My apartment is hot and sticky, my suitcases remain half unpacked and due to my strong aversion to kicking on my expensive ass AC, I’ll be taking frequent trips to the fridge to fill up on homemade tea water gulped strictly from an old spaghetti sauce jar until further notice.
Today marks day five of my new life in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Underneath the staleness of abandoned buildings and Dodge chargers blasting Drake beats below my quaint downtown apartment, I live and I see.
The past few days have been riddled with my attempt to build up an Olivia Pope-esque wardrobe in preparation for my new job commencing Monday. Subsequently, surviving the design nightmare that is my new residence is a new condition I’m learning to deal with. Paying off a credit card in lieu of purchasing my beloved tufted sofa looks good on my Mint.com budget goal tracking (seriously, we should all have one) but hasn’t yet calmed my inner diva.
This city isn’t exactly the place that I imagined in my head when I first received an invitation to join the public policy fellowship that required me to uproot my nomad lifestyle for a seat at the table with government officials.
There are folks here that have struggles that are beyond LED light bulbs and recycling. I’ve rode the buses and walked the streets enough to have my bubble of a world completely re-shaped by the tremendous displays of poverty, obesity, unemployment, addiction and educational pitfalls that seem to be standard in a city fighting so hard for change.
But change is imminent and it starts with more than introducing a smoothie stand and a few Farmer’s Markets during the summer. Green economy propaganda has very little to do with a movement and more so the reliance on our actions as citizens of humanity behaving in ways that are responsible not for the planet but for the betterment of those that we affect that we do not see.
While Macklemore (a hometown hero) accurately suggests in his song Thrift Store “one man’s trash is another man’s come up” I offer a nuance to his adage. I strongly believe that one man’s trash is in fact another man’s environmental justice issue.
Don’t believe me? Peep the number of neighborhood shorties affected by pollution-related asthma (a skyrocketing number that is much deeper in communities of color compared to their white counter parts).
Going green goes beyond race, creed or gender. It all boils down to an act of love. We recycle, we turn off our water when we brush our teeth, we compost and we re-use grocery bags not because it’s trendy but because when we do our part we are preventing the degradation of someone else’s existence as a direct result of our actions.
Please dish in the comments below about your thoughts on your role in going green and whether or not you feel your small actions can make a large impact. I’d love to read your thoughts.
Love and Beauty,