9 episodes

Brown Girl Green is a Filipina American climate activist who interviews diverse, boundary-pushing leaders and advocates redefining what it means to be an “environmentalist” in the 21st century. It's time to put Brown back in the Green Movement.

Brown Girl Green Brown Girl Green

    • News
    • 4.2 • 29 Ratings

Brown Girl Green is a Filipina American climate activist who interviews diverse, boundary-pushing leaders and advocates redefining what it means to be an “environmentalist” in the 21st century. It's time to put Brown back in the Green Movement.

    The Brown Girl Wears Green

    The Brown Girl Wears Green

    Episode Notes
    This episode of Brown Girl Green is focused on sustainable fashion. We discuss if/ why sustainable fashion is the path forward away from throw-away culture and mass over-consumption of clothing in modern society. Despite the benefits of more "sustainable" or environmentally friendly fashion, there are still a lot of gaps around diversity, equity, and inclusion within the movement. A majority of sustainable fashion only caters to a small demographic that excludes many different ethnic groups and body types from partaking in its ethical benefits. Further, some sustainable fashion brands don't necessarily prioritize racial justice or labor rights even if they are all "green" or "zero waste." So in this episode, I examine what some of the gaps exist around sustainable fashion, but also the benefits this framework of going more "green" with your clothing habits can have on society.

    The interview features Samata, a British-born Ghanaian fashion designer, author, and journalist who is best known for her role as Global Campaign Director for Red Carpet Green Dress, a campaign that is pushing to showcase ethical fashion on the Oscars red carpet. She is also an award-winning womenswear designer whose work in the fields of fashion and sustainability has received coverage from BBC Radio 1Xtra, Essence, ITV's This Morning, E! Entertainment, Women's Wear Daily, ELLE, InStyle, Essence, Refinery 29, and Red Magazine.

    The biggest topics covered in this episode are:
    -Discussing why sustainable fashion is useful and necessary
    -Redefining what sustainable fashion can be- beyond just luxury goods for the privileged, how can we own actions like wearing second-hand, clothing swaps, and DIY's to minimize our consumption?
    -What a more diverse sustainable fashion world would look like and why that's important

    Sustainable Fashion brands/ initiatives mentioned in today's episode:
    Sustainable Brooklyn
    Project One Eighty Nine
    Sustainable Fashion Forum
    Soko Kenya
    Fashion Revolution
    Anthill Fabrics
    Pildora NYC
    Mate the Label
    The Front Lash

    Some resources for further reading:
    Fashion Takes Action- Fashion's role in the Sustainable Development Goals

    What COVID-19 means for sustainable fashion

    Ethical Fashion on a budget

    Find out more at https://brown-girl-green.pinecast.co

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    False Choices & Poisoned Futures: Examining Environmental Racism

    False Choices & Poisoned Futures: Examining Environmental Racism

    On Earth Day, I had the pleasure to interview Black Millennials 4 Flint's Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and President LaTricea D. Adams and Sierra Club's community organizer Justin Onwenu. Together, we defined environmental racism and sacrifice zones; discussed their successful coalition practices and how to they take action for their communities; the realities of receiving funding and amplifying their narratives; and how to cultivate joy in a continuously daunting world. This has been one of the most special, important conversations I've had and I am elated to share it with you.

    Key takeaways/ moments:

    The environmental justice movement, in my mind, comes out of the Civil Rights Movement… the Sanitation Workers’ Strike, Dr. King… because of the history of industrialization, communities are faced with the false choice of “jobs” or “healthy environment.” - Justin Onwenu

    Justin opens the episode discussing the significance of the environmental justice movement and stresses that its recognition means we can’t ignore systemic racism and the forks-in-the-road placed for BIPOC.

    Democracy was robbed from the people of Flint -LaTricea D. Adams

    The chronic lack of clean water in Flint, Michigan demonstrates how democracy has not served this community. LaTricea names the justice that’s owed to the people of Flint, along with steps to prevent this from happening again.

    Flint, rocked the nation. This small city made places across the country look at their infrastructure, look at how our children are exposed to lead in schools. It is literally a movement that has rocked the nation and I think there’s too many people on the outside that’s kinda stealing their thunder. -LaTricea D. Adams.

    This goes back to the episode’s theme of choices and creating autonomy without much wiggle room. LaTricea discusses the significance of activists, from Flint who work on the ground there, have control over their narratives and credit for their labor. Their demand and awareness for clean water serves as a model for cities around the nation to shift their infrastructure and meet their community’s needs.

    Resources to continue the conversation:

    Find out more at https://brown-girl-green.pinecast.co

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    The Violence of Silence: Racial Equity & the Outdoors

    The Violence of Silence: Racial Equity & the Outdoors

    Episode Notes
    In this week's episode of Brown Girl Green, we are talking about racial equity within the outdoors given the current state of the world. A few weeks ago, Christian Cooper, a black birder encountered a white woman, Amy Cooper who felt threatened & called 911 after Christian Cooper asked her to put her dog on a leash. This racist action on a microscale brings us to a point where we must critically analyze systemic racism at a macroscale in our country today. Access to a clean, healthy, and safe environment can be achieved through institutional and cultural change that prioritizes the needs of black lives.

    Kristy interviews Deeohn Ferris, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the National Audubon Society.

    Key Takeaways

    People of color do not have proper access to the outdoors and we need to actively create the institutional and cultural change necessary to address that

    Environmental justice and police brutality are both symptoms of a broken system that does not prioritize black lives. We must not rely on institutions alone to address this, we also need to demand cultural change within our interpersonal relationships/ culture to fight white supremacy and internalized racism.

    Nearby nature and backyard birding are key steps to actually providing options for people of color to have greater access to the outdoors. People of color deserve access to green spaces, and should be allowed to reclaim public space as much as necessary.

    For organizations to donate to at this time, I am shouting out:

    -The Groundswell Fund

    -LGBT Racial Justice Fund


    -Brown Girls Climbing

    -New York Audubon Society

    -Black AF In Stem

    Find out more at https://brown-girl-green.pinecast.co

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Talking Circular Economy: Making Synthetic Hair More Sustainable

    Talking Circular Economy: Making Synthetic Hair More Sustainable

    Episode Notes

    Join Kristy and Ciara Imani May, founder of Rebundle, a company closing the loop on synthetic hair waste one bundle at a time. We will be talking about what it means to generate a circular economy, how to make an environmentally friendly and culturally conscious product, and how to support young entrepreneurs of color working to save the world.
    What we cover:
    -The benefits of the circular economy in dealing with the climate crisis
    -How the circular economy can provide a space for budding entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions
    -How a woman of color designed her own business/ space within the circular economy & her tips for others pursuing this space
    For more information on rebundle. Follow them on Instagram @rebundle.co.
    Find out more at https://brown-girl-green.pinecast.co
    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 51 min
    Put Your Money Where Your Values Are: Personal Finance & The Planet

    Put Your Money Where Your Values Are: Personal Finance & The Planet

    Given this fiscally-uncertain world for the 99%, how can we put our money where our values are? For the best answers, I made a 2 part episode on the topic. I teamed up with Joelle Sostheim of the Joelle Show. She gives us a step-by-step lesson on personal finance and shows us how we can use this important practice as a tool to make alternative spending and investments through a climate change- and global pandemic-conscious lens. For those able to invest, we’ll have our conversation follow with As You Sow’s Energy Program Manager, Lila Holzman (Part 2 begins at 55:00). Lila tells us how we can place our accrued wealth into environmentally-friendly funding sources in order to stray away from the investor’s status quo, which typically takes company means to contribute towards fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions and practices.

    *In this podcast episode, you’ll learn:
    - What personal finance looks like in an ideal world and practical steps to get there. We’ll discuss ways to bravely confront the oftentimes-uncomfortable dichotomy of variable spending and challenging our behaviors.

    How we can navigate a crisis -- today’s current Recession and global COVID-19 pandemic -- when we’re already in the middle of it. We’ll learn more about emergency funds and sustainable, environmentally-conscious budgeting practices.

    The reality of big financial institutions investing in fossil fuel emissions and the solutions that can work as alternatives to policy change, which can oftentimes take too long before it’s much too late.

    “It won’t get better unless you confront it.” Joelle Sostheim
    We begin this episode asking Joelle, “In a perfect world, how does someone’s personal finance change from start to finish?” Joelle gives us her answer in two parts: i) your current self and ii) your future self. Asking ourselves what we want in the future works as a motivator to challenge our current behaviors and modify accordingly in order to push our goals forward.

    “Given the circumstances of Coronavirus, I would highly recommend putting down your expenses so you can save an emergency fund… made up of 3 months, up to 6 months, of monthly expenses -- what you spend every month. A good place to start is next month’s rent.” Joelle Sostheim

    We haven’t been in a Recession + global pandemic in modern history… how many of us had the means to prepare? The answer -- hardly any -- brings us to problem-solving. Joelle talks us through how to mitigate today’s crisis for the common person and average listener in order to come out of this pandemic with the tools to save and, eventually-speaking, grow wealth in the future.

    3.“If you cut out the labor it took to make that… small unit item and you, instead, budgeted out your time… time is just as important as budgeting your money.” Kristy Drutman

    We begin thinking about everyday ways to save and follow our budget, the tactic mentioned being one of my favorites-- investing in reusable materials, as opposed to disposable ones. Using the framework, “How can I squeeze the most juice out of an item before I dispose of it?” works as just a starting point for this part of our conversation. We go back-and-forth on how wallet-saving practices ultimately reduces unnecessary labor and the annual amount we waste.

    4.“What we’re starting to see too is that this is not just about doing the right because it’s good for people. It’s good for profit as well. We’re starting to get the data, especially now, that the space is getting a little more mature and that companies and investments that prioritize ESG (environmental, social, governance) factors over the long-term end up performing better.” Lila Holzman

    Moving forward from Joelle’s personal finance expertise, we meet Lila’s knack for advising large financial institutions to allocate their fu

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Climate Change & Disabilities: How'd we get here?

    Climate Change & Disabilities: How'd we get here?

    We’re not in shape to leap in a boat if there’s a flood, or run from a fire… there’s an attitude I think that’s completely unconscious that we have to be ready to do these kind of things.
    Marsha Saxton (21:48)

    Kristy Drutman interviews Marsha Saxton and Alex Ghenis from the World Institute on Disabilities (WID) -- one of the first disability rights organizations working towards creating research and policy that’s equitable and inclusive. Given the global pandemic, Kristy takes the intersection of disability justice and climate change to find its connection to coronavirus. While living in a country low on toilet paper and ventilators, Kristy and guests point out who’s been put behind to receive support. Without the infrastructure necessary to support people with disabilities, communities remain without adaptive technology and disappointingly unfit to support for this group. Marsha and Alex, nonetheless, share their optimism and practical solutions in hopes to build a more inclusive, adaptable climate-changing-world.

    In this podcast episode, you’ll learn:
    1. The unjust reality of where people with disabilities stand in line to receive support and rights
    2. Being ready for climate change means adapting to it (v. excluding what may not fit)
    3. Moving on from a utilitarian, triage mode of healthcare looks like letting people with disabilities teach us their needs while prioritizing their independence and quality of life

    “It only takes one sentence to explain that in any environmentally compromised situation… people with disabilities will die first and sometimes fast.” Marsha Saxton (12:40)

    We begin this episode connecting the reality between climate change and people with disabilities. Marsha and Alex say the truth point blank: people with disabilities will die and sometimes first. Much of their work at WID focuses on alerting the climate change impact to the disability community and give them the tools to protect and advocate for themselves. The lessons parallel with finding independence and a living quality of living amidst social distancing, businesses with closed doors, and a new normal.

    “The majority of spinal cord injury research is stem cells and curing spinal cord injury as opposed to creating adaptive technology.” Alex Ghenis (25:41)

    The modern healthcare system looks to find a cure for whatever doesn’t fit in; Alex Ghenis believes it’d be more helpful to spend that time developing adaptive technology, making the world more accomodating, and therefore reducing the impact of disability on the individual. The adaptation model applies to climate change and today’s global pandemic as well -- let’s adapt to the reality because it’s neither accessible nor available for everyone to put a band-aid on it.

    “Know your neighbors.” Marsha Saxton (36:28)

    If we need to adapt, then our solutions start with the basics: know your neighbors. Marsha and Alex dive into the importance of building community and creating disaster recovery policy that includes people with disabilities’ knowledge of their needs and fruition of action plans. Given that we are currently in a worldwide disaster, our guests take us through the lessons in everyone needs to hear and hear again and again in order to adapt, recover, and put the independence and life outcomes of people with disabilities first.

    Marsha Saxton continues to work at WID’s New Earth Disability (NED) Initiative. NED addresses how people with disabilities fall extremely vulnerable to climate change. NED seeks to build climate resilience by using research to identify concerns and the best responses, educate the public, ensure that other stakeholders’ climate adaption plans recognize the disability community. Follow Alex Ghenis’ disability and climate change activism on Twitter (@aghenis).


    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
29 Ratings

29 Ratings

millie.millie.millie ,

This Content is So Important!

As a person of color working in the environmental field, this podcast feels validating and reaffirming of my own experiences of racism within the conservation movement. Thank you for doing this work, your voice is important and necessary to break up the narrative of racism “not being” an environmental issue and elevate voices of color! Thank you thank you thank you!

manthaklein ,

Such great work!

Kristy is doing an amazing job speaking about environmental justice issues and how the environmental movement can be more inclusive! Listen to this podcast its wonderful! Kristy is such a delight!

polo_thom ,

Thanks for the inspiration!!

You’re doing an amazing job at covering topics that are not always discussed when we talk about sustainability and climate change. It is much needed! Thanks for your work, can’t wait for what comes next!

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