A plastic ocean

Where is away?

Where is away?

July 23, 2017
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in Tip
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I’ve written several times before about the podcast of Julia Butterfly Hill interviewed by Chris Martenson on Peak Prosperity. Find it on iTunes or here: http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/85294/julia-butterfly-hill-living-meaning

Here’s another part of that podcast that really hit me hard:
Unfortunately, in privileged societies, we are so disconnected from the impact of our choices. And one of the examples that I started using years ago that thankfully is now finally making it into the cultural conversation is:

When you say you are going to throw something away, where is away?

And the fact that we have that word proves how disconnected we have become because away is a place. And it is here. It might not be right in our backyard, but we all might have different houses; we share one home. There is no such thing as away. Away has people attached to it. It has places attached to it. It has animals attached to it. The fact that we think there is an “away” is a magnifying glass into how little we realize how much of a difference we truly make.

imageHonest to God, I’ve never really thought about it this way. I mean, my lifestyle has a smaller ecological footprint today that it did ten years ago, and I try to minimize it more, but still, I’ve never gone fully into the thought of AWAY not existing, of it being a place. Which of course it is!

Huh. Have to ponder that one even more I feel. And perhaps it’s time for another listen to this podcast, that really made me go Oh, Ah, Uhuh, over and over again. Did it provoke the same responses in you?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts, or posts with other podcast recommendations – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. As I was writing the post A Plastic Ocean I was reminded of Julia Butterfly Hill’s statement in the podcast interview on Peak Prosperity, when she says When you say you are going to throw something away, where is away?, and sure enough, just minutes after me thinking this, that exact point was made in the documentary as well. And it sure is a great point, for when you say you are going to throw something away, where is away?

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A Plastic Ocean

July 22, 2017
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Ziplocked berriesThis past week we’ve been hard at work picking all the berries from the garden. Red and black currants, raspberries and gooseberries. Today we finished off the last of it – with the possible exception of raspberries, we might get another liter or two from the garden with a bit of luck (and sunshine). As I was taking care of all the berries, bagging them and preparing them for the freezer, I watched the documentary A Plastic Ocean.

Far from a feel-good-documentary, but well worth the watch. But honestly, sometimes it get’s too much, hearing about horrendous amounts of harm the human species is capable of. Tonight was one of those nights, making me almost paralyzed with the futility of even making the smallest of efforts.

And yet, as I was bagging my berries in Ziploc plastic bags, I know that these are bags that will be reused, over and over again. Because I do reuse all the plastic bags I use (and they aren’t that many to be honest), after washing them out, having them dry off in the dish rack. I do make that effort, and gladly at that. Living in Malmö in Sweden, I also know that once the Ziploc bags are torn and I will throw them in the trash, they will go to the city incinerator, which generates a lot of heat for heating houses in town. Probably not the best idea anyway, burning plastic is far from ideal, but hopefully it will stay clear of becoming micro plastic in the oceans at least.

If you’ve yet to watch A Plastic Ocean, please do!

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