Environmental Justice: What Is It and How Are We Contributing?

The protests across the country and around the globe in recent months have been a call to action for many of us to take a stand against social injustices and mindfully participate in the Black Lives Matter movement. In the formation of 1502 Candle Co., we knew we wanted to “do good” for the community and for the environment. We created a recycle and refill program, source materials that are the least impactful as we can, and joined 1% for the Planet to be able to give money back to the organizations who do that work of making this world a better place. As a part of our commitment and standing in solidarity with communities of color across the US we choose an organization we feel particularly passionate about: Communities for a Better Environment (CBE).


How Is Environmentalism Tied into Anti-Racism?

Did you know that higher rates of air pollution disproportionately affect communities of color in the U.S.? This factor alone has been found to shorten residents’ lifespans. Landfills, water contamination, and the general effects of climate change have all been found to plague communities of color more often than predominantly white areas–a fact that is backed up by decades worth of studies. Today, the undeniable link between racial and economic disparities and climate change is receiving an increasing (and long overdue) amount of attention.

"Landfills, water contamination, and the general effects of climate change have all been found to plague communities of color more often than predominantly white areas–a fact that is backed up by decades worth of studies."

Understanding Environmental Justice

According to the EPA, “Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” To break it down simply, this can be achieved by allowing everyone’s voices to be heard so that they can participate in decisions that foster a healthy environment and also offering the same degree of protection from health and environmental hazards that threaten our communities.


Our Donations to Communities for a Better Environment

This particular non-profit struck a note with us because so many of the values that we stand for align. What we didn’t know was how this summer’s cultural and political landscape would resonate so profoundly with what CBE stands for when we chose it.

CBE’s vision is timeless and it has led the charge in the fight for environmental justice since 1978. Its mission is to “build people’s power in California’s communities of color and low income communities to achieve environmental health and justice by preventing and reducing pollution and building green, healthy and sustainable communities and environments.”

When you choose to shop our candles, reed diffusers, fragrance mists, and more, please know at least 1% of the cost will be donated to CBE for the remainder of 2020.

What Else Can You Do?

Environmental racism represents the intersection of two areas that are important to us at 1502 and others throughout greater San Diego, where we are headquartered. Now, an increasing number of people are turning their attention to the injustices that affect such a huge number of Americans. Arguably the most important step we can all take this fall is make sure to vote. We need an administration that will take a stand against the toxic practices that have affected too many of us for too long.

We’re Here for You

No matter what the future holds, 1502 will continue to provide a safe, welcoming and inclusive space. We know that change takes place on a grass-roots level and we want to hear from you. What are you doing to practice being an anti-racist and protect the environment? Contact us online anytime and until we can see you at our shop and local markets, stay safe, be well and BLACK LIVES MATTER. 

August 24, 2020 — Emily Tongg

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