Are women more eco-friendly than men?
According to the recently released War on Waste campaign survey of 36,722 Australians, women are significantly more active in the fight against waste. They are utilising reusable cups, bottles and shopping bags and shopping smart by donating clothes to charity, buying second hand and purchasing ‘imperfect’ fruit and vegetables.
This data has been echoed across the ocean where research by the Scientific American, who assessed over 2000 US and Chinese participants shows that men are less eco-friendly than women. One of the conclusions drawn is that part of the cause is due to a fear of being seen as weak or feminine. Since when was ego more important than the state of our planet?
The Journal of Consumer Research conducted a set of seven studies which concluded there is a "prevalent association between green behaviour and femininity” and that both men and women hold the associated stereotypes.
All of these studies add up to a pretty grim picture: that guys shy away from making sustainable choices due to maintaining their manhood, otherwise known as gender identity maintenance.
It’s time to start closing that gap, by adopting sustainable and eco-friendly practices.
To lead this change, sustainably focused businesses need to revisit their traditional marketing strategies. For example, the old ‘Mother-Earth’ and ‘Mother-Nature’ terms just don’t fit in the modern world. Marketing campaigns for sustainability should be gender neutral, so guys can feel more comfortable making ethical choices.
Men's wellness website, Wild Limes (launching in February 2018) will help to lead this change. Their content shows men how to connect with a more authentic life experience that includes incorporating sustainable and environmentally friendly choices. By promoting how it is possible to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, adventurous travel and mindful living with a minimal footprint on the earth.
Men and women deserve the right and have the capability, to be the superhero when it comes to saving the world. There is no gender-stereotype here, only the aqua of our oceans, the green of our fields and the blue of our skies that are all crumbling under our unsustainable behaviours.
Guys, it's time to get competitive and challenge the women of Australia who are kicking your butts in the War on Waste.
If you're not sure where to start, here are some simple options to incorporate into daily life.
1. Say no to disposable plastic wrapping, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups, cheap plastic promotional materials, and toys.
2. Around the home:
- Donate or sell things no longer needed and repair anything that can be.
- Make homemade body and cleaning products or if DIY is not your thing, support businesses with environmentally friendly missions - such as Australian toilet paper, paper towel and tissue company Who Gives A Crap.
- Consider reducing, or eliminating, animal products from your diet.
- Choose sustainably sourced wooden watches, sunglasses, accessories, organic and upcycled shoes and clothing to reduce your footprint.
- Jute Shopping Bags
- Lunch Wraps
- Bread Bags
- Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Produce Bags
- Coffee & Tea Cups
- Double Walled Stainless-Steel Water Bottles
- Bamboo Biodegradable Toothbrushes & Cotton Buds
- Double Blade Safety Razors
- French Press Coffee Machines
- Metal Tea Strainers or Clam Shell Mesh Infusers
- Solar Powered Lights.
- Coles Supermarkets offer a soft plastic recycling program at 830 locations across Australia. The REDcycle program accepts bread, cereal, frozen food bags, plastic and reusable shopping bags and other flexible plastic packaging.
- If bins lined with newspaper aren't of interest Landfill-Biodegradable Garbage Bags are the best alternative. They are also the best option for doggy bags if you have a four-legged friend.
- Learn the difference between compostable, biodegradable and landfill-biodegradable plastics in this 80-second video.
5. Rot food you don’t eat by using a compost bin.
- Designate a small area in your backyard.
- Invest in a small Urban Composter Bucket or a Vermiculture (worm farm). It’s surprisingly easy to set up and maintain a compost.
Remember, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot!