The Ability for Sustainability

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by Celeste Barnes-Crouse

Allow me to preface this article with this: I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of promoting the “sustainable lifestyle” (refusing single-use plastics, buying organic foods, driving less often, etc.) as trendy and achievable. While this comes from a genuine desire to make better choices for the planet, it is flawed. Writing this piece is a way to acknowledge my privilege to engage in sustainable living and discuss where the movement could improve. When I say “my privilege”, I’m referring to the “unearned cultural, legal, social, and institutional rights [or benefits] extended to a group [or individual] based on their group [race, class, ability, etc.] membership”. I recognize that my race and socio-economic position enable me to participate in sustainability more readily than others.

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