like two communities, which have very similar profiles, in terms of access to education and access to health care income, but one community is more like it feels more involved that they feel more empowered, they have better health outcomes like there is a noticeable I will find the study is in the book I think is in Health at Every Size and references this study, but it talks about how you know like things like diabetes and heart disease that reduced I don't know if I can say solely but related in some way related to like feelings of empowerment, feelings of involvement in the community. Just so yeah, fascinating.
Minds powerful thing. And yes, something like feeling involved feeling like you're contributing to feeling like uses power Yeah, like your power to make you're making an impact on your local community or on a broader scale. To feel that to fulfill that I think a human need to like kind of contribute to do something then the more fulfilled you'll feel and absolutely I can see how that ties into well lower stress, which is very highly linked to your physical well being to manage stress you have so yeah, I that's really interesting that I liked that, but that's what they got out of that study. Yeah.
Yeah, that's really interesting. Yeah. I was gonna ask this is going way off stuff. It was like you said it was like a human need to feel involved. Want to contribute? Do you think that's true? Do you think that's something that that humans need?
I think I think it's something humans need to, like, live their best life like to get the most out of life. It's what can you do? For others? You know, yeah, this is off topic, but yet to feel, you know, people to like happiness is like the destination. Who is it that I've heard, I think multiple people I've heard talking about this, that that shouldn't be the destination. It's just like, happiness tends to be a byproduct of living like a meaningful life and what adds meaning, while helping others or contributing to something other than yourself.
Yeah, I had a lecturer who was always like, so I studied theology, so very much like all this stuff about like belief and how to live a good life or not. And so how to live, like what gives people meaning. And he would always just be like humans and meaning making machines, like everything we do, we're like, looking for ways to give it meaning. You know, whether that's through religion, or volunteering, or like an event that happens in your life, we're always is never going to be something that remains neutral at something that we always, you know, in some way we give it meaning in relation to our life. Yeah, otherwise, I
feel like we don't then just feels like we're wasting our, I don't know, limited moments, there's no meaning. I'm like, what, what are we doing?
Yeah. And I think maybe this is something that's really hard in relation to issues like climate change. Because I think that's when you when it's something that's so big. And if you start connecting all the dots, like, you're just like, Oh, my goodness, there's so much here, and I can never do enough. And it removes the meaning from what you're doing. You know, you're like, I can't have a meaningful impact. And then it's like, well, what's the point then?
But you can can have a meaningful? How you look at it? Yeah, if you look at right, okay, I am personally responsible for keeping the temperature change under two degrees Celsius. Okay? No, like, it's everyone has a role to play in that scenario. But if you, you know, zoom in a bit and look at, I don't know, how you can contribute less, and just really start small and, and not put too much pressure on the individual to make the change. Because with all of the, you know, big, massive money hungry companies, just wanting to make more money, and, you know, disregard the impact they have. You can vote with your dollar, but policy is another way to approach it. So yeah, it's all how you view it, if you look at the final result.
But then, you know, then we come back to this point of the individual versus systemic change, because if we don't engage in some way with systemic change, like I mean, systemic change is the most impactful because it impacts a much wider range of people.
I think the problem is, well, I mean, I know I typed out the outline is the word versus individual versus systemic change as if it's one or the other. It's both and starting small, starting in your, what changes you can make in your own life is an easy entry point. And then I feel like from there, it's almost like, for me, it feels like almost like stepping stones can mean all these small changes in my life, what I eat, how I've shopped, etc. Now I need to advocate more and do more to help help make these systemic changes. What,
Unknown Speaker 14:07
what feels like a block for you to do that?
I think it's the knowledge piece. Okay, yeah. Like I said, In the beginning, like I I feel like I think I feel like I mean, it's like starting anything relatively new, like you feel like you need to know or maybe this doesn't apply to everyone. Like I feel like I need to know all the things before I start even though I know on a practical level that don't Okay, just start and and figure it out as you go. is the best way to actually get anything done. Right because because then you get stuck in the knowledge piece and Okay, now I need to know all of these things. And I don't know all of these things. It's overwhelming to know all these things. Which I guess is ultimately why I wanted to have this this chat today.
What do you think about Sorry, I just want to add something else.
I think I was probably just gonna say the same thing. We different words.
Okay. I was gonna say like, as you're talking I'm, I mean, I'm agreeing and not because I'm probably more of a, you know, different personalities, right? Like I but it's like that thing of, I mean, I guess maybe that's the role of some NGOs and charities, that they are doing that research for you. So if they recommend a campaign, or if they lead something, you know, isn't enough to just engage with that, taking it more from, you know, a point of view of like, okay, so I can't know all of this. But maybe I can trust that a fair trade or Greenpeace or I don't know, my mind has gone completely bank of all these charities that exist, you know, but anyway, then they've done that research, they have people working on that, you know, or does that just feel but then does that feel like too far removed? You know, if you just like sign a petition, or you turn up to an event, like, does that? Does that also in some way? It's like, it removes the need to do the research, but then you're also not as engaged because you haven't done the research? Or?
Interesting? Yeah, and I have a couple of thoughts. When you said, you know, is that enough to trust these companies do the research for you? I think, only you, you, Hannah can answer that. And you're the listener can answer that for yourself. Does that feel enough for you? Or do you want to do, like, do some research to like, see the connections to see what this you know? Charity a or organization B is doing for you to kind of see oh, okay, all right. Okay, I see why they're doing that. Oh, okay. That helps this, this group of people by doing this. Okay. Yeah. Okay. I felt good about that. So I feel like that's an individual question. But I guess I was more kind of talking about it in terms of this idea of the idea of how climate justice is social justice. And intersectionality of it all is just one big, massive topic. And I know some things like on a small scale level about Yeah, I think I mentioned you know, mining the precious metals for iPhones, or dyes for clothing, like, I know that our animal factory farms, the impact that those things can have on the surrounding environments. But like, on a bigger scale, there's more, there's like so much at play. And I yeah, I guess I feel like I what I think what I need to do is figure out yeah, how much research Am I willing to, like, let other people do for me. So maybe it's research on like, organizations who I can support maybe it's doing a small recurring monthly donation. Currently, I do charity water and go climate they were go climate neutral, but now I think they dropped the neutral to do to be more than neutral, to be negative, or to have less of an impact to offset even more. So yeah, maybe it's finding an organization that doing just enough research to feel good about supporting, then
I think there's an element here as well. Like, as, again, is a bigger question, which maybe is also something that you just have to answer on an original level. But is it worth that thing? Is it better to be a sort of jack of all trades? Like Jack of all climate knowledge and like know a bit of this that on the other? Or like, Do you really like want to, like, you know, something is really interesting to you, and you sort of like hone in and that's the thing that you like, Give all your time to because you know, we have limited time, money resources. You can never do everything
Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, I think I think you're I think that is also an individual thing and a question that the the listener have to decide for yourself but to just spin it like if you're trying to be a jack of all how did you say Jack of all climate college or maybe your thing is educating maybe it's not even in a formal way maybe it's just being that go to person that your your network of people friends family, whoever they know that you know, a little bit about all the things so they can come to you with their questions to as like a sounding board or a jumping off point for them to get on to something so that I think in itself could be is like a specific or I don't know, a thing to go all in on for me, I don't know what is my thing? I mean, I Yeah, mentioned Charity Water. I, I got really into that for a long time. And I think I've reached the point where like, I've like I read Scott Harrison, the founder, I read his book, I went to like a live event. Did like fundraisers for birthdays and I need to actually do that again, actually. But I And I feel like I've spent enough time in it that I'm like, Yeah, you just take, take a little bit of money every month for ever, pretty much. Right? The goal is to get make sure everyone in the world has access to clean water, which is a lofty goal, but they are doing very good things. So I've reached a point with them where like, I feel good about just the not set it and forget it.
But well, I mean, maybe a little bit sometimes that is what's needed. You're like, okay, I can trust this. I've got, you know, in this case, like the financial resources or time resources, or however you want to, you know, support an organization. And I'm like, Okay, I do that like monthly event, or I have a monthly donation. And that's, you know, yeah. And for me, that's, that's fine. set it and forget it. Why, like, why not? I mean,
yeah. And for the topic of water like that, to bring it back to the attempted topic of today's episode, I don't know what we'll end up with, the title will be, we'll see. That the closer we get to that, in our two degree limit, and more extreme weather conditions, more droughts, we'll have access to water your ex, if you have access to clean water, and, and it ties into like, it's a feminist issue, because who's the one who were the ones who were, you know, tracking the hours and hours a day to get set water, whether it's clean or just too dirty for human consumption, yet, that's the only option. It's it's women and young girls, young girls who should be in school. And like we said before, to bring it back to more, I want to find a study or articles that are like research for this two resources to refer you to listener to know what we're talking about. But yeah, the more you educate young women better impact it has on?
I don't know, I mean, it just does in general, education is such a powerful thing. And stay with education as important for everyone.
I mean, and people are important. In general, we touched on this episode that I think it was, I think it was the fair trade one, actually, that I think them the organization feature in that episode was yeah, about putting people before profit, I can remember. Because we talk about, you know, doing doing better for the planet. What that really means is doing better for the people on this planet, right? Because if you put the people first, then the like, like the planet will benefit from that. So
I don't know, I think there's a part of that, which is about. And I'm kind of conflicted. In my mind. I'm not conflicted, but it's difficult to balance between that Karafin an individual because humans are individuals, and then like care for the collective group of humans. So I was thinking about, like, climate justice, for example, if you're shutting down, coal powered energy stations, so you could argue we should just like shut that down. I mean, this is like a very nuanced argument. But say, we like shutting this down is a good thing. You know, there's one argument that's like, oh, we should just shut it down as soon as possible. And that's the best thing for, like, the collective humanity. But sacrificing
one for the good of the night,
you know, exactly. But on an individual level, you know, you've got all these people who are working, or, you know, their livelihoods depend on their, you know, what is a way? You know, to have like, climate justice for everyone. So how do you, like upskill the workers or give people enough notice time that things closed down? Or, you know, like support for the people who are affected by those changes that need to happen, but also imply some suffering on the short term? So yeah, like this, that philosophy thing, like, do you? You know,
we're getting a 10 minute warning. Sorry. Okay. 10 minutes. All right.
Cool. Let's wrap up this top 10 minutes to answer this question. Go brand new. No, that
is a tough one. Yeah, I saw you. You mentioned that in or out of that to that line. I feel like, you know, an easy or an immediate and probably ignorant responses. I'll just turn it into an old plant that makes solar panels or brain whatever, insert whatever other sustainable business, but then yeah, you have to it's it's not a snap of the fingers. Do you have to actually make that transition for the people and the planet itself? And is that even possible? Is it worth the time and money and I don't know. I don't know what the I Think this similar question has been brought up to me before of? Well, what about closing the factory farms? What about people who work there? I don't know, I'm I don't I don't think I'm educated enough or knowledgeable enough to answer that, I just know that it is having these things. factory farms, coal plants have a negative impact on the people who work there, and for the environment, and the people who live around these plants. So I know enough to know that it's bad. I don't know enough to know what the best alternative is, and how to get there in a way that is best for everyone involved.
Right? Yeah, that's a big one.
It is a big one. And I, before we started, I did find this article that just to clarify for those who are maybe struggling to to make the connection. And I feel like this is a good kind of overall definition when we're talking about climate justice, and climate justice is social justice. So just to define it, and we'll leave this link is just gvi.ie is the website, which was ie Ireland, and I found this article, climate justice can be defined as the fair treatment of all people, and the freedom from discrimination in the creation of policies and projects that address climate change, as well as the systems that create climate change, and perpetuate discrimination. So it's not only what is the systems that are currently in place that are causing harm on people on the planet, it's, it's tied into whatever we come up with now, to the trade thing. So new policies, new projects, and keeping everyone in mind, not just No, no bottom line, if you're one of those big money hungry companies, or its people who are knowledgeable about these things, from a bird's eye lens and not on the small kind of examples that I've been giving. Yeah. Should Yeah. Be able to, to know how to come up with things that that satisfy him this definition? And yeah, I don't know. I don't know what I don't know, basically, I kind of know, but not quite. So I feel like, I feel like my takeaway from this is to Yeah, be okay with doing enough research? And who are support, whether it's with money time? And then yeah, I mean, just being more tuned in to maybe, I don't know what if there's like a newsletter website, I can find to just kind of keep my finger on the pulse of the last topic.
I was gonna, I mean, that's a whole other conversation, but I feel it was, well, it's like that element of like, burnout, like the this like the gray back to the gray spiral. Like when you are aware of everything. I mean, you can never be aware of everything. But I feel like the times when I most been involved with environmental activism, which is definitely not right now. I just was like, exhausted within a year. There's like, just too much going on, like too much. Yeah.
So you know, it's Yeah, finding one thing like for me, maybe it will be water is there like an organization or another organization that I can support? Now that I have, I guess, essentially have reached that set and forget a stage with the Charity Water is now like, maybe I am like, ready and have the headspace to find another thing. Yeah, and just maybe approach it that way. Just kind of one. Obvious, I could give away all my money to all the organizations. I don't know how much. I'm not like Bill Gates, so or, what's his name? Who just bought Twitter? Who could have ended? That yeah, that article that came out? Or, like screenshots of him saying, Yeah, show me how to end world hunger. I'll do it. And then yeah, you didn't anyway, you get cut off? Do you have like, a thing? Like one thing that you do I have? Or, or how do you like, Do you feel better about finding one thing, or being having like, knowing and being the jack of all or Jill of all, climate knowledge? I forget how you worded that in the beginning?
Um, yeah, that's an interesting question. I don't know. I think it's probably finding things that connected to other interests of mine already. You know, I mean, I think the human element, the climate justice, for everyone is really important. And I think I gravitate towards stuff around food. Because I like food. Me too. You know, so it's like, well, it's like, I kind of just like an extension of other things that I'm already going to be interested in. Or, you know, I'm interested in education, and that's what I work in. So, you know, there may be that link. So like, kind of integral maybe, I'm not sure that I really do it, but I'm just, you know, thinking out loud, maybe integrating The Climate Justice elements into things that I'm already interested in for a wide range of reasons. Okay, so, so it's not like suddenly being like, Oh, I like, I don't know, I'm trying to think of sorry, I'm not interested in but like, you know, something like really random. I mean, like, Yes, this is going to be my thing, but actually being like, well, I don't know why I've chosen electric cars because I can't drive and I'm not interested in cars. Like, you know, like, that doesn't make sense. Yeah, you
start with what you know. Okay. Yeah. So like, this could easily be a part two, whether it'll be this season two, to be determined. Because yeah, we're wrapping it up pretty soon to take a break for the summer months. And all the details we'll do a recap episode. And yeah, because we haven't wrapped up this. This topic very well. I don't think you can. No, initial thoughts and my initial thoughts on this kind of a theme of the season initial thoughts on various topics. So idea for season two to come back to things more in depth. And, yeah, yeah, I would like to talk more about like, the kind of the burnout of like activism. Yeah. How to avoid it when getting into it when starting out. How do you kind of do it in a way that is manageable and sustainable for you?
All right. Do you have something hopeful to end with? Brandy? And I just put a knife quote, in our notes.
Oh, yes. Um, I've met I think references YouTuber shelf is all a few times on the podcast. But she just recently changed her her like main her tagline to something short and sweet. And yeah, I think is a good. Yeah, we'd ended her new quote is do your best and advocate for the rest. Yeah, and yeah, what that looks like for you is obviously dependent on you. And what you feel is your best at any given moment, because that will change fluctuate and then advocate, what does that look like for you? Is it you know, $10 a month to this charity, that charity? Is it? You know, going to rallies? Is it talking to people in the community? Yeah, this I feel like we're very resource heavy. Show Notes.
Yeah, do you check out the show notes, because we're gonna put a bunch of bunch of links, links and resources. As always, let us know what you think you can send us voice notes on the website?
Yes, on the website at unsustainable living.com/contact. And then if you scroll to the bottom, you can sign up for our email newsletter to get the show notes in your inbox. And so you don't miss know,
yeah. Haven't done for mailing list have been
doing a very good job of promoting that. I'm trying to get into more of a habit of posting on social media. But now I need to get into the habit of showing up on stories. So yeah, that could be a thing to revisit over the summer. How to do that. All right. All right. So we are down to less than a minute before Zoom is going to kick us off. All right. Thank you for listening. Give us shitter on Yeah, we'll see you in the next one.
So bad. So good. It's like that. This is so bad.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the tea on sustainable living podcast.
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