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Meet The Muse: Earth

Going outdoors is a source of healing that brings us back to ourselves—and connects us, quite literally, to something that’s bigger than us. Spending time in nature and building a relationship with the Earth can result in plenty of introspection, as well as lowered stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. At the root, the Earth sustains us, heals us, and offers nourishment.

As nature lover, friend of YTTP, and founder of Hike Clerb, Evelynn Escobar-Thomas, says, going out into nature made her look into herself.

“Going out there made me look inside. It made me fully realize the bigger picture,” she writes for To The People. “That we are but one small piece of a larger web. That we are all tightly connected to our communities, ancestors, future generations, to the land itself, and even the plants and animals that inhabit them.”

HOLISTIC, INTERSECTIONAL ENVIRONMENTALISM

As Indigenous poet Kinsale Hueston writes for To The People, Indigenous voices are key to holistic, intersectional environmentalism—and they should be centered, uplifted, and valued in conversations about climate change, conservation, and caring for the Earth. According to National Geographic, Indigenous people make up less than 5% of the human population, yet they protect approximately 80% of the world’s biodiversity.

“Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions, and 100% of the time the devastation is occurring on someone’s ancestral lands,” Hueston writes. “Around the world, Native folks have been working for centuries to take care of their land holistically, without a focus on extractive or ownership-based relationships. Despite ongoing colonialism and violent sidelining by non-Native entities, they continue to practice traditional caretaking, and teach future generations about how to care for the land.”

White supremacy, imperialism, and colonialism have destroyed Native lands—and the destruction of the environment has not spared the people who live on the land. According to climate scientist Ting Lee—who recently taught the YTTP team about climate justice and climate strategy—between the effects of environmental and medical racism, people of color have higher rates of lung cancer and asthma, have a higher likelihood of experiencing heart disease, and are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than their white counterparts.

“Climate justice is really so closely tied to social justice,” says Joe Cloyes, co-founder of Youth To The People. “For us, we wanted to know, what can we do now that we’re big enough—not big, but big enough—to effect change throughout the life of our products, from ideation all the way through manufacturing,” and what happens at the end of the product’s life cycle.

DO BETTER THAN YESTERDAY, DO BETTER FOR TOMORROW

Part of doing better for tomorrow is acknowledging how our actions impact our industry and the Earth. We have one world to protect and each day is a fresh opportunity to make the best, most sustainable choices for ourselves, our communities, and our world. 

“When we started Youth To The People, we wanted to be as sustainable as possible—there was no reason not to be,” says Cloyes. “Starting from scratch, why not do it the best way we can and continue to learn?”

Much of that sustainability comes from how materials are procured. From ingredients to packaging, the goal is to use materials that are easily manufactured with minimal environmental impacts. 

“How far is it from our packaging to our labs to our warehouse to the customer—and how can we reduce all of that sort of shipping to reduce the carbon footprint that we make?” Cloyes asks. “There’s sourcing of ingredients, packaging, and partners—the people we work with. We also source them to ensure the sustainability factor.”

As a result, YTTP’s formulations are consciously created in California with respect for the planet—they’re vegan, cruelty-free, and biodegradable, so you can rinse them off your face without worrying about harming the Earth’s lakes, rivers, and oceans. And to help reduce the amount of plastic waste created by the beauty industry, we always house our PRO-GRADE VEGAN™ formulas in glass bottles and jars, and we use post-consumer materials whenever possible. It starts with us.

“Like my mother and those before her taught me,” Hueston writes, “the land is a living, beautiful relative, and we understand that the way we treat the land is a direct reflection of how we treat our bodies, non-human relatives, and our communities.”