'Conscious Consumerism is a Lie' and Getting the Courage to Get Controversial

Alden Wicker on Sustainability via Green Dreamer Podcast with Kaméa Chayne

As part of 'speaking up for what we believe in,' how can we muster up the courage to say things that are different or that might go against the current? And what needs to happen alongside conscious consumerism in order for us to accelerate positive change? Alden Wicker, Editor-in-Chief of EcoCult, President and Co-Founder of Ethical Writers & Creatives, and journalist with bylines in Racked, Quartz, Refinery29, Glamour, Inc Magazine, and more, shares her wisdom with you here. Let's dive in.

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer Podcast with Kaméa Chayne, a show exploring environmental and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app and let’s learn what it takes to thrive in every sense of the word!


[02:35] What got Alden into sustainability. 

[03:55] Something that shocked Alden in the sustainability field. 

[6:20] How Alden's mindset shifts when writing for EcoCult as a blogger versus for major publications as a journalist

[9:45] The biggest challenge Alden faced building EcoCult into a leading sustainable lifestyle blog. [10:25] Alden: "As women, we're trained to be as helpful as possible... like women supporting women." 

[11:40] Tips on getting busy people to respond to your requests. 

[12:30] Kaméa: "If you were to start all over, what would you do differently to establish yourself more quickly?" 

[12:50] Alden: "If you blow up super quickly, you're more likely to make dumb mistakes in public.

[14:20] Kaméa: "Do you get nervous before publishing something controversial, and what gives you the courage to do it anyway?" 

[16:20] Alden: "There's too much emphasis being placed on guilting people into working harder at being sustainable.

[17:10] Alden: "There's all these things that lead us to making the decisions we do." 

[19:05] Alden: "There's this rampant perfectionism in the movement." 

[19:15] Alden: "There's this idea that we can't demand the government tax or ban plastic bags unless we haven't ourselves used a plastic bag in a year, because that'd be hypocritical. No, I want them to tax and ban them. Because then, it'll be easier for me to not use a plastic bag and be the person I want to be.

[19:40] Alden on her viral article "Conscious Consumerism is a Lie" on Quartz. 

[22:25] What Alden's most proud of having accomplished. 

[22:40] Alden: "It's a big responsibility to change the course of someone's life, and I take that responsibility very seriously." 

[23:00] Alden: "It's really easy to become popular in this world by overpromising people, or holding yourself up as perfect."

[25:10] Alden: "I don't want people to feel guilty. I do want them to feel pissed."   

Episode Sponsor: Kanekta

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To follow: Quartz

Source of inspiration: Reading a lot. 

Green tip: Set up a monthly donation to a nonprofit. 

Element of hope: "People actually are starting to value experiences over things." 

Words of Wisdom: "Be a critical thinker, and be open to finding out something that seems counterintuitive."   

Two Takeaways