Things That Matter

7 Ways Latinos Go Above And Beyond To Be Eco-Friendly

A group of Latinos came together in Washington, D.C., recently for GreenLatinos, an event dedicated spreading awareness on environmental practices and causes. Many attendees talked about passing legislation to save the planet, and they agreed that Latinos are already eco-friendly af.

Here are some of the ways GreenLatino attendees claim Latinos go above and beyond in saving the planet.

1. There’s nothing like reusing your old clothes as cleaning rags.

CREDIT: mitú

“My mom used to have all of our t-shirts in a pile and she would sit there on Sundays and cut them up into little rags,” Greisa Martinez Rosas, the advocacy director of United We Dream says. “It wasn’t a green thing. It was more of a money thing.”

2. We will always reuse that butter container as Tupperware.

CREDIT: mitú

“At least in my house, they always told me to turn off the lights because it’s cheaper, so they’re low-key trying to save money,” Laura Di Lorenzo, mitú video producer and emcee at the GreenLatinos event. “They don’t even know they’re being green. They’re just being cheap. That’s something my parents did. They reuse ziplock bags and Tupperware. We recycle clothes. If I have a big cousin, I’ll inherent their clothes. Not that I want to, I’m just kind of forced into it.”

3. Your old clothes probably became a very uncomfortable pillow.

CREDIT: Calvin Klein / Giphy

“They usually turn out to be really hard and uncomfortable, but it’s a great way to recycle old shirts,” Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California’s 34th district says.

4. Some times you need to skip the towel after the shower.

CREDIT: That 70s Show / FOX

One Congressperson, who shall remain anonymous, admits that sometimes after a shower they skip the towel and dry off naturally. Not a bad idea if you want to conserve power and water.

5. We are experts in how long you can wear clothes before having to wash it.

CREDIT: Twin Peaks On Showtime / GIPHY

“I wait longer before I wash my clothes,” Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán of California’s 44th district says. “I use it more before I have to go put it in the laundry and use detergent and more water. I don’t sweat very much so it’s probably easier to do that.”

6. We carpool like no other because there are a lot of us.

CREDIT: The Late Late Show with James Corden / CBS

“I have arranged for rides with friends that are heading into downtown,” Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona’s 7th district says. “Even though they couldn’t drop me off exactly at my spot, I would walk the last 5 blocks to get to my spot which is crazy in Phoenix to do that.”

7. We get every last bit of toothpaste out of the tube.

CREDIT: mitú

“We recycle some times out of need. We reuse the same bags. We use the same containers,” Henry Sanchez, chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), says.”We try to be very careful about using things like toothpaste to the fullest. It’s something that comes in our nature.”

To learn more about GreenLatinos, check out their website here.


READ: Our Parents Were Recycling Before It Even Existed

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‘Planeta G’ Is A YouTube Series Dedicated To Highlighting Latino Environmental Activists

Things That Matter

‘Planeta G’ Is A YouTube Series Dedicated To Highlighting Latino Environmental Activists

valentinastackl / Instagram

Greenpeace has been fighting to save the planet and the environment since 1971. The Canadian organization has been there to fight for the planet every step of the way and it has fostered new leaders. Planeta G is the latest project out of Greenpeace and it is highlighting Latinos who are in the fight to save the planet and reverse climate change.

Planeta G is here to make sure that Latino environmental activists get the recognition that they deserve.

The bi-weekly web series is centered around exploring the intersectionality between environmental activism and the Latino identity. According to a recent study by Yale, 70 percent of Latinos are concerned about the environment. Latinos are also among the communities more disproportionately impacted by climate change.

According to an interview with Grist, Valentina Stackl and Crystal Mojica started “Planeta G” in order to highlight more Latino voices. Communities of color face several instances of environmental injustice in their communities. This includes lack of access to affordable healthcare, education, and housing.

It is brought to you by two co-hosts: Crystal Mojica.

Mojica is a senior communications specialist for Greenpeace USA and, according to the website, has spent a lot of her career in the environmental space. Mojica, who was raised in Colombia as a child, has volunteered for the Peace Corps and worked to advance reproductive rights for all women.

And Valentina Stackl.

Stackl was born in Europe after her mother, a Jewish-Chilean journalist, fled the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. After moving to the U.S. at 16, Stackl got involved in international environmental justice starting with working with farmworkers.

The co-hosts are also using their platform to remind people to vote and the importance of using their voice.

The next election is drawing near and there are so many reasons for Latinos to vote. They have to make their voices heard and there are several issues that deeply impact the community.

“Latinx people are especially becoming more empowered than ever before to speak out. But we’ve done it before,” Stackl told Grist. “Historically, we think back to Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez and the labor movement. Sometimes we forget that. We care. The experiences of the people that we’ve spoken to on the show reflect that.”

The co-hosts are delivering more than interviews to combat climate change.

It is known that the vegan diet is more sustainable and better for the environment. Being vegan means you are helping to cut down on greenhouse gases from farming. There is also the benefit of not contributing to deforestation for farmland due to the demand of meat in the world.

The vegan versions of Latino foods is still in line with the web series’ mission to challenge dispel myths about Latinos. Planeta G is showing how you can make some delicious versions of Latino food without using all of the animal products. They even promise to fool your mom.

READ: Environmental Advocates Are Offering Tips On How People In Mexico City Can Shop With The New Plastic Bag Ban

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Blames Indigenous Tribes For Amazon Fires

Things That Matter

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Blames Indigenous Tribes For Amazon Fires

jairmessiasbolsonaro / Instagram

President Jair Bolsonaro is blaming the indigenous community for the fires that raged in the Amazon. The fires set off international outrage as the rainforest faced unprecedented destruction by out of control fires. President Bolsonaro went against the rest of the international community during a speech to the U.N.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wants the United Nations to know that indigenous people were responsible for the Amazon fires.

In a remote session opening the U.N. General Assembly, President Bolsonaro spoke at length about the indigenous communities starting the fires. He also used the speech to speak out against the criticism his administration is receiving over his environmental policies and his response to Covid. Brazil is currently the second most infected country in the world with the second highest death rate.

The Amazon has experienced increased fires since President Bolsonaro took office.

For the first seven months of 2020, 13,000 sq. km. (5,019 sq. miles) of the Brazilian rainforest have burned. This year saw the second-highest level of fires on a global scale with fires raging across the Amazon, Australia, and the West Coast of the U.S.

President Bolsonaro openly contradicted expert findings to fit his narrative.

President Bolsonaro claims that the humidity of the forest contains the fires. According to President Bolsonaro’s speech, fires in the Amazon only happen in certain areas because of how well the humidity can keep the fires in check.

“The fires practically occur in the same places, on the east side of the forest, where peasants and Indians burn their fields in already deforested areas,” Bolsonaro said.

President Bolsonaro’s speech touches on the environmental record his administration is known for.

The Bolsonaro administration has made dismantling environmental and indigenous rights since taking power. The administration has worked to limit the amount of land available to indigenous people and to open up Amazonian rainforest to miners, loggers, farmers, developers, and other uses that are damaging and contributing to the fires. Deforestation by these industries are largely to blame for the out-of-control wildfires that burned for a very long time in the Brazilian Amazon.

Activists are getting ready to fight for the indigenous community and the rainforest.

“We must denounce this political catastrophe that destroys the environment and our future,” Sonia Guajajara, head of Brazil’s main Indigenous umbrella organization, to NBC News.

READ: Under Bolsonaro, The Brazilian Amazon Has Reached Record-Breaking Levels Of Deforestation

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