Ethical consumerism has steadily increased in popularity since pioneering ventures like The Body Shop made going green cool in the 1980s.

And combined with a push to transition from fossil fuel consumption, an increase in organic farming and the rise of veganism, it’s promoted as an alternative economy — despite growing within the constraints of the capitalist system.

However, ecosocialism envisages a radical Marxist model where the the ecological movement is aligned with the fulfilment of citizens’ social needs, with profit removed as a driver.

From choosing an organic skincare product to investing in home solar power, every transaction within this system would be geared towards the common good — from eliminating food poverty to returning the means of production to the masses.

Here are a few examples of how ecosocialism might save the planet.

Food

The United States is the world’s richest nation — but in 2014, the US Department of Agriculture recognised that 49 million Americans were ‘food insecure’.

This means some senior citizens choose between food and medicine or heating, and conditions like obesity and heart disease are rife because of a lack of accessibility to affordable healthy food and a preponderance of low-quality processed alternatives.

Foods produced with chemicals and pesticides dominate as they garner a greater yield than organic versions and there’s a lack of government support for the sustainable energy sector.

Meanwhile, surpluses of food are warehoused or destroyed, while 870 million people globally are malnourished because they can’t afford food, rather than a lack of availability.

If the US took the lead in producing food more ethically, and other developed nations followed suit, it might be easier to address this inequity.

In Cuba for example, sanctions and the collapse of the Soviet Union meant farmers were forced to switch from using pesticides to an organic, localised model — production increased while the previous model brought the nation to the verge of famine.

Fuel

Energy politics is the other main battleground where ecosocialism could radically transform the way the world works.

In this arena, activists are dedicated to to decarbonising energy sources while democratising production and decommodifying supplies.

Maintaining the power supply to your home is based on the ability to pay bills — and stagnating wages, insecure employment and inflation mean that the working poor and the unemployed live in constant fear of having their supplies cut-off.

But in Providence, Rhode Island, the Democratic Socialists of America are campaigning for the National Grid to be nationalised, so energy rate rises are capped and power is provided more humanely.

The organisation has lobbied local authorities to write off a portion of unpaid bills and advocates proportional payment rates based on household income.

With government bureaucrats and private interests stacked against them, Ecosocialists have a fight on their hands.

But the geopolitical revolution that’s required to save the planet is probably impossible to achieve in a system driven by profit rather than the wellbeing of people and planet.

Are you involved in ecosocialism? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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