The “Angry Anti-Fascist Asian American Feminist” is how I’d normally introduce myself…
But hi! My name is Crystal Lau and I live what I call a “high-low impact” life.
That means I try to live a life in which I can have the highest impact on the fights for social and environmental justice while having the lowest impact on the environment.
I grew up as a child of immigrants in a Chinese-Japanese household in New York City. After years of enduring acts of racism, I realized my silence made me complicit in the perpetuation of racism. As part of my fight against that, I now actively work to promote the cultures of POC and help other POC find their voice.
The catalyst for this blog however, was the environmental impact of our daily lives. In late 2017, I was in Japan and had purchased many souvenirs. At the end of the trip, I laid out all the things I bought. Upon looking at everything around me, I had a panic attack—I had a sudden realization about how much plastic I was using. For some, it may seem like no big deal, but those who suffer from panic attacks know how terrifying it is. After recovering from the episode, I vowed to stop using disposable plastic.
After returning to New York, I researched zero waste lifestyles and followed many blogs. All the blogs I read were so nice and idealistic but felt slightly off for me. And then I realized that all but one of the blogs I followed were written by upper middle class white women. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but I am neither upper middle class nor a white woman. It finally clicked that these blogs felt off to me because I wasn’t their target audience. Though perhaps not done intentionally, many posts were nonetheless geared towards other upper middle class white women. I am not the person they are encouraging to buy $500+ “ethical” shoes made in a third-world country by women who make a small fraction of that amount.
So here I am, sharing my environmental journey as a broke POC. Follow along if you are a fellow POC in search of someone to identify with, or if you are not a POC but want to be an ally. Welcome!