Everyday we are confronted by climate change. Catastrophe after catastrophe. Luckily, humanity has not given up hope yet. Countries and companies are putting more effort into creating a better world for tomorrow. Of course, it is not just countries and companies wanting to take care of the family. It is the common people, like us, that try to change their way of living, maybe even a little, to ensure a better future. However, I have recently noticed that this sustainable way of living is mostly focused on women. But why is that exactly?
As a woman, I have noticed more and more sustainable products are being produced everyday. From eco-friendly period products, to plastic-free cosmetics, it seems that all these sustainable products tend to be targeted towards women. Yet, there is still a gap in marketing that is leaving men out of the picture of sustainability. And as mentioned before, it is not just the companies trying to be more environment-friendly. According to the Mintel Press Office, it seems that women are more interested in sustainability than men. Moreover, according to Mintel’s research from 2018, 71% of women in Britain are increasing their commitment to ethical living while only 59% of men in Britain have been trying to live more ethically. Mintel has dubbed this difference in devotion to living environment-friendly the Eco Gender Gap. Even in environment-friendly activities, like recycling or trying to use less water, it still appears that women are more likely to partake in these activities.
But how did this difference in devotion occur? It could be rooted in the traditional ways of living of old. According to Mintel, women are still more likely to be in charge of the household. From buying groceries, to doing the laundry and cleaning, it seems that women are typically expected to take care of the house and its inhabitants. But this Eco Gender Gap is not only due to traditional values like these, but might also be due to fragile masculinity. According to Mintel, the reason why men might be more disconnected from trying to live environment-friendly could be due to ‘men feeling that caring for the environment somehow undermines their masculinity.’ So it appears that sustainability is not only an environment issue but also an issue regarding gender equality. Or rather, gender inequality.
While there are still some difficulties in the environment-friendly market, we are certainly improving everyday. Although there seems to be an unequal devotion, we could all learn to take care of our planet a bit more. And yes, even as a student you can do a lot more than you think! While some products are needed more by certain people than others, there are still loads of environment-friendly things you can do everyday. For example, just take a look at your daily life. How much energy or water do you typically use? Or how much trash do you typically generate in a day? Living environment-friendly does not have to be difficult life. Just by replacing your plastic water bottle to a more durable one or simply going somewhere with your bike or public transport instead of your car, you can make a difference.
So next time you go shopping, rethink your actions; do you really need it? And if you do, is it going to last long? And while you’re at it, try encouraging your friends to join you in living a more environment-friendly life.
Excellent blog post! I enjoyed reading your blog, and also the article you mentioned is incredibly fascinating. I was not aware of the statistics about the fact that women seem to pay more attention to sustainability than men. It also intrigues me that gender and caring for the environment overlap, in terms of that men might feel like their masculinity is threatened when they show they care about the environment. I think the reason why men might perceive it as such is that in the past, men were taught to be tough, and somehow caring for the environment makes them think they are less tough. Personally, I think that caring for the environment is a responsibility we all share. Overall, very interesting points about how traditional values and fragile masculinity might link to the fact that more women seem to care for living in an eco friendly way than men.
I fully agree with your point that we can all contribute to taking care of the environment, and that even small steps such as using a non plastic bottle is already a good contribution.
I really enjoy reading your blog. It makes me reflect and think about whether it is actually designed to be sustainable or it is a marketing approach to make the consumers feel better to the world when purchasing the products. I definitely think it is not only targeting women but also men. I saw there are various products for men’s beards and mustaches. The beard oil, beard cleaner, beard trimmer, conditioner, beard booster, and so on can all be seen in the store.
I agree with your point of view that when we think of being sustainable to the environment is not just keep buying the so-called ‘environmental friendly products’ and dump the old not running out products. It’s about the mindset and how you be responsible for your consumption.