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Personal is Political

“The personal is political” was a frequently heard feminist rallying cry, especially during the late 1960s and 1970s. The exact origin of the phrase is unknown and sometimes debated.  I am drawn to seeing possible links between feminist theory and environmentalism – I have a background in feminist and social studies and I am a firm believer in the environmental movement and sustainable living practices.  Feminism and environmentalism are both movements to create large-scale cultural change.

Carol Hanisch’s essay, “The Personal Is Political”, proposes that coming to a personal realization of how “grim” the situation was for women was as important as doing political “action” such as protests.  Hanisch noted that “political” refers to any power relationships, not just those of government or elected officials.  In this sense, the private realm can be a political realm.  Individual actions reflect personal beliefs and statements.  Collectively, individuals making conscoius sustainable choices can equal a powerful green movement.  Of course, these individual actions I speak of are in addition to the legislative changes necessary to set environmental standards that will promote resource conservation and alternative energy sources.

With this idea…. my question goes out to you.  What’s an environmentally sound habit that you’ve thought about cultivating, or tried to cultivate, but never managed to really get off the ground?

For example: Almost 100% of the time we bring a backpack or our own reusable bags to the grocery store, instead of toting things home in a paper bag, but we keep wimping out in the produce and bulk section and using those plastic bags.  This is an area we can master and make steps to improve.

Next for us giving up paper towels and kleenex tissues 100%.

How about you?

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