Building a More Equitable, Climate-Resilient, Zero Waste Future
Eco-Cycle’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Mandate
Systemic racism, inequities, and brutal violence are woven into the fabric of our American society and throughout our history. We at Eco-Cycle are increasingly recognizing that addressing racism, social justice, and economic disparity is paramount to our Zero Waste work—and in many ways is one and the same.
At Eco-Cycle, it is in our mission to create “a more equitable, climate-resilient future.” There can be no real environmental sustainability without equity. Without working toward social and environmental justice, we will never have enough resources for all or for a balanced, healthy climate. If we are to preserve a livable world, we must create systems, both ecologically and socially, where people of all kinds are valued and feel a sense of belonging, where everyone can live safely and have equal access to resources. We also know that diverse and inclusive communities offer the promise of a more vibrant, creative, and accomplished society and future.
As an organization, Eco-Cycle values, celebrates, and supports diversity, equity, and inclusivity. We will continue to strive to meet the challenges set in our own mission statement by acting on the opportunities presented at the intersectionality between Zero Waste and social justice and the opportunities to address environmental racism and the exclusion of the BIPOC community from the environmental movement. We will continue to work to improve internally and contribute externally, and use our platforms to speak up for and share the voices of those fighting for an equitable future.
Specifically, we are currently pursuing the following initiatives at the intersection of climate/Zero Waste and inequity:
- Better educating ourselves on the many intersectionalities between Zero Waste and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion so we can use that knowledge and understanding as a lens through which we can view and redesign our society’s linear production system—so fraught with injustices and inequities—and replace it with a circular economy that is, and strives to be, more just and fair to all. As we come to better understand these intersectionalities (e.g., the full life-cycle impacts of producing, using, and discarding plastics), we will use our multiple platforms locally, nationally, and globally to influence the changes needed.
- Intentionally integrating Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion into all programs and work by explicitly naming intersectionalities and examining where we can leverage change.
- Reviewing the makeup of our board and staff to create strategies and opportunities to further diversify our organization.
- Ensuring that all our internships are either paid or for school credit so that our applicant pool is not limited to those who have the means to accept an uncompensated position.
- Evolving our Equal Opportunity Employer statement and hiring practices to create more diversity among our hired staff and to communicate our commitment to doing so.
- Including pronouns next to staff names in meetings and next to our signatures to be respectful of the way each individual would like to be known, and to support a cultural norm and awareness around communicating gender identity rather than assuming it.
- Continuously reviewing our internal policies to ensure that any unintended bias is removed, and that we create a safer and more supportive workplace with more equitable opportunities and communications for our staff, board, and volunteers.
- Regularly training our employees around bias and the intersectionality between Zero Waste and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
- Regularly reviewing the Zero Waste community services and programs we provide to consider ways they can be more accessible financially and culturally to diverse populations.
- Increasing access to our educational materials and presentations in different languages and for different abilities by adding subtitles to our videos and live-video webinars, and expanding access to translated materials.
- Identifying and cultivating relationships with partner organizations and leaders who work more directly with underserved communities so that we may be better versed on the real solutions needed and how we can appropriately contribute to them, engage them, and include them.
This work will never be “enough” and it will never be “finished.” We will continue to actively reflect on the ways we as an organization can improve our policies and strategic planning to help achieve equity for all, and will share the steps, missteps, and actions we take. Knowing this is an ongoing commitment, we look forward to partnering with others in our community in this effort, and invite you to share your ideas on how we can better serve this movement and how you might help.
We will continue to update this statement with more information on our initiatives around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as they are implemented—please check back often.
In solidarity for peace and justice,
Eco-Cycle Board and Staff
Resources to TAKE ACTION and GIVE SUPPORT:
- Black Lives Matter 5280: blacklivesmatter5280.com/
- El Comité de Longmont: elcomitelongmont.org/
- Soul 2 Soul Sisters: soul2soulsisters.org/
- Colorado Freedom Fund: coloradofreedomfund.org
- NAACP Boulder County: naacpbouldercounty.org
- Northern Colorado Intertribal Pow-Wow Association: ncipa.weebly.com/
- Bridge to Justice: boulderbridgetojustice.org/
- Right Relationship Boulder: facebook.com/Right-Relationship-Boulder
- Toward Right Relationship with Native People friendspeaceteams.org/trr/
- Racial Equity Tools: racialequitytools.org
- Black Lives Matter: blacklivesmatter.com
- Color of Change: colorofchange.org
- NAACP: naacp.org
- Showing Up For Racial Justice: surj.org
- Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: civilrights.org
- National Bail Out Fund (#freeblackmamas): secure.actblue.com/donate/freeblackmamas2020
- Black Visions Collective: blackvisionsmn.org