EARTH is a community for people interested in intersectional environmentalism and climate justice creative media. We hold a committment to uplift marginalized voices, address the intersectionality of our social and natural systems, and demonstrate accessibility. Our biannual issues are available digitally and in print.
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December 2020 Issue 01 explores the idea of connections as the stepping stone of our environmentalism. The extent to which links can be made between ideas or physical beings in our world is considerable and far too large to be covered in this zine alone. Yet, this issue sheds light on a few of the bridges that can be drawn between two or more existing systems in our society and/or natural world, between a climate change cause and effect, or between an individual and a place or practice, to name a few. Which bridges will you explore?
Model: Krystal Cerisier Photogrpaher: Jacqueline Duncan Location: Clarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Beach, NSW, AUS
EARTH Zine This zine was printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks by Mixam Inc.
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Zoe Shields (she/ her) is an artist and illustrator from Ireland, she works in both traditional and digital media and draws inspiration from nature and world mythology. Her Instagram is @zsillustration CO M M Clara Find her work on Litzmann page 14! (she/her) is from NYC and a student at La Trobe Australia! She is interested in sustainable fashion and loves to travel! She’s been Faith C OP C Y to 12 countries in Morgan OP YE the last three (she/her) is studying DI Qhira Bonds years! T Biology at UCF. She (she/her) is a senior love birds & going to the visual communications beach and also has a Youmajor at the University of Tube channel called “Faith in South Carolina in Columbia, Nature”. South Carolina. In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking and thrift shopping. After graduation she hopes to move abroad and pursue a career in freelancing for brands centered D E C S PHI This IGNE GRA around wellness and sustainR is Komal Grewal! She was ability. born in India and has lived in Charleston, South Carolina in the past, but has called Long Island, New York home for more than a decade now. W RI T ER In her free time, she loves creating art, reading, going Anna to the beach, and watching classic films. She had been Grace (she/ searching for a way to help raise awareness about her/they/them) is climate change ever since she did a presentation a barista and student on the topic in elementary school, and is currently living in Rochester, so glad to have found it in EARTH NY while she studies Museums Zine.
R TO EC
Find her work on pages 34-35, 52-54, & 62-63!
and Art History. She adores utilizing art of any kind from collage work to baking in order to express her outlook and ideas. Fun fact? She has a very round, very handsome frog named Axelrod.
WR IA IT GeorG gia Cole ER
T HO /P ER RIT
is made up of Cvegetarianheart cooking and baking,
photography, all forms of artistic expression, and corny jokes. Born and raised in Queens, NY, Jacqueline Duncan (she/her) is a university student passionate about CO environmental NT Ananya Singh justice. RI BU (@a.ananya.singh) TO RS Anushka Bhaskar (@ queennushie) Ariel Maldonado (@gogreensavegreen) Gunjan Nanda (@gunjan.nanda) Idman Abdurahaman (@ _radicalecology) Ruthy McBride (@ gruuvyruuthy) Jillian Mehta (@ j.illian) Nina Parrotta (@ chex.girl) Ntebatše Rachidi (@ marahjoanna)
T -EDI OR
senior in university, Alyssa Chao (she/ her) hopes to work in urban design in the future. She loves exploring cafes in her hometown of Queens (iced vanilla latte, please!) and listening to 2000’s throwback songs on repeat.
LAI N E QU gal whose
SS Y CurALrently a
Find her work on page 15!
Find her work on pages 2223 & 58-59!
BD TA Sha-
tabdy Zahid (she/her) is a pubWRITE R lic health researcher from Toronto. She loves learning and talking about climate (in)justice and wants to do her part in sharing knowledge and resources to help people live their best lives! When she’s not writing for EARTH, she is creating public health education content on @publichealthbit or crocheting her sweaters!
nelopi Perez (she/her) is a Chicago native, environmental justice advocate, and lover of all ocean things since she was a young girl. She plans to have a future in marine biology research, environmental policy, and sustainable fashion.
O P L PeE
is interested in the dynamics of social-ecological systems. She also loves berry-picking and making pottery.
Find her work on pages 9-13 & 24-26!
Mly Potts (she/her)
O E G
O TO G R A P
(she/her) is a 19 year old Global Studies student. Along with being passionate about the environmental justice movement, Georgia enjoys being in nature, acting, and crocheting fun hats for people!
Farmer’s Markets: Connecting Us to the Environment and Each Other
Intersectionality in the Environmental Movement
Get to Know: Black Radical Ecology
Musings on Potttery and Nature
Make Your Own Collage
Blue Undertones of the Green Movement
A Chat With Ruthy McBride on the Topic of Disability x Capitalism
Make Your Own Puzzle
Environmental Movements in the U.S.
Table of Contents
An Interview With: Anushka Bhaskar
Our Chat With Ananya Singh: Youth Activist
Letting Nature Nurture You
Take What You Need
Make Your Own Sound Map
A Silent Journey of Personal Healing in the Life and Times of a Tumultuous Pandemic
Issue 01 Reflections
Table of Contents
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W Shot on 35mm by Alyssa Chao and Written By Jacqueline Duncan
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Written By: Georgia Cole Photographed By: Jacqueline Duncan 09
Our Earth is in danger. Grave danger. If you are reading this, this is probably information that you are well aware of, and you are hoping to join the fight to save the environment around us from global warming, climate change, fossil fuels, etc. That’s a wonderful goal to have, and to be a part of that fight, you need to be aware of what that means, the history and implications of it, and all the intersections within that fight that will truly progress the environmental movement in the right direction. Take a moment, right now: close your eyes, and, in your mind, think about all of the things you associate and know about environmentalism. Think about all the injustices happening against the natural world that you are aware of. Perhaps you’ve learned about conservation, or about saving the animals from going extinct? Or maybe you were taught about global warming, climate change, and the negative impact of things like oil and fossil fuels? Fill your mind with the perceptions of all of these things you’ve held up until this moment. And just hold them there for now. In 2016, news coverage spread internationally as the Indigenous peoples of the Standing Rock Reservation, in what is now known as North Dakota, protested the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This 1,172-mile long pipeline project of Energy Transfer Partners Company would transfer crude oil from an oil field in North Dakota to a refinery in Illinois. This poses a dangerous threat to the Missouri River if an oil spill occurred, with possible contamination of the water source of the Indigenous peoples at the Standing Rock Reservation, as well as surrounding communities. Furthermore, the con10
struction of the pipeline would be a general threat to the native lands still inhabited by the Standing Rock peoples, violating native treaties with the U.S. government, as well as federal law. This isn’t the first time that Indigenous peoples have had their trust and rights clearly abused by the U.S. government’s capitalistic expansion. How could a co-existence be possible when the relationship began with the brutal stealing of Indigenous land by the English colonizers? The protests in 2016 gained national attention as members of Standing Rock, as well as allies and other Indigenous communities, stood together against the construction of this pipeline that would be harmful both to the Indigenous communities, as well as to the very land, the environment, that was stolen from them. We can see this happening worldwide, as well. In New Zealand, the Whanganui River has gained legal personhood due to the efforts of the Indigenous Maori tribe whose rights and traditional environmental actions had been consistently violated and abused by the encroaching colonizing government. In Costa Rica, the Indigenous Bribri people’s traditional practices are being threatened even by the environmentally progressive ‘protected lands’, which are displacing the Bribri people and disrupting their traditional practices and co-existence with their environment. So what do these, as well as countless other environmental injustices worldwide, have in common? They are prime examples of the intersections within environmentalism.
So what are these ‘intersections’? Take the Standing Rock Protests, for example. The construction of this pipeline would be encroaching on sacred land, as well as potentially causing severe damage to a great waterway. This alone could be perceived as a good enough reason to protest this pipeline: preservation of water and the environment against the harms of crude oil. But another ‘road’ that intersects with this issue is the fact that this waterway is also the water supply to Indigenous communities that have protected it, despite having their land and rights stolen and abused by the same capitalistic structure that wants to construct this pipeline. This is no longer just a water preservation issue, but a human rights issue, as recognition and support must be given to those who are being disproportionately affected by the environmental injustices at hand. There is no linear way to approach saving our planet, as the issues we hope to solve are inherently interwoven with social justice issues that need to be addressed simultaneously. Environmental educator and founder of @queerbrownvegan on Instagram, Isaias Hernandez, describes intersectional environmentalism as looking into those colonial structures, (which can be defined through various pillars such as the fast fashion industry, the military, the prison industrial complex, etc.), and how these structures have negative impacts on animals, the environment, and humans. According to Isaias, a big part of intersectional environmentalism is “...looking at how certain industries have environmental impacts, but also human impacts and ecosystem impacts. And so I think that when we talk about our identity and our bodies, we need to look into how these monoliths, or 11
these structures and institutions, have disproportionately harmed BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).” Isaias grew up with firsthand experience of how environmental injustice can disproportionately affect certain communities. He shared with us how as a Mexican-American growing up in the San Fernando Valley, he progressively became more aware throughout his childhood and young adult life of the negative impacts on his community from things like the emissions from surrounding commercialized industries, and the resulting pollution and health issues. “And so, when I realized that, I got so angry because it took me 20 years of my life to learn what environmental justice and racism meant, and that it should have been applied at a younger age. I realized, why aren’t these discussions happening at a younger age for a lot of people? Because it’s not that the community doesn’t know it, they all know, but [there aren’t necessarily] spaces to talk about these things.” Isaias’ instagram, Queer Brown Vegan, strives to create that space, using creative graphics to educate people on all of these intersections within the environmental movement, be it race, queer identity, gender, or other defining parts of people’s identities, and why they need to be considered in order for the movement to progress in a sustainable way. Educators like Isaias are opening the minds of environmental activists, and we’re seeing the progression through environmental initiatives and organizations that emphasize an intersectional lens. One of these organizations is the ReEarth Initiative (@re.earthorg on Instagram). What began as an Earth Day cam12
paign to advocate for more involvement in the environmental movement is now an international youth-led organization striving to lift up the voices of BIPOC activists, as well as creating accessibility to educational and activism resources for anyone who is passionate about these topics. Most recently, their Instagram page has provided advocacy and resources for the Escazú Agreement. According to representatives from ReEarth, this agreement is one of the first environmental human rights treaties in Latin America and the Caribbean. One Re-Earth representative described this possible groundbreaking advancement as “[A protection of] environmental defenders and Indigenous people. It makes climate knowledge accessible for everyone and has a public participation, so in that way it fosters democracy and unity. So it would not only address climate change, but also other social justice issues at the same time.” Re-Earth has advocated for the ratification of this agreement, providing resources on the topic of intersectional environmentalism in relation to this legal action. As Re-Earth understands and advocates for, and as Isaias Hernandez teaches through Queer Brown Vegan, the environmental movement has many intersections within it that need to be addressed in unity, rather than viewed as separate issues. Think back to the beginning of this article, when you tucked away those ideas you had held of the environmental movement until now. How are those ideas intersected with human rights issues? With legal and land rights issues? As we discussed with the Dakota Access Pipeline, you were probably aware of the dangers of oil spills on waterways and animals. But we must look at it through
a human rights lens as well with the violations it poses to the surrounding Indigenous communities if we are to fight for true environmental justice. Even in Costa Rica, a renowned country for its environmentalism, the government has created protected land boundaries as an effort to conserve the natural world. This only addresses environmentalism through one lens, though, as it disregards the original inhabitants of that land: the Indigenous Bribri people. The Bribri people have co-existed in their environment for much longer than the Costa Rican government has existed, and yet, their rights and accessibility to that environment has been violated, disrupting that coexistence. Their rights and way of life need to be considered along with the environmental concerns in order for truly beneficial actions to be taken. Both Isaias Hernandez and representatives from the Re-Earth Organization stated that as we move forward with an intersectional mindset in the environmental movement, Black, Indigenous, People of Color -- as those who are most disproportionately affected by environmental issues -- need to be given the space and support to lead these conversations and movements. We must all continue to reflect on those preconceived ideas we held in our minds as we started reading this article, and dig deeper into the various issues that are connected with them including racism, sexism, colonialism, and so on. Once we recognize and emphasize the unbreakable connection between all of these intersections, only then will we truly be saving our Earth. 13
MUSINGS ON POTTERY AND NATURE Written By: Molly Potts Illustrated By: Zoe Shields
My pottery practice has evolved into a beautiful bond with the earthly elements. The Clay reminds us that we are co-creators with the Earth, not conquerors of it. Conversing with the clay is a chance for creative healing. And unearthing my potent potential. Crafting these clay vessels, I attempt to give form to the beauty and depth of Nature; she lives within each of us and all around us. This craft is a practice of patience and compassion. Of hand and heart. When I am not fully present and focused on the task, the clay can feel it. My creative capacity is compromised. In this dynamic craft, presence and focus are my trusted tools. Cultivating this creative practice continues to be a slow journey of discovery and growth. As a wheel thrower, cyclicality is the basis of my art. It reminds me of the ways of nature, the cycling seasons of emergence and return. Frequently, when I center the clay in preparation to create a vessel, I close my eyes and hum a tune. I take notice of what the clay communicates to me. I can feel when the clay is ready to rise up and take shape. Forming mud into the functional is the opportunity to collaborate intuitively with earth, fire, air, and water. Our oldest ancestors. Cultivating a pottery practice is embodying the role of transformer. Of alchemist. Witnessing and guiding the metamorphosis of mud into glossy stone. It is remarkable how art has the power to inform our relationships with ourselves, with others, and with the Earth. I like to imagine that Mother Nature shaped me in her hands to be a vessel of love and service to the world. How do you explore the connections between art and nature? Inspiration from Mariana Mae (@easytobreathe)
make your own collage!
use images from this page and other pages throughout the zine to create it
a chat with
Ruthy McBride on the topic of:
disability x capitalism
Ruthy McBride is a 20 year old university student from LA, California who has lived with Hashimotos disease for 3+ years and uses her instagram platform (@gruuvyruuthy) to destigmatize chronic illnesses. In this chat, we sat down with her (virtually) to discuss the intersection of disability and capitalism and how it has manifested intself in our world. Photographed By: Jacqueline Duncan
Finishing Thoughts I think it’s definitely important to listen to other people’s narratives. I’m a white, cis woman of middle class, so there are other people out there who know even more because that is their lived experience. I think we see disabled people just overlooked frequently and the ADA is not that great. I’d like to see more legislation that benefits disabled people, but it also goes back to addressing capitalism. I would hope to see this in my lifetime, I don’t know if I will, but I’d love to strive towards that, and just seeing us have compassion for people instead of placing value on each other. I think that’s kind of what it boils down to is we have to just care for each other and not work under this system that essentially boils down to our worth as a paper bill. And so it really comes to this question - how do we make our society so that we don’t have people who are scared of the police and that’s why they’re disabled, or that they don’t have access to certain foods, or that if they do have a disability, like my mom who’s deaf, she shouldn’t have to beg for captions when we switch to online for zoom. It’s these absurd things that if we made the norm to be what we consider now abnormalities, then we wouldn’t be within this construct of ableism.
Resources Provided by Ruthy: Find more about Talila “TL” Lewis here: https://www.talilalewis.com/about.html Further resources on radical disability justice: - https://stillmyrevolution.org/2019/10/20/roundtable-radical-disability-politics/ - https://truthout.org/articles/the-prison-strike-is-a-disability-rights 21
Environmental Movements in the U.S. Written By: Shatabdy Zahid
The environmental movement has fought for the protection and improvement of the environment and our existence. Through a mix of political, ecological, and social motivations, environmental movements raise awareness to balancing human and natural existence. Protestors were concerned with the health, environmental, and existential consequences of Rachel Carlson, a biolnuclear technologies and ogist, noted the connection weapons seen during between the overuse of the pestiWWII, the Cold War, and cide DDT and the decline of local bird through nuclear disasters populations. Her work led to on Three Mile Island the nationwide ban on DDT (Pennsylvania) and for agricultural uses and inChernobyl (present-day spired the creation of the U.S. Ukraine). Environmental Protection Agency. An estimated 20 million people gathered in marches and activities to advocate for environmental awareness. Earth Day activities continue each April to raise awareness for various environmental causes through demonstrations and activities. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It placed a heavier mitigation responsibility on industrialized nations for their higher greenhouse gas emissions. It was non-ratified by the US Senate. 22
Amid concerns over increasing levels of air pollution and smoke from coal mines and factories, urban middle-class citizens pressured governments to regulate some of the harmful smog emissions.
Noting the excessive hunting of American wildlife and habitat destruction, the Sierra Club and the Boone and Crockett Club were created in an effort to preserve wildlife. Later on, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) and Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) established the United States Forest Service and the National Park Services to aid conservation and wildlife protection.
The Paris Agreement calls on countries to plan, implement, and report strategies to lessen the impact of global warming. Countries should aim to stay below a temperature increase of 2Â°C/3.6Â°F in this century and to significantly reduce the effects of the climate crisis. In 2017, the US officially intended to withdraw from the Agreement.
Fourteen-year-old Greta Thunberg protested every Friday outside of the Swedish parliament building, demanding that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions per the Paris Agreement. The movement grew into a global climate strike in 2019, with over a million youth and students, across the globe, urging governments to take responsibility and stop climate change.
Connecting Us to the Environment and Each Other Written and Photographed by: Georgia Cole
Tucked into a wide green field of grass between the local gardens and the road leading to the island’s Atlantic coast, the weekly farmers market in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina invites people from near and far to shop from local vendors and form lifelong connections in this small community. Every Monday, local artists, makers, and farmers bring their goods to share with the local community and visiting wanderers. One of these includes Ms. Marge Bell of Mama’s Secret: a homemade skin care business based out of Oak Island, North Carolina. Bright and early Monday morning, Bell sets up her tent amongst the many at the market and displays an array of all-natural bug sprays, body lotions, pain tamers, and many other gifts for overall well-being. With kind eyes and a calming presence, she greets and interacts with each person who wanders upon her tent of curiosities, full of excitement and pride to share her products. “Everything is made entirely from natural and organic ingredients, we make everything by hand from scratch. We want you to be exposed to only the best, natural, ingredients. If Mother Nature didn’t make it, you will never find it here,” Bell stated, with the friendly 24
southern voice that sounds just like sweet tea tastes. The rest of the vendors at the market share similar views on the importance of sustainability and creating their products as ethically as possible. The sense of community amongst local producers who buy from and sell to each other allows for social and economic institutions to be put into place that benefit both the people and the environment. Just like Marge Bell, who gets all her ingredients from Mother Earth herself, most of the vendors source their ingredients and components from other local farmers or makers. Another vendor at the Wrightsville Beach market, Coastal Tides Soaps & Candles, stated that â&#x20AC;&#x153;all of our soaps are all natural: we make them with coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, vegetable oil, and then we use therapeutic grade essential oils to scent all of our soaps. And then we have local potters who make the bowls for us, and the dishes for us too.â&#x20AC;? By using all natural ingredients, these businesses are reducing any negative man-made impact on
the Earth. Along with these environmentally-conscious benefits, art and its many communal and personal contributions are also sustained in this trade, which Jennifer Demary of Kritter Couture & More knows well. Demary hand-makes all of the accessories and items for your furry friends, with an emphasis on sustainability: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know, fashion has never been particularly sustainable, so I try to make my fashion sustainable in the sense that I even use my scraps, I try to use every piece of what I work with
to make something.” The connections within the community are strengthened as these artists, such as Demary and local potters, are able to support makers, such as Coastal Tides, and vice versa. With the environmental and social benefits, farmers markets have also historically been a way to rebuild local food and art economies. As producers bring their goods at a fixed and limited time every week, they are able to have a high volume of sales in a short period, with a minimal cost of labor. In this cost-effective way, these vendors’ small busi-
nesses become profitable, allowing for their methods of production to not only thrive, but expand, as their relationships with the environment and other people grow. And those connections do indeed grow. In fact, they soar, and lift up the community in more ways than one. At the Wrightsville Beach market, Coastal Tides Soaps & Candles, Elderberry Tribe, Agape Market, Kritter Couture, and Mama’s Secret all stated that their favorite parts of coming to sell at the farmer’s market were the interactions that arose with it. “I meet people from all over and the furry friends that come along with it, that’s one of my most favorite parts, I see all walks of life, all different breeds.” says Demary of Kritter Couture & More. In the midst of a global pandemic, as people anxiously crowd into the supermarkets and indoor shopping areas, and as local shops are unable to open their doors, the farmers market provides an outdoor, socially distant way to maintain that sense of connection and support the local makers and shakers of our communities. These are all important factors in why supporting local businesses at farmers markets are important. The next time you find yourself, (masked and socially distanced), strolling past the white tents and contemplating prices that seem higher compared to the mass produced products at the nearby chain grocery store, remember that by buying these locally made goods, you are paying for the high quality and the continuation of art, farming, and growing, all of which define communities and benefit our Earth.
Illustrated By: Jacqueline Duncan
Q: Introduce yourself to the EARTH community!
A: Hello! My name is Idman and I am a black environmentalist, originally from Sweden but I have been based in the UK for the past couple of years. My educational background is in Environmental Management and my research centred mainly around global climate action and climate justice particularly in east-Africa. I am super excited to answer your questions and give a little background about my connection to nature, to climate justice and to this beautiful EARTH.
Q: What about the climate justice movement drew you in?
A: There are so many ways to answer this question. During my honours year, my main focus was exploring the links between climate change, displacement, and migration. The main reason being, I spent my teenage years living back home in Somalia where I witnessed my family and community members be impacted by severe droughts, particularly the pastoralists. I began to understand the reality of people having to leave their homes because they can no longer live off of their lands. Growing up in a majority migrant and refugee community, I would notice these patterns appear in peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stories and experiences. Language is important, a lot of us do not have or have not always had the language to articulate how or why these crises are impacting us. So it became very evident for me that marginalised people are in fact living on the front lines of climate change. This is one of the many reasons why the fight for climate justice will always remain personal for me.
Q: What motivated you to create your instagram, @_radicalecology?
A: I am definitely not the most active on social media and I think when it comes to this page, it was mainly created as a page outside of my personal one where I can openly share relevant and interesting links, books, resources, and reflections that hopefully could spark conversations that are different from the standard mainstream environmental/climate narrative. A narrative that we all know tends to be very Eurocentric, neoliberal, and upholds the structures of white supremacy in different ways and I definitely do not have time for that energy. I think that we are at a very critical moment right now where there needs to be an added layer of depth to the conversations that we are having in order for us to create change.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve through this platform?
A: To be completely honest, I do not have that many expectations. I think one of the most enriching things with social media and with this page is that it has helped me to continue forming connections, not necessarily only with other black environmentalists, but also with BIPOC and QTIPOC people who care about nature, biodiversity, food, and ancestral connections to land. I think it is important that we create spaces, whether it is virtually or physically, where we can come together and learn from each other in safe environments. I also just love learning and collective learning. There are so many opportunities to continue this pathway outside of traditional educational institutions that perpetuate academic elitism. There is so much knowledge within us and around us, whether that is from our ancestors, older generations, lived experiences, or Indigenous knowledge etc. We need to continue emphasising how these things are all very valid and important. 29
Q: How would you describe your relationship with nature?
A: I find, as many people do, great solace in nature. My relationship with nature does change with time and I think that due to the pandemic that relationship has luckily only deepened. There are definitely themes throughout my life where nature has been a safe space and a place for healing through difficult times. For example, during the summer, with all the constant conversations around race, I needed a space of stillness and that just turned out to be the wetlands near where my family lives, observing the birds with my 10 year old sister. Sometimes, that is all you need in order to recharge. In general, throughout these past couple months, I am seeing this growing effort of nurturing the bond between people of colour and nature which is really inspiring in so many ways. I am also learning how to grow food which has been really exciting and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been working on community led projects that focus on food growing, wellness, and accessible environmental education. Basically, I am getting the opportunity to be outside A LOT, which is an added bonus.
Q: What is a climate justice term thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been on your mind lately? A: Biomimcry is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I first heard of it as an approach that could be used in sustainable design, but I gained a different and deeper understanding when reading Adrienne Maree Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Emergent Strategy, which I highly recommend everyone reads. The concept is mainly about the importance of nature connection and how we should emulate nature in form, process, and systems. This can very much be applied when organising around social, environmental, and racial justice issues. As a global community, we are going through such drastic and transformational shifts and we are facing major critical challenges that need to be addressed. I think we can benefit from looking at the systems within nature and the different ways non-human species collaborate and organise in order to survive and thrive. Instead of working against nature we should understand that we are a part of it. 30
Q: Can you offer a climate justice book/movie recommendation?
A: Speaking of growing food, I recently watched an amazing documentary called Gather. The film is a portrait of the growing sovereignty movement amongst Native Americans in North America. Colonialism is very much the first forms of biological warfare and terrorism and individuals in this film talk about the ways in which Indigenous food systems have been colonised which is the reason so many do not have a relationship with native traditional foods. It is through foodways that people recover from historical trauma and promote Indigenous healing and self determination. One of the things that this film touches on is the spiritual connection to food and that is something that deeply resonates with me and probably with a lot of BIPOC communities. Food plays an important role in building community - it can help us move towards being self reliant and it can help us to start redefining our connections to land, whether that is your native land or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;foreignâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lands that you now call home. Really powerful stuff, I recommend watching it.
Q: Who is a favorite QTIPOC/BIPOC researcher or individual of yours that we should support?
A: I think it is impossible for me to name one person, there are so many people of colour that are exploring the different intersections of food, land, climate, and environmental justice. To name a few; Leah Penninman, Suzanne Dhaliwal, Ama Josephine, David Naguib Pellow, Modibo Kadali, Dr. Chelsea Mikael Frazier, Ingrid R.G. Waldron, and the list goes on.
Garbage Diptychs Written and Photographed By: Nina Parrotta
â&#x20AC;&#x153;This was an exploration of urban space. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m from a small town, and recently (pre-covid) travelled to LA and NY for the first time. I was mesmerized by the amount of garbage there was, all over. And strange garbage, too. 32
I documented it on film and made these diptychs relating the garbage to the environment it was situated in. There’s a lot to unpack, and I’d like to leave the viewer to determine what they may with the information I’ve provided. But I will say, I believe trash provides excellent insight to concepts of humanity and urban culture.” 33
Blue Undertones of the Green Movement Written By: NtebatĹĄe Rachidi
Illustrated By: Komal Grewal
Actions related to climate change mitigation are incorporating renewable energy technologies as one of the focal strategies for reversing increasing global temperatures. This shift towards a greener, sustainable, and hopefully more circular manner of energy production to sustain human development is reliant on the use of energy storage technologies. Lithium-ion batteries are at the forefront of credible energy storage systems with one of its main components comprising of cobalt (1). Although these actions spark hope for combating climate change and realising Sustainable Development Goals, we need to consider the implications of an increased demand of lithium-ion batteries for countries that produce critical raw materials and energy transition metals cio-environmental impacts are experienced daily such as cobalt, which essentially enable imple- by locals of host communities. mentation of renewable energy technologies. Mining and its lifecycle is closely associated with Cobalt, more commonly known for its blue hue, a range of distinct environmental and social imis classified as a critical raw material because of pacts, together with environmental impacts that its geologically limited occurrence and uneven transcend into social impacts, which highlights geographical position, as well as its accessibility the interconnectedness of society and the envidue to geopolitical, socio-political, environmen- ronment. People of Katanga have long endured tal, and economic influences (2). The Democrat- human rights violations and environmental inic Republic of Congo (DRC) hosts the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s justices stemming from exploitation of mineral largest reserves of cobalt and accounts for more resources under the Belgian colonial rule (4) than 60% of cobalt global market supply (3). Re- that have since been maneuvered and rebranded newable energy technologies and the associated into what we see as the current day ownership mineral extraction for components within ener- of mineral resources by multinational mining gy storage technologies therefore pose environ- houses. Studies within Katanga, as shown by mental and social impacts for mineral producing Pourret et al.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (5) have revealed extreme envicountries. In this case, the Katanga region of the ronmental racism associated with cobalt mining. DRC has historically and continues to be the The study found that the bodily concentration centre of cobalt mining which is why these so- of cobalt within individuals living in Katanga, 34
especially those within the vicinity of extraction and processing facilities, is much higher than the average human. Such examples of environmental racism then coalesce with displacement of Indigenous peoples, social unrest, and systematic human rights violations that are unfortunately characteristic of the (cobalt) mining industry. The dissonance at hand is that conversations and actions concerning minimising the effects of climate change through clean and renewable energy interventions at national and global scales seem to overshadow the opposite end of the spectrum - raw materials supply that enables these technological advancements. An imbalance then exists in climate justice as Western societies are further able to develop uncompromisingly via green technologies while African (and other global South) countries are disproportionately expected to implement renewable technologies despite economic limitations, while simultaneously producing and supplying raw materials for the Western economy. How do we then reconcile climate change actions through renewable energy in a trajectory towards a low carbon future while also addressing environmental racism and human rights violations? How do we advocate for more ethical and sustainable practices throughout the entire mineral supply chain? As a start, questioning business ethics and demanding that end users of mineral resources comply with certification schemes that track the origin of minerals to verify whether or not minerals are being sourced from areas associated with environmental and social injustices. For the DRC, the #CongoIsBleeding awareness movement highlighted the eruption of injustices within the natural resource industry. Although more people became aware of these injustices, the social unrest within the DRC is not a new occurrence. #CongoIsBleeding (6) is a result of century-long environmental injustices stemming from exploitation of Congolese cobalt resources and many other natural resources.
no one participant is advantaged at the expense of another. Actions of the climate justice movement ought to ensure that in trying to implement a low carbon future, socio-environmental injustices from downstream activities of the mineral supply network are not exacerbated because of the growing desire to incorporate renewable energy technologies on the upstream side of the mineral supply network. References: 1. Banza C.L., et al., 2009. High human exposure to cobalt and other metals in Katanga, a mining area of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Environmental research, 109(6), 745-52. 2. Li, M. and Lu, J., 2020. Cobalt in lithium-ion batteries. Science, 367(6481), pp.979-980. 3. Hofmann, M., Hofmann, H., HagelĂźken, C. and Hool, A., 2018. Critical raw materials: A perspective from the materials science community. Sustainable Materials and Technologies, 17, p.1-10. 4. Shengo, M., Kime, M., Mambwe, M. and Nyembo, T., 2019. A review of the beneficiation of copper-cobalt-bearing minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Sustainable Mining, 18(4), 226-246. 5. Kalenga, J.N., 2014. Production of nonferrous metals in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo: 1906-2012. Int J Econ and Manage, 3(2), pp.1-7. 6. Pourret, O., Lange, B., Bonhoure, J., Colinet, G., DecrĂŠe, S., Mahy, G., SĂŠleck, M., Shutcha, M. and Faucon, M.P., 2016. Assessment of soil metal distribution and environmental impact of mining in Katanga (Democratic Republic of Congo). Applied Geochemistry, 64, 43-55. 7. https://www.tantvstudios.com/posts/congo-is-bleeding-the-forgotten-unrests-in-the-heart-of-africa
Environmental movements must ensure that 35
Y OU R
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Fill in each shape to form one image, cut it out, and give to a freind to solve
M A KE EARTH Zine
A leftover iridescent slime trail after a rainy night confirms my suspicion - my small, shelled neighbors paid me a visit while I slept. I only wish I had been there to greet them.
A night sky forms on the side of my home, remains from an adventurous summer vine. I name the constellations after the ones looking down on me. Shot on 35mm 400iso and Written By Jacqueline Duncan 37
38 Illustrated By: Alyssa Chao
view W r te n
ka B h a
Introduce yourself to the EARTH community! Hi everybody! My name is Anushka Bhaskar. I’m a 20 year old junior at college but I’m also an environmental activist. I got started had in the environmental space when I was 10 years old by a voice speaking at City Council about a plastic bag and I could make ban. That was a real awakening for me. a difference with that That really opened my eyes into voice. the world of environmenI’m the founder of Avritah, which is an tal activism and intersectional platform dedicated to addressshowed me ing health and environmental inequity. I came to that I this environmental space with a really deep passion for human health and the intersection between the environment and its effects on human health. So, I’m really excited to be here with y’all and talk about all the things What I love! does being an intersec-
tional environmentalist mean?
Intersectional environmentalism itself is a sort of environmentalism that advocates for both people and the planet. The thing I love most about intersectional environmentalism is that really anybody can be an intersectional environmentalist. As you know, it was coined by a really good friend of mine, Leah Thomas, and she took the idea of intersectionality from a really amazing Black woman and thought leader, Kimberlé Crenshaw. So this idea of intersectionality, as Kimberlé Crenshaw invented it, was this idea that you can bring together all these different aspects of who you are, like the things that you care about and the social and political identities that you have, and then apply that to the work that you’re doing to make a difference. For me, intersectional environmentalism has meant bringing together what I care about outside of environmentalism into environmentalism. It was this concept, basically that we can’t forget to center the health of human beings when we’re working to save the planet. Without the health of the planet, there is no health of human beings. Embracing this intersection is an example of the power of intersectional environmentalism. 39
When I was younger and I first started in this space, I always had a passion for the human health angle of environmental concepts, but I didn’t really know how to talk about it in a way that would make sense to people who were pretty much only environmentalists and cared only about conservation and other traditional environmental topics. So, intersectional environmentalism is really an environmentalism that doesn’t shy away from talking about intersections of different areas. It also doesn’t shy away from talking about really difficult concepts and hard to deal with ideas like oppression, racism, and sexism and seeing the ways that environmentalism and environmental degradation is super intertwined with systems of oppression that exist in our society. It’s this two-fold thing for me. It’s first acknowledging the systems of oppression that exist within and without of the environmental movement and understanding how that influences the environment. The other side is that you get to bring who you are as a person and what you care about into your environmental work. For me, that’s been through health and also through embracing my roots as an Indian American woman and finding other women of color and allies who are really passionate about environmentalism as it intersects with other topics.
You’ve said that intersectional environmentalism is for everyone! What do you suggest to people who are just stepping into this movement? The first thing that comes to mind is to look at what you’ve always been passionate about. If you’ve always been passionate about gender equity, you might want to see how feminism intersects with the environmental movement. We’re learning so much right now! Isaias Hernandez just posted a really informative post about petro masculinity -- basically about how masculinity is intertwined with the way that we’re witnessing environmental degradation. So really, the answer is whatever you’re already passionate about. For me, I grew up with very sick grandparents and siblings, so I was very aware of the impacts of the environment on human health, but I never thought about them intersecting. I just thought I would have a career in healthcare and a career or hobby in the environment, but recently intersectional environmentalism has allowed me to bring those two together. See what niches you care about that haven’t been addressed and, even if they have been addressed, bring your own perspective to the table and add a unique lens. 40
How did you get your start in climate activism? When I was 10 years old, my 5th grade science teacher and I conducted a mini science experiment. We went down to the beach with a rope that was tied together at the end, we put the rope down in the sand, scooped out sand within the rope into a bucket, and then sifted that sand with a colander. For the very first time, I was awakened to the idea that our ocean and our sand is polluted with plastic. And it was right under our noses -- we are the ones who put it there. It has a really horrible environmental impact and a terrible human health impact and so that experiment was super shocking to me. I couldn’t believe that so much of the sand that we were walking on was full of microplastics and plastics and that it was a result of overconsumption and a lack of awareness. I could not believe that in my 10 years of life, I didn’t realize this earlier. I reached out to that same teacher telling her that I wanted to do something about this. I wanted to find what the most commonly found plastic in our ocean was and so we did another little science experiment. We categorized and counted all the little pieces of plastic that we found in the sand. We found that it was fragments of plastic bags that we were finding the most of on this specific beach, Huntington Beach in California. So then I was like I want to take action about this and she helped me, because I had no idea that there was something that I could do. She was like, “Why don’t you go speak at City Council?” and I was like, “What? City Council? Isn’t that for adults who have their life figured out?” She then helped me register to speak on an agenda item that had recently been proposed by a local non-profit called Surfrider. When I went to testify on that bill, I realized that not only do young people have a voice from the moment they are able to speak, but that we need more youth voices in the environmental space. At that time -- this was 2010, way before any sort of Greta -- there were no young people visible in the environmental space. Over the last decade, which is crazy to say, that I’ve been involved in the environmental space, we’ve seen so many young people taking up the mantle. But yeah, it was that first momentous occasion of speaking at City Council, speaking to adults, and having them listen to me and really care about what I wanted to say, even though we got pushed back. I actually ended up speaking at City Council again at the age of 12, so it took 2 years to do those experiments and get a grasp on what the problem was. Then from there, I started working with a nonprofit called Algalita and so a lot of my work the first half of this decade of environmentalism was in the plastic pollution space. I didn’t necessarily come to it
because I was passionate about the ocean or I cared so much about it. It was literally just the illogicity of having something so unhealthy that harms not only ourselves, but also harms the environment that we depend on, that creatures depend on, and that generations after depend on. It just didn’t make sense. It was kind of interesting to me because I felt like sometimes I was the first or one of the only people to come to the environmental space not as connected to nature as I think a lot of people in my vicinity were. So I would just say, to sum it all up, I worked with a nonprofit, worked in the plastic pollution space, and then five years in, when I was around 15, or 16, I really started to think about human health. I knew I wanted to do something about the healthcare system in the US and global health equity as a career, but I still really cared about environmentalism and I didn’t want to give up this hobby or whatever it was. I wanted to keep working on it, I wanted to keep taking action on it. And so I was really struggling with how to reconcile these two interests. It took actually 3 or 4 years, thinking about it and experiencing all sorts of things in the environmental space, to finally realize, when I got to Harvard, that I wanted to bring environmentalism into my professional and academic work. I created what was called the Harvard Environmental Action and Leadership Summit, which was a summit that brought together about 100 Harvard students, politicians, business leaders, professors, and administrators to talk about how each and every person, no matter their interests, whether it’s health or finance, can come to environmental action. For me, I was still struggling with how I was going to create that niche and highlight that intersection that I had been passionate about for so long, but I couldn’t really verbalize it. I didn’t have the idea of, “I’m passionate about the intersection of environmentalism and health equity.” I would say, “I care about the environment,” and then separately, “I care about healthcare.” After that event, in October 2019, learning from all these different perspectives with people interested in all sorts of different things, I solidified that desire to create a space unique to health and environment. After organizing that conference and having discussions with people, I felt that health and environment wasn’t really an area that they were considering as intertwined. That’s where I decided that I was going to create a platform that was focused on action because environmentalism for me has always been about environmental action. There are so many different ways to be an environmentalist, so many different ways to be climate activists but for me, I really wanted to make it clear that climate change and these environmental issues are super connected to health.
Your new platform, Avritah, explores environmental justice and health systems - can you describe the connection between the two? It’s this idea that the people who are feeling the brunt of the environmental crises, marginalized communities, are also the people who struggle with access to healthcare. We’re one of the only industrialized nations that doesn’t have a universal system of care so getting care in the US is very difficult, as we’ve all been witness to growing up here. Really, it was clear to me and I wanted to learn how we can reconstruct systems for both people and the planet. lated People are going to be getting sicker the more the planet gets sick. motivators. Climate change, to me, just seems like an obvious public health The idea was that all crisis and we’ve seen that manifest in all sorts of ways of the information from both like worse environmental disasters to even the lived experiences of BIPOC comsomething like COVID-19 being munities as well as the scientific data regarding exacerbated by air pollution COVID-19 and how people who are living in polluted and other climate areas are also having much worse health outcomes points to the change reneed for creating better systems of healthcare and better systems of the environment. The way they’re most intertwined is that environmental factors are determinants of human health so if the air quality is very poor, you’re going to see very horrible impacts on people’s lungs, their ability to breath, and many different respiratory in diseases associated with that. If we have bad water like we did in Flint, there the are really poor health outcomes and consequential repercussions news and that last for generations. The climate crisis is a planetary media and they’ll never criss but it’s also a human health crisis. I think it’s talk about health and systems of not a super complicated intersection, but healthcare. Future doctors and people it’s one that’s under discussed. who care about health should be considering Often you’ll see people climate as part of their future training and their current write about reality. When somebody comes into the clinic with asthma, where climate they live could be worsening what they’re experiencing. Having these more broad interconnections between healthcare and the environment as a system will hopefully help us to mitigate climate change by taking action politically and personally, but also help on a more microscopic, day-to-day level. It’ll help people make the connections to how real climate is because health is that great eye-opener for a lot of people usually. I think this pandemic has been a wakeup call in a lot of ways. We are seeing that health and the massive scale of a public health crisis is affecting everyone, from people who care about the economy to people who are just doing what they need to do for a job. 43
What inspired you to start this platform? The motivation came after being nominated to the Intersectional Environmentalist council and meeting other people who were innovating novel ways to approach the climate crisis and to frame how we experience environmental action in our daily lives. I thought it was the perfect moment to amass all the thinking I had been doing for the past 4 or 5 years on this intersection and bring it to life. To make a platform where people who also care about this intersection could start to think about it, come up with ideas, and make action projects related to it. The purpose of Avritah is to provide multiple paths through which people could come to this intersection. We have four different activations, or paths, and they are Research, Education, Advocacy, and Personal Action. When you’re getting started in the environmental space, or even if you’re not new to the space but are just tackling complex problems, it’s really helpful to have a framework with which you can decide where in that framework you fit. You may even have multiple paths you’d like to connect. For me, in the beginning it was more Education and now it’s a little more Advocacy and Personal Action. Setting up this Avritah framework was a moment to solidify all the thinking I had been doing around this intersection. And I hoped that it would bring more of my peers into it so that everybody can kind of get in on this topic and think about it together as a community. What should we look forward to in being a part of the Avritah community? We’re really excited about a lot of partners coming our way. For example, Partners In Health, which is the largest and most successful global health equity non-profit organization! It is beyond me how they help people on the ground across the world. They’ve revolutionized HIV care in Africa, created community clinics involving local community members in different countries to have a really healthy system of care in rural areas that often don’t have very good access to care, they’ve been doing amazing things for maternal mortality, etc. They reached out to us to partner with them. Not only will we be serving as an ambassador for them, we’ll be working with them to create some really cool content on the intersection of environmentalism and global health equity. That’s something to look out for on socials! It’s a really exciting partnership that’s going to help us get our footing in both fields of health equity and the environment. We can show people how we can collaborate with really big global health equity non-profits and also come from a pure environmentalist perspective, as well. 44
Avritah promotes taking action, individually and as a community! Can you talk about how that will look? On our “How We Work” page, we say, “We take action and we help you take action.” The core team works on projects in-house. Currently, we’re working on a plastic pollution action day bill that should hopefully pass in the Massachusetts State Legislature. We have a couple other projects like creating a pre-med/health curriculum that will help people understand the intersection between health and the environment and take action on it in their daily lives. We’re partnering with a community of farmworkers, led by one of the girls who’s on our team. She’s organizing a mutual aid fund for farm workers affected by the fires and supporting those families with back to school supplies, food, and other amenities they deserve for working through an entire wildfire season to provide us with our food. The last thing we’re working on, which I’m really excited about, is publishing a paper on the intersection of air pollution and COVID-19 with a professor from Harvard. So now that that’s all underway, our second goal is to help others take action. We’ve had students from all over the country, people who are past university, and even non-university students approach us with ideas or wanting to get involved. Through this framework of “We take action and we help you take action,” either we help them get involved in one of our projects in-house or we support them and help them think through how they’re going to take action in their local community. One way we’re doing this is through chapters. The chapters are really cool because it’s a combination of Education, Advocacy, and Personal Action. Our first chapter is piloting this semester at Swarthmore College and basically the students there are working with Chester, a local community that’s primarily BIPOC that’s been affected by a trash incinerator. A lot of Swarthmore’s trash goes to this incinerator so the students are seeing not only the direct impact of their personal waste on other people but also the environmentally racist system that has been set up to incidentally, or not incidentally, harm the people in that community. Our team at Swarthmore is educating themselves on the action framework that will work best for them in this environment to address the needs of the citizens of Chester while also making a difference in a positive way for them and uplifting the work of the people on the ground there. The idea is that we want anyone to take action wherever they are without necessarily having to join one of our initiatives. That’s why I say the whole idea of Avritah and what we’re working on is that we’re taking action but we’re also helping other people take action. We think everyone is an expert on their own community and their ideas are the best. We want to give honor to that and really uplift the people who want to do good work.
Written By: Jillian Mehta
I grew up in a yellow house on the top of a hill surrounded by sand trails and evergreen trees. My neighbors had horses, pigs, and chickens and I had a backyard the size of a small park. I played pretend in the hills behind my house and would run with my sister through sand trails until dark when we would run home for dinner. Green space is just what it sounds like - an area of land that is filled with trees, shrubs, and other greenery. Growing up with green space around, whether it be a park, community garden, or backyard, is a privilege that not everyone is given. In the
Illustrated By: Alyssa Chao
United States, green space is a commodity that is not often evenly distributed. With the continued push towards advanced infrastructure and architecture, the importance of green space has become less and less talked about. Before I moved from my hometown, I assumed everyone grew up with hills and horses, and that my experience was as normal as anyone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. When I moved for the first time to a more urban area of my home state, my personal green space shrunk down dramatically. Instead of hills and trails surrounding my house, I was surrounded by a million houses that looked
Growing up with green space around, whether it be a park, community garden, or backyard, is a privilege that not everyone is given.
exactly the same and had an average-sized backyard. Three apartments, and two houses later and I’ve experienced the full range of green space availability. I went from no backyard to a shared backyard to a private backyard. Looking back at all the houses and green space available, I felt more at home in the places with a personal backyard. Whether that is because green space is good for you or because of a longing for my childhood again is up for debate, however, I think green space is a comfort for everyone. In a recent study from a university in Denmark, researchers found that exposure to green space during childhood can reduce the risk of developing psychiatric disorders. In research that was published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists found that Danish citizens who grew up with the least amount of green space available had a 55% increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse in later years. There isn’t one clear answer as to why green space is so beneficial but we know it encourages many good habits. For example, green space can encourage exercise, it provides a place for socialization, and it lessens noise and air pollution. It can also provide a mental reset for people who are stressed or mentally overstimulated. All these little reasons fill the data that shows how important green space really is. In my experience, however, green space availability when it comes to houses is closely linked to socioeconomic status. When my dad lost his job and my family had to downsize to an
apartment, my green space disappeared. A 2017 study showed evidence that while lower-income neighborhoods had parks, they were farther away than the ones near higher-income neighborhoods. They also found that the lower-income parks had more safety issues, signs of damage, old or lack of equipment, and fewer amenities like bathrooms and seating. This leaves lower-income families without safety and the benefits that green space provides. I’ve been really privileged in my life when it comes to green space. In one way or another, I’ve always had it around and available to use. Before writing this piece I never thought of it as a privilege. I assumed everyone had access to greenery somehow and didn’t realize how green space has impacted my life. Thinking about what my childhood would have looked like without having the green space I did, I think I would have lost a lot of the free-spirited craziness that made my childhood so fun. Playing outside and running around in the grass shouldn’t be a benefit only some kids get. As my proximity to parks increased, I didn’t think much of it at the time. Looking back I can’t help but feel guilty that for me not having green space was just a two year stop in my timeline. Yet throughout the childhood or adulthood of some individuals, green space isn’t available at all.
When my dad lost his job and my family had to downsize to an apartment, my green space disappeared.
and pass on whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s left Love, EARTH Team
Written By: Ariel Maldanado Illustrated By: Jacqueline Duncan
Eco-anxiety is the term for the feelings of dread and fear that come up when thinking about climate change. It has become a popular topic of discussion amongst environmental influencers. It is understandable how anxiety can take over when thinking about about the future of humanity, the insurmountable amount of damage we have done, and watching an increase in natural disasters happen in real time. Disasters that wipe out homes and communities have become increasingly common and only appear to be getting worse and stronger. Eco-anxiety is a natural response especially when you consider that there does not appear to be a single cohesive, practical, or imple-
mentable global plan to tackle the issue. Fighting climate change means we must change our way of life, doing nothing about climate change means our way of life will be changed for us. Learning about the seemingly endless contributing factors that have gotten us to this point is also overwhelming. Trying to figure out if you as an individual have a role to play, or are able to contribute can feel daunting and confusing. However daunting the problem may appear to you, you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your panic and there are millions of people around the world fighting to make the world a less dangerous place. Read on for some tips to curb your eco-anxiety.
1. Know That You are Not Alone Feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders is not fun. You can take some of that weight off by going online and finding environmental organizations, activists, businesses, podcasts, and start ups all working towards creating a more sustainable future.
require a culture shift. This means focusing both on individual responsibility and holding corporations/ governments accountable. Cut out animals products from your life. If you can’t do it all at once, cut out products gradually. If you are in charge of your household, focus on making y o u r home as green as possible within the context o f your life. Send emails to your local
2. Involve Yourself in the Movement Feeling as though you are part of the solution can help alleviate the anxiety you feel. Being able to be a part of a larger goal will not only help your anxiety, but the problem itself.
• • •
V O T E Go to marches, there is strength in numbers when demanding for change. Share and sign petitions that support environmental initiatives and legislation. Use social media to share legitimate information and call out companies for the damage they incur on the environment. When/If possible, spend your money at businesses that support environmental initiatives and prioritize sustainable business models. Make independent lifestyle changes and encourage others around you to do the same. Fighting climate change will
2 . Inv o lve
now 1. K 50
You are N o t a
government officials expressing your corncern or demanding change. Send emails to corporations demanding they move to sustainable business models.
4. Educate your Family and Friends
3. Donate Money
Have conversations that educate them, not only about the state of the environmental crisis, but also the ways they can get involved and help.
If you can not become involved directly in the environmental movement, donating money to people who ARE doing the work is a great alternative. You can donate money to organizations, invest in start ups, donate to environmental initiatives, and buy carbon offsets.
Eco-Anxiety is a natural response to an overwhelming reality. There is no singular answer or solution to solve climate change. It is a problem that literally needs as many people as possible working towards solving it. By involving yourself and others, you can find some relief in knowing that you are working to be a part of the solution.
4. Edu c
3 . Don ate
A Silent Journey of Personal Healing IN THE LIFE & TIMES OF A TUMULTUOUS PANDEMIC
Written By: Gunjan Nanda
Illustrated and Photographed By: Komal Grewal
A little less than a year ago, we were living in a different world. I’d say a fast-paced world. A world where we only cared about surviving and not living. A world where we had no time to even sit and think about peace, harmony, and personal healing. It’s almost the end of November and look where we are. Look around. Look deep within you. Healing is the one thing, probably the only thing we all seem to care about. Why do you think that is?
...I GET TO SIT OUT IN THE SUN...
One word – Mental Health. Ever since the world went dead silent and we were confined to our respective homes, our lives came to a standstill. The work-life balance we all longed for and maintained for the longest time, became unnecessary and faded off (for the right reasons). Indeed, it was the worst for many whose entire existence isn’t based on working from home, but being outdoors and slaving tirelessly for hours, days, weeks, and months at a stretch. Our distress is a little different. Our distress isn’t less significant either. When I first realised the intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic, believe me when I say this, I had immense faith in myself that I’ll pull through. My partner and I had to shut down our brand operations in a city we lived in pre-COVID and move back to our respective hometowns. I lost a couple of freelance projects, also lost a close family member, and most of all I lost my sanity. Anxiety started kicking in, due to which I couldn’t be productive, couldn’t churn out the best, and succumbed to my bed. The worst part? I became the person I feared the most. I live in a society where talking about mental health is considered taboo. Either you’re crazy or you’re making up excuses. You’re constantly being compared to the neighbour’s kid who snagged a 99 percentile or works at an esteemed organisation – basically doing wonders and you aren’t. You’re the kind of kid your parents wouldn’t brag about in front of the world. You’re the kind of kid who needs to suck up and obey what your elders tell you because they’re always right and they know better. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
...BREW MYSELF A CUPPA...
Now that’s one aspect. There are many factors that stop you from believing in yourself, caring for yourself and most of all, loving yourself. In fact, as I was scrolling through Instagram today, I came across this quote, “Self-care should not be about helping you be productive again. Self-care should be a reminder that you are 53
more important than productivity.” Give your mind some breathing space, do the things you really love – be it watching your favourite show, reading a book, or taking a short but well-deserved nap during the day. Do something today that makes you love yourself to the fullest. I’m sure you’re reading this article right now from the comfort of your own home. The definition of home is a little different now than what it used to be. Home was a place where we came back from work to relax and rejuvenate, start fresh. Now, it’s the four walls we restrict ourselves to because we can’t move out much. Quarantining became the new normal and WFH the only way to survive. We found ourselves in an extended state of self-quarantine and got lost in the mundane everyday life. From watching the news every hour to scrolling through Instagram a little too much, it became easy to get lost in the noise of what’s going on around us. Social media. The frenemy we never knew could exist in an already troubled world. Social media is that friend your mother would always warn you about being a bad influence on you, no matter how much you would love to be around them. I’m a victim to it as well. Many of my friends are too. And time has a huge role to play in this unlikely friendship. What do you think this does to our mental health? Why do you feel so anxious when you see many out there thriving on the ‘gram? Even if it makes you feel like a loser, why can’t you stop scrolling through? FOMO. As many would say, fear of missing out. Additionally, there’s the addictive nature of being attached to an app that can show us the world whilst we sit at home. There’s also the very fact that we, as humans, aren’t pleased with anything we do ourselves since it’s always trivial as compared to others. And this is how our physical and mental health starts to deteriorate. We start to blame our own self for things that aren’t even our fault. I was in the very space a couple months back and I still am sometimes. I blame myself too for not doing enough, not pushing myself to do enough. But this is where I’m wrong. Forced productivity is never good. And it is the worst medicine for your delicate mind. There are things I’ve done and steps I’ve taken to heal myself from within, pay attention to red flags when it comes to my mental health, and be a little more appreciative of my accomplished tasks every single day – even if it is waking up with a smile on my face, looking in the mirror and being grateful of the fact that I get to be with my family in such crucial times. I still may not be able to watch my favourite shows, possess a reading streak, or cook amazing food for myself. But I get to sit out in the sun, eat takeout whenever I can, brew myself a cuppa, stand under a nice, hot running shower, laugh with my friends over the phone, buy myself something pretty (and ethical), and try to love myself on days when I feel like I’ve lost all hope. But you know what? There is always hope. A hope for a better day, a better life, and a better future. A future where healing doesn’t just begin with doing what you love, but also loving what you do. 54
S N O I T C E L F RE
I s su
Your committments to an intersectional future:
1. 2. 3.
c t h a t i nt e r e st s a topi you n i : F ill
Environmentalism How do the two topics connect?
How will you make an impact in your community?
Introduce yourself to the community! Hi, I’m Ananya! I’m a student, I’m an activist, and I’m trying to be a good human being, generally. I was formerly CEO of Greening Forward, and I am really passionate about getting young people involved in the climate movement. Besides Greening Forward, what other organizations had an impact on your activism journey? I feel really grateful for all the orgs that I got to be a part of because I know not everyone has the opportunity or knows about these different things. For me, it really started with me going to this camp called Youth Empowered Action, which is a summer camp for teenagers from 1218, and they also have YEA Camp for adults now. It’s a week-long training, almost like a crash course in activism. So that was kind of like the kick-starting thing for me - it showed me what was possible and that you don’t have to wait until you’re older to really start doing something. I just never thought of myself as someone who would be able to do that. They kind of gave me permission to start doing that. So, I really wish more people could have an opportunity like that. Then, I did some work with Greenpeace, I did a campaign with them. I was a participant with some of Greening Forward’s programs when I was really young, like 12 or 13. And then I started working with Sunrise Movement and Sierra Student Coalition. I got a lot of training from them and did some protests with them, and then I went on and I helped found the NJ Student Sustainability Coalition. Along with that, I worked with the Empower New Jersey Coalition a little bit. What are your favorite ways to take climate
justice action? I actually really enjoy the training aspect, getting to teach people about how to strategize, what a campaign is and how it works, and the history of organizing. There’s such a rich history of people doing this and there’s so many people who’ve come before us. The climate justice movement follows in the lineage of other movements like the Civil Rights Movement. We borrow a lot of the same strategies and tactics. I love getting to train people about that because it gets people to start thinking about where we actually have power - sometimes protesting you don’t always get the big picture, and we ask, “How is this actually going to make a difference?” A lot of the times the demands we’re making are really big and symbolic and they don’t actually get met. But when you understand that protests shift the culture and public opinion, which is a part of the political process, it really helps people get inspired and feel like they are more powerful. And it definitely helps me a lot too. So, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of training and I love when I get to do that for other people. Can you tell us about one of the most exciting climate protesting experiences you’ve had? I have two, so I’ll just say both. I once got to go to a protest on my 16th birthday. I convinced my parents, I was like, “It’s my birthday, let’s go to Washington DC.” I went to a protest that Sunrise Movement was having - it was a sitin in the halls of Congress for the Green New Deal. There was just so much momentum and it was so exciting. It’s just something about the energy and people coming together all across the country to be in DC to make this happen
and it’s just a very exciting moment for the GND. That was a really cool experience that I got to participate in. And then the other one that was very significant was in March of 2019. That was the first wave of the climate strikes and we organized very last minute in a town that’s pretty close to me, in Morristown. We just had no idea who was going to show up. And then we got there on that day and so many people turned out and there was a bus full of students that just poured out and we were like, “Where did you come from?” And that was amazing. When we were filling out the permit we had no idea, we thought maybe 50 people will come and it was like 200 something. We got good press and it just became so much bigger than we thought it would be.
Moving on to more current events, we wanted to ask if COVID-19 has affected your activism work? If yes, how so? It definitely has affected my mental health and that was part of the reason for leaving Greening Forward. I think that’s a real part of anyone’s activist journey - you can’t always be doing everything all the time. I think it definitely taught me that it’s okay to step back and it’s okay to not be fully on all the time. That’s part of it, if you can build a movement and build networks that you can then step out of, that’s a sign that you can be a good leader. You can let other people fill your shoes. There’s some saying that’s like, “The best organizing is organizing yourself out of the job.” COVID also definitely stalled and affected a lot of our plans because we were working up to do a really big Earth Day action for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. That was quite disappointing when that couldn’t happen, but it was really in-
teresting because a lot of people adapted and we were able to build a lot tighter of a community around that, doing more sustained actions over Zoom, and really getting to know each other. It has definitely shown us what’s possible in terms of how fast action can happen. A lot of people have been talking about that. But COVID has definitely changed the entire landscape of how organizing works, how politics is happening, and what’s politically possible.
What are some of your top priorities for your environmental work right now? So, right now I’m working with the Sierra Club. I’m on their national nominating committee. Which is a very cool position, I don’t know how I got this. Basically it’s helping to interview people who are going to be on Sierra Club’s Board of Directors and to make sure that we are having people on the board who represent young voices too and will invest resources in young people in the Sierra Club. I’ve also been mentoring some students with the NJ Sustainability Coalition which has also been really nice as a way of staying in touch with them. I’ve also been getting oriented to campus stuff. There’s a really cool campus org called Earth in Brackets that does international climate diplomacy types of stuff. Historically, they go to UN Conferences, which sounds amazing, so even though that’s not happening right now, I’m just getting connected to those people. I think also a big part of what I’m doing is taking care of myself, which is an important part of our work. Illustrated By: Jacqueline Duncan 57
Written By: Shatabdy Zahid Photography By: Alyssa Chao
This year has been filled with copious amounts of stress, anxiety, unpredictability, and loneliness for many. Each day brought an unbroken stream of news about climate crisis events, social injustices, and economic downturns, all happening as we are living through a pandemic claiming the lives of thousands around the world. Throughout this unprecedented time, it has become more important than ever to care for our mental health. Early studies showed an increase in depressive and anxiety symptoms (1,2,7) as the pandemic progressed. A recent study reported that 32% of Americans reported their mental health was being impacted by the stress and worry over the Coronavirus in March. This estimate rose to 53% of Americans by mid-July (5). Many attributed their psychological distress to job loss and income insecurity (5), isolation and loneliness stemming from stay-at-home measures, and fears around infection that were intensified by ever-changing guidelines (6). The Center for Disease Control also reported that younger adults, Black and Hispanic Americans, unpaid caregivers, essential workers, and those living with pre-existing mental health conditions reported higher distress levels (1). To combat these psychological distresses, many 58
have turned to self-care as a means to cope, de-stress, and build resiliency. There is a growing body of literature showing that spending time in nature can boost wellbeing (3,4), even for just two hours per week (8). Below are three activities to help you connect with nature and heal yourself through this difficult time. All of these can be done on your own or with a (physically distanced) friend.
Sound mapping (Inspired by: @ayiayaya) Mindfully listening to the sounds around you and mapping their location for some grounding and spatial connection. You will need: Paper (you can use the template on pg. 60) and a writing tool Steps: 1. Find a spot (preferably in a greenspace) where you feel safe to listen to the sounds around you 2. On the centre of your sheet, mark an ‘X’ in the middle of the paper to represent your location 3. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths 4. Listen to the sounds around you and note: • What the sound is • Where the sound
is coming from • Anything else (like the size/shape/ colour/energy) associated with the sound Benefit: Reconnect you to your space and surroundings in a mindful way.
Forest bathing (Japanese: shinrin-yoku) A Japanese practice of nature therapy, where people experience nature with all of their senses.
find one on pg. 61 or make one for yourself), some writing tools Steps: 1. Find a nature space or trail 2. Walk through that space mindfully and find items on your bingo card and mark it down 3. You can try to fill in all of the spaces, connect a line across, down, or diagonally or create an ‘X’ shape Benefit: Helps you practice mindfulness and being present in the moment, explore nature, and exercise.
You will need: Just you Steps: 1. Find a nature space or trail 2. Walk slowly, carefully, and aimlessly; letting your senses guide your direction 3. As you walk, ask yourself: • What do I smell? • What do I hear? • What do I see? • What do I feel? • What do I taste? 4. Feel free to stop, sit, or lie down anywhere to help you find stillness and connection Benefit: Helps your body slow down and decompress, provides physical exercise.
Hiking Bingo My elementary school used to do this activity to help us learn about our environment, pay attention to nature, and appreciate what we have around us. You will need: A hiking bingo card (you can
References (1) Czeisler, M. E., Lane., R. I., Petrosky, E., Wiley, J. F., Christensen, A., Njai, R., Weaver, M. D., Robbins, R., Facer-Childs, E. R., Barger, L. K., Czeisler, C. A. Howard, M. E., & Rajaratnam, S. M. W. (2020). Mental health, substance use, and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69, 1049-1057. (2) Ettman, C. K., Abdalla, S. M., & Cohen, G. H., Sampson, L., Vivier, P. M., & Galea, S. (2020). Prevalence of depression symptoms in US adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Network Open, 3(9). (3) Hartig, T., Mitchell, R., de Vries, S., & Frumkin, H. (2014). Nature and health. Annual Review of Public Health, 35, 207-228. (4) Keniger, L. E., Gatson, K. J., Irvine, K. N., & Fuller, R. A. (2013). What are the benefits of interacting with nature? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10(3), 913-935. (5) Panchal, N., Kamal, R., Orgera, K., Cox, C., Garfield, R., Hamel, L., Muñana, C., & Chidambaram, P. (2020, August 21). The implications of COVID-19 for mental health and substance use. Kaiser Health News. (6) Serafini, G., Parmigiani, B., Amerio, A., Aguglia, A., Sher, L., & Amore, M. (2020). The psychological impact of COVID-19 on the mental health in the general population. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 113(8), 529-535. (7) Torales, J., O’Higgins, M., Castaldelli-Maia, J. M., & Ventriglio, A. (2020). The outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on global mental health. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 66(4), 317-320. (8) White, M. P., Alcock, I., Grellier, J., Wheeler, B. W., Hartig, T., Warber, S. L., Bone, A., Depledge, M. H., & Fleming, L. E. (2019). Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. Scientific Reports, 9(7730).
animal eating food
3 different kinds of leaves
a fellow hiker
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body of water
cloud in a fun shape
smooth tree trunk
a buzzing bug
5 different kinds of flowers
TEAM RECOM MENDA TIONS
Clara’s Recs: Chasing Coral, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret Jacqueline’s Recs: Bastion Point: Day 507, Water Flows Together Komal’s Recs: David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet Molly’s Recs: The Refuge: A Film From Patagonia Qhira’s Recs: What the Health Zoe’s Recs: HyperNormalisation, The True Cost
Clara’s Recs: ARDSLY, Lucy and Yak Komal’s Recs: Block Shop Textiles, Diaspora Co. Penelopi’s Recs: BAGGU, noissue, YAYFOREARTH Qhira’s Recs: Female Alchemy
Abdy’s Recs: Hot Take Anna’s Recs: Morbid Faith’s Recs: Ologies with Alie Ward Georgia’s Recs: ECO CHIC, Green Dreamer, Point of Origin Molly’s Recs: How to Save A Planet Qhira’s Recs: The Black Girl Bravado Zoe’s Recs: Invisibilia, The Blindboy Boatclub
Abdy’s Recs: The Lorax, Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility Alyssa’s Recs: A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate Anna’s Recs: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Clara’s Recs: Braiding Sweetgrass Faith’s Recs: The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness Georgia’s Recs: As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization and Standing Rock Komal’s Recs: An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It Molly’s Recs: A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind, All We Can Save, Dispossessing the Wilderness, The Overstory Zoe’s Recs: Open Veins of Latin America
Abdy’s Recs: @earthrise.studio, @pattiegonia Alyssa’s Recs: @natureisahumanright, @outdooradvocacy Clara’s Recs: @nowhitesaviors, @yemagz Faith’s Recs: @jaunting.jay Georgia’s Recs: @indigenousclimateaction, @intersectionalenvironmentalist, @ queerbrownvegan Jacqueline’s Recs: @theslowfactory, @toritsui_ Komal’s Recs: @chicksforclimate, @extinctionrebellion Molly’s Recs: @ashanishinaabe, @ graphicsandgrain Penelopi’s Recs: @womeninoceanscience Qhira’s Recs: @veganandadorable
b r n u o o C t i t r’s
Ananya Singh (@a.ananya.singh) is a student at College of The Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, where she is studying Human Ecology. She is passionate about climate justice, social movements, and youth empowerment. Her background has been working on coalition building with the New Jersey Student Sustainability Coalition.
ity for creatives
Anushka Bhaskar (she/her/hers) (@queennushie) is the founder of Avritah and a member of the Intersectional Environmentalist Council. Starting in the environmental space at age 10 after learning about the human health effects of plastic pollution, her passion for taking action against systems of injustice that harm both human and Earth systems has only grown over the past decade. Now a student at Harvard and founder of the environmental justice and health equity organization, Avritah, she hopes throughout her life to uplift the voices of those most impacted by environmental and public health crises and to activate those with resources and access to take action by following the lead of BIPOC youth and their allies.
Ariel Maldonado (@gogreensavegreen) is the owner and founder of the Instagram page @Gogreensavegreen. Since 2018 she has been independently researching causes, consequences, and solutions of climate change. people planet
Picture a small-town girl, hiding in the corners of a lush, green valley. A pre-loved typewriter on a wooden desk to convert her endless rants to smudgy ink, and countless books to bury a 27-year old’s soul in. That’s her! A Sustainable Entrepreneur, Writer/Poetess, and Visionary, Gunjan Nanda (@gunjan.nanda) lives and breathes to create. She wishes to bring about a global change through stories that can alter and revolutionize the lives of many, all the while revolutionizing her own.
s s a l G o r y
Idman Abdurahaman (@_radicalecology) is an ecowomanist whose interests lie in exploring the complex relationships between racial, social, environmental justice and colonial histories.
Ruthy McBride (she/her) (@gruuvyruuthy) is a 20 year old University student from Los Angeles, CA. She is currently based in Tacoma, WA while majoring in American Politics and Government, and minoring in both African American Studies and Economics. She has lived with Hashimoto’s disease for 3+ years and uses her instagram platform to destigmatize chronic illnesses. Other than pursuing social justice, she enjoys promoting self acceptance and slow/ sustainable fashion.
intersectio nal earth peop le
Jillian Mehta (@j.illian) is an Indian-American college student studying Marketing and Journalism at LIU Post. She is a writer/editor for her college newspaper and hopes to continue improving her writing and building her skills throughout the rest of her college education.
Nina Parrotta (@chex.girl) is a 22 year old interdisplinary artist working on stolen Lekwungen land (British Columbia, Canada). She’s a white, bisexual woman, and a lot of her art practise is based around feminist theory and social justice.
Ntebatše Rachidi (@marahjoanna) is a 22 year old Masters student from Johannesburg, South Africa. Her passions are rooted in advocating for sustainable and ethical practices in the natural resource industry. She is currently conducting research about the relationship between cobalt extraction, mineral policy, and environmental governance within the DRC’s mining sector. 65
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