In March 2016, I started a blog called My Pink & Green Life. I’d had a personal Blogspot blog for about a year at that point and decided that I wanted to start blogging less about myself and more about something that was really important to me: environmentalism.
Well, needless to say, I’m no longer blogging at MP&GL, and that project only lasted six months. I’d gone into it wanting to write about my own journey to learn more about environmentalism’s various facets, to share what I’d learned and how I was living my life more sustainably as a result, but somewhere along the way, that vision got lost.
What went wrong?
There were a few superficial reasons for losing sight of it. At the time I pretty much only followed personal and lifestyle blogs and got ideas from their posts, so I ended up writing a lot more personal posts than I’d intended. Not a bad thing, but not what I set out to do.
Then there was the whole issue of wanting to possibly monetize the blog someday. Again, that in itself wasn’t an issue–it’s only expected that you’d eventually want a return from something that you put so much time into. But I worried that if I publicized my real thoughts on green living, I’d never be able to get or justify collaborations. “Yeah, I know I write about minimalism all the time, but buy [insert some trendy item that I’d never actually purchase myself] so I can make money!” Or “Yeah, I know I try to live zero waste and all that, but here’s an affiliate link for this snack that comes in non-recyclable plastic packaging!”
The Elephant in the Room
But the big reason, the elephant in the room, was this: environmentalism is a big frickin’ controversial topic. It really shouldn’t be a political issue–don’t most of us love beautiful natural spaces and want to protect cute wildlife?–but it is, especially here in the US. And so writing about environmentalism meant that I’d have to *gulp* get political #ontheblog.
Not only that, but learning about environmental issues is emotional. It is for everyone! We feel guilty and ashamed that we didn’t know we were hurting the environment, or that we did know but didn’t do anything until the problem got really bad. We feel overwhelmed by the scale of these problems. We feel helpless, because really, how many of us can afford to drive electric cars or eat only pastured meats or install twenty solar panels on our roofs? (Not me, for one.) And then there are those environmentalists who purposefully shame their audiences to get them to take action, which doesn’t help anything.
These emotions are what spark the heated debates on environmental awareness videos and blog posts and news articles all over social media. They’re what lead to name-calling and finger-pointing and outright denial and usually end up devolving into an argument about the current presidency.
Well, I wasn’t brave enough to dip my feet into those waters the first time around. But after the election in November, I was mad at myself for not being braver. And it seemed so out-of-touch to keep on blogging about the mundane details of my everyday life when there were so much larger things at stake than how I did on my final exams or what new trendy protein bar I’d tried from the co-op on Friday.
Leaving & Returning
I was already swamped with schoolwork, heading into my last term of college. I knew that I needed to take a break from blogging, possibly a permanent one, and if I came back to really set about doing what I meant to do to begin with: to raise awareness about environmental issues.
So here I am now.
Turning off the lights, growing a garden, and biking to work are all great things to do, but they’re not enough. I want to start digging more into the nitty-gritty of environmental issues here on the blog. Yes, that means climate change and eating animals and various other emotionally and politically charged topics. It’s time to start learning and talking about the hard things and to make that dialogue mainstream, not just something for “angry vegans” or researchers with Ph.D’s to deal with.
I can’t promise that what I write will be perfect. I’m not an expert; I’m just a girl who cares, wants to learn more about what she can do, and wants to encourage dialogue around these issues. I hope that if I write something that’s ill-informed, someone will say, “Hey, actually, I read this paper or article or blog post that contradicts what you’re saying.” Or that someone who doesn’t believe in climate change but wants to learn more would have the courage to comment and say, “Why do you think that climate change is real?” and that no one would attack them for it. We need a lot more conversations like that.
I’ve already got several topics picked out to research and blog, and I’d love to hear any ideas you’ve got as well! Thank you guys as always for your support. I hope you’ll stick around as the content of the blog changes a bit!