What has moved you to start your podcast?
Ariel: When I started my low waste journey in 2018, I noticed that many of the women at the forefront of the community were white, but I knew I wasn’t the only person of color interested in saving the planet. So after just a little bit of digging, I found so many women of color who are climate activists, farmers, bee keepers, zero waste shop owners, packaging engineers, and so much more.
I started the Sustainable Brown Girl podcast to share these incredible womens’ stories to support them and inspire other women to become more interested in environmental sustainability.
Do you have a specific goal you’re pursuing with your podcast?
Ariel: My goal is to inspire people, specifically, women of color, to be more sustainable everyday. I want women of color to feel represented within the environmental movement as they see other women who look like them that are thriving in and innovating their respective fields.
Sustainability is the main topic. What is your personal connection to it? Why is this topic so important to you?
Ariel: As a black woman, I’ve experienced first hand how we tend to be sustainable not by choice, but for lack of resources. For instance, my family shopped at thrift stores before it was trendy because we couldn’t afford the newest clothes or shoes. We used up and reused everything we could because money was tight. Communities of color from all over the world have been “sustainable” since before it was a trendy term.
I’ve also always had a connection with nature and absolutely boiling whenever I saw someone litter. When I started being more conscious about the ingredients in the products I was using, that led me down a rabbit hole into learning about climate change, sustainability, and the low waste movement.
What are your ways to maintain a green lifestyle?
Ariel: For me, maintaining a green lifestyle starts with being very selective about what I bring into my home. I try to consider the entire lifecycle of each item I buy. For example, before I buy a new piece of clothing, I think about how many times I will wear it. If I don’t have many things that it will go with, I usually don’t buy it. This practice has led me to have a very curated wardrobe.
I also try to reduce the amount of waste that I create at home. I swapped regular paper towels with reusable paper towels, and disposable cotton rounds with reusable cotton rounds. I also now use laundry pods that come in recyclable packaging, and reusable wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
Why should we care more about our environment from your perspective?
Ariel: Like I said earlier, there is no Planet B. We all have to breathe the same air, drink the same water, and experience the same weather. There’s no doubt that modern civilization has taken a toll on Mother Earth, and I think it’s up to all of us to make better choices while holding politicians and corporations accountable for their roles as well.
The representation of BIPoC within environmental movement seems to be relatively low compared to white people. What do you think could be the reason for this?
Ariel: People of color and women are often underrepresented in the environmental movement. I honestly think it’s deep rooted colonialism – old habits are hard to break.
There are obviously so many voices of color within this movement, but they are often drowned out.
Indigenous people have centuries old traditions that could teach us ways to preserve the planet, but the people at “the top” don’t want to listen to them. It’s nothing new, unfortunately.
What do you enjoy the most as podcaster?
Ariel: I absolutely love meeting and talking to new people. It’s so inspiring to learn about how other women of color because involved in sustainability and environmentalism. I love being able to share their stories and individual missions with my community.
Are there people who inspire you in a special way?
Ariel: Every single sustainable brown girl who is doing whatever they can to make a positive impact on the planet inspires me.
Where can we find more of you?
Ariel: You can find the Sustainable Brown Girl Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify. I also post the video interviews on the Sustainable Brown Girl YouTube channel. You can also find me on Instagram @sustainablebrowngirl.
Thank You Ariel!
If you liked this conversation and felt inspired by it, don’t forget to check out Ariels channel @sustainablebrowngirl and @naturally_mermaid. Subscribe to my newsletter, if you don’t want to miss more posts like this in the near future! Otherwise, you can also connect with me on my social media channels.