Environmental Racism, Explained

Our products will always be green, so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your children.

Why is it important to us, as a brand, to even have to mention this?  We’re selling baby products -  shouldn’t that fact alone assure you that our goods are safe? Unfortunately, that is not the case in the baby industry or even in consumerism as a whole.  It isn’t even true about the environments in which we live.  It’s a real "poop emoji" show out here.  

Let us give you a little context.  Pre-slavery, we were the stewards of our own land. We respected the land and revered it, for it gave us everything we needed to survive, in the most organic and holistic form.  Enter colonizers, who not only extracted the people from its land (slavery), but also exploited the land of all of its resources.  

You can only imagine that slaves were never given the best of anything- to eat, to wear, nor to live in.  We can’t say that after slavery, things changed that much.  Currently, an overwhelming majority of Black folks and other people of color are living in communities that ooze of toxins, in areas near waste dumps, high pollution areas ie: major highways and airports, near power plants and nuclear waste sites. 

Think about it - when policy makers are deciding where to place hazardous waste sites, do you think they’d want to choose their neighborhoods, where their families would be affected by toxins?  What’s worst is what exposure to them results in: 

  • Cancer, heart disease, asthma, COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases
  • ADHD, autism and childhood cancers
  • Water contamination and depletion (think Flint, MI)
  • And deforestation… just to name a few!

This is what we call ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM.  In other words, people of color are being discriminately and disproportionately exposed to chemicals that are literally killing us, insidiously, not in the loud and blatant ways that we are used to learning about on the news. 

These toxic chemicals can be found in our foods, clothing and the air we breathe. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) began measuring human exposure to toxins in 1976, and found ranges in amounts of toxins in our systems, from items that we use, daily - from tap water, lotions and shampoos, to plastics and clothes.   

We assume that if we can buy it, then it must be safe.  And that is not the case. We need policy makers to ban the use of harmful chemicals in the marketplace, most of which are being mass produced, and profited off of the backs of marginalized communities.  Why?  Because they assume we don’t have access to this type of information. They assume that we’re too busy with countless other concerns that come with being Black, and or poor, in this country.    

All of this mentioned -  there are some some things we can do right now to lessen our exposure to toxins- smaller but impactful changes, in our everyday lives, like: 

  • Dusting and mopping often
  • Taking our shoes off at the door to prevent outside chemicals from coming into the home
  • Opting for organic foods when able
  • Staying away from plastics as much as possible.

We owe it to ourselves to get back to simpler, more organic consumerism and to take up space in sustainability conversations. Because our children are the most vulnerable and can’t speak for themselves, it is up to us to make choices that can improve their quality of life. 

At Evergreen Baby, we welcome all to shop with and support our brand, but we want to be clear about creating a safe space for the Black community to shop, learn, support and celebrate ourselves and other POC who are marginalized and affected by environmental racism.  

“We know better. We do better. ALWAYS.” 

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