An Ode to Eco-Everyday

We can probably all agree that buying things “all natural” has sparked an interest in the American population in the past five years. Many people flock to stores like Whole Foods to buy all forms of natural and eco-friendly living products. I myself have marveled at the local Friendly City Co-Op in Downtown Harrisonburg to gaze at the organic and local foods. I have even bought a quart of milk one summer afternoon. If you want to be “hip” you must jump on this bandwagon of health. It is something that passes through my mind each day as I try to avoid printing out unnecessary documents and always recycle. Even with the growing popularity of health food stores, the fact of the matter is that a hefty carbon footprint is being left behind in transportation alone. I mean when was the last time you found a goji berry growing in your backyard garden?recycle (1)

You may wonder why any of this even matters, but I know for sure why it does to me: Eco-feminism. Although this is a term taken out of the second wave of feminism, I cannot ignore its implications on today’s society. Today, being “eco-friendly” is a form of good deed. Everyone wants to perform a good deed. However, the environment stems more into the patriarchy than many consider on a day to day basis.

Mother Nature, Mother Earth, no matter what you may call Her, has taken on a feminine role since far before the industrial revolution. She is the difference between clean air and industry. She is the difference between country and civilization. She is the difference between nature and culture, and in the United States we have chosen to ignore Mother Nature and opt for a more masculine form of progress. Industries took over and grass fields were covered by parking lots.

Now, I’m not saying that we should demolish big business in order to allow for more deer to roam the lands ( hey, deer scare me more than seeing a ghost when they stare at you from the side of the road), but I am saying there was definitely a complete disregard given to the land that we have all come from, just as patriarchy has disregarded women that have conceived us all. Nature is the womb that holds all creation and we treat Her as a second class citizen each and every day.

In an ideal world, everyone would be in harmony
In an ideal world, everyone would be in harmony

I want to know what exactly is at stake with demanding that our society change their ways in terms of treating the environment. I wish that a perfect world would hold onto the ideals of Mother Nature at Her healthiest the same as a society of everyone on that equal footing I discussed in my post last week. Maybe all the environment needs is respect, the same way I cannot help but demand for myself as a woman dealing with the same deck of cards my mother and grandmother were handed before me. When will we be able to create a new way of thinking? Is it possible to re-create a natural world prospering as much as the rate of women now enrolled in a four-year institution?

Although this is a topic I wish to become better acquainted with, I want to hear your discourse on this as well. What do you think of Mother Nature and Her recent fame in the privileged homes of the elite? Is this simply a fad waiting to disappear, or will it be an ongoing battle up to par with abortion rights and the gender wage gap? Let me know!


4 thoughts on “An Ode to Eco-Everyday

  1. I love that you’re interested in ecofeminism–this is my wheelhouse! I can’t wait to talk with you more about this! Your post made me think of the saying “be good to your mother”:)


  2. Both patriarchy and environmental degradation are so centered on dominance and certain ideas of hierarchy. I think the green movement is much more than a fad. We can’t ignore the way we’re interconnected with nature forever and keep exploiting and polluting our dear Mama. If we do we might be in for a rude awakening. So many of our everyday habits and consumptions make much more of an impact than we are necessarily aware of – But awareness is growing and I think the next decade or two will show changes in concern for the environment.

    Right now there seems to be this assumption in a lot of the discourse about the environment, that we have to choose between either the economy or the environment. I don’t think that is necessarily the case though, and I think we are capable of maintaining our system while becoming more in harmony with nature through lifestyle choices.

    For example, I’ve been thinking lately about how cool it would be if Harrisonburg got a set of these 100% solar powered electric buses!! URL:


    1. I looked through the bus article and wow! I couldn’t help but notice that this was free to those riding it. The bus system is a great way to immediately lower the carbon footprint on our society, but I am definitely aware that a transit system will not always be free to anyone who uses it like on JMU’s campus. Offering an easy and cheap way to transport people seems like a far away option for the United States, but definitely something to look forward to.


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