Around the world, people are changing their behaviors in order to help save the planet from destruction. It is no longer just a threat that will occur sometime in the future; climate change is happening now, and it is devastating communities around the world.
In fact, just this month, Western Europe experienced heavy flooding that claimed the lives of hundreds of people. It also destroyed towns in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Politicians everywhere are blaming climate change for natural disasters.
It will not be the last tragedy that Western Europe and the entire world will experience. If what the scientists have predicted were accurate, more climate-related devastations will occur and at a more frequent rate.
The United Kingdom is already experiencing rather unusual weather events. Winters are becoming warmer. Summers are growing even hotter, causing intense and deadly heatwaves as well as wildfires. Moreover, increased rains and floods are becoming more common year by year. That is all because of climate change.
Is Saving the Planet Feminine?
Yet, the responsibility to reduce their environmental impact falls into the hands of women. Everywhere, shoppers are urged to swap their feminine pads with reusable menstrual cups, use skin care products in recyclable glass and aluminum containers, and buy clothing that is either from recycled and natural fabrics or second-hand.
There are also more women than men who have jumped onboard veganism for various reasons, including for the benefit of the environment. In the United States, out of 11,000 people who are vegans, only 24 percent are men.
Advertising for green products does target women. One reason is that women are powerful consumers, but more importantly, to advertisers is the fact that women are still in charge of the household.
It is already problematic because of the persistent belief that women should be caretakers. It makes the job of taking care of the planet a woman’s responsibility. When advertisers target women with eco-friendly products, it communicates the message that caring for the planet is a woman’s concern.
Men already see being eco-friendly as feminine. Research involving over 2,000 American and Chinese participants linked eco-friendliness with femininity. Even women perceive making eco-friendly choices as feminine. In one scenario, participants described people who bring reusable canvas bags to grocery stores as more feminine compared to their counterparts who used plastic.
It is not as if men do not care about the environment. There are also men who want to take steps to lower their carbon footprint. However, there is fear that these actions will be seen as feminine.
Another study conducted in 2016 found that the willingness of a man to engage in green behaviors can be influenced by whether it threatens or affirms their masculinity.
Brands can change the perception that being eco-friendly is feminine by turning their advertising messages to include all genders, especially men. They can seek advice from a sustainability consultancy about how they can make their products more eco-friendly and craft a marketing campaign that is green and appealing to male consumers.
Some eco-friendly brands are already making a conscious decision to use gender-neutral messaging in their marketing campaign. Yet, still, for these brands, women still make up the majority of their consumer base.
What brands can do is to use imagery, words, fonts, and colors that are considered masculine. Previous research conducted by BMW in China found that using an ad that features masculine terms made male consumers more likely to be open to driving a hybrid vehicle.
Caring About the Environment is Attractive
There are more benefits of going green to men, aside, of course, having a liveable planet in the future.
One study released in the past year found that a genuine concern for the well-being of the planet is a desirable trait that many people look for in a potential romantic partner. According to the study, respondents see eco-friendly consumption as a sign of commitment among men.
The study suggests that because being eco-friendly is feminine. Therefore, men who participate in planet-saving activities such as recycling and composting are likely to possess traits that are stereotypically associated with women. They have higher levels of altruism and commitment — both of which are desirable to women because they indicate that the person is better suited to relationships.
The problem of climate change is born out of the actions and decisions of everyone. It is, therefore, everyone’s responsibility to take steps toward stopping and reversing it. Men should participate in the fight against climate change by making more eco-friendly choices, even if it is not always seen as masculine.