My 7R’s (Rethink, reduce, refuse, reuse, repair, recycle and rot)

Infinite Growth Economy in a finite planet and why we cannot continue like this: Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.6 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste. Moderate scenarios suggest that if current population and consumption trends continue, by 2030, we will need the equivalent of two earths to support us. Turning resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources puts us in global ecological overshoot, depleting the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend.

Knowing this might be quite overwhelming for many of us and often it requires a bit of an effort to get us to step out of our comfort zones. Especially now with the Covid 19 Pandemia keeping us at home and helping us to wake, seeing that life and the planet cannot continue as before.

Are you ready to CHANGE?

When I started my #zerowaste journey over 5 years ago, I was inspired by Bea Johnson who managed to fit her waste of a family of 4 plus a dog into a jar. I read her book the Zero Waste Home and started applying and adapting her 6R’s into my life. Well, ever since this Logo was created by my incredible students, it has changed quite a bit.

The majority of readers know the 3R’s, which are #reduce, #reuse, and #recycle. Well, with the current recycling rates around 9 – 20% I don’t think we are doing a great job. Also, this year I learned that a lot of the well-known Recycling countries have been successfully shipping off their recycling to developing countries, who already struggle to take care of their own waste. So, as you can see we all need to make some serious changes. Feel free to amend these options to your own lifestyle, create a community of sharing and caring around you….. let’s not do this alone!

  • Rethink your lifestyle! Look at what you already have, whether its in your kitchen cupboards, your closets, hidden somewhere in a storage area. Having access to online shops as well as the continued flow of social media on beautiful products, you need to start to analyse how much you actually need.
  • Rot/ Compost your organic waste! There are lots of myths around composting in an urban environment, but sometimes its overcoming a personal comfort zone and welcoming these changes into your life. Working on a Youtube Video, which might help you get started today?
  • Refuse what you don’t need: “Just say no to single use plastics!” (#Plastic bags, #plasticstraws, Styrofoam containers and  cups) – Especially during the Covid 19 Pandemia, the single use waste is increasing tremendously, because producers claim that plastic is the go-to hygienic material. It’s not easy, but let’s work on it together.

– Free Gifts (Yes, we all love them, but do we actually use them or do they pile at home, getting dusty and then later end up in a landfill damaging the environment? )

  • Reduce what you don’t need

– minimalism lifestyle, downsizing, sharing what you no longer need with your family, friends or local community. So far, I have found Online Facebook Groups, where I was able to either giveaway, sell or buy second hand items while selling/ giving away what I no longer needed)

  • Reuse what you already have (find different uses)

– shop with reusable items, second hand markets (online/ offline), clothing swaps,

  • Repair what is broken and avoid buying new

– clothing, shoes, computer, etc.  (While living in Bangkok and now in Barcelona, I have found local shops to repair my shoes, mend some clothing and even get to repair my phone/ computer.)

  • Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, reuse, or reuse (try to aim to recycle less)

Ask yourself, where does all your stuff end up? Can it be useful for someone else? Can it be upcycled? Reused? Repaired?

Are you ready to CHANGE?

Living mindfully #1

I was born and raised in East Germany until I was about 14/15 years old. I moved to the US in 1995, a few years after the Berlin Wall had come down. Since then I have been living in 5 different countries and visited more than 30 others in the process. I started the #zerowaste movement in Bangkok about 4-5 years ago after seeing the devastation at the beaches. Since November 2019, I am living in Barcelona facing other struggles to live a zero waste lifestyle.  

Here are some tips: 

Face Cleansing – The majority of Face cleansers contain lots of bad chemicals and in the end do more harm than good. When a friend had mentioned about the Oil cleansing method ( I was a bit reluctant of the fact, that I had oily skin and couldn’t image washing it with Oil in order to improve the condition, but I thought what did I have to loose actually. 

My personal mix:

7 tbsp – Olive Oil 

3 tbsp – Castor Oil

More details on this video:

Oil Cleansing Method

Sometimes I add Vitamin E or Rosehip Oil for additional benefits, but it all depends whether I have it at home or not. I started using the Oil Cleansing method September 2015 and wouldn’t dream of ever using anything else again. I have never really had issues with my skin expect for the oiliness throughout the entire day. But that’s all gone, which is fantastic!

I use two fingertips in the morning rubbing it in evenly, then washing it off with a hot wash cloth – it’s amazing, my pores have become much smaller and I am oil free for the whole day. In the evening, I sometimes use my homemade apple cider vinegar to cleanse my face. I don’t use any additional moisturiser since I started using this method. 

Project Koh Sak Feb ’17 ++

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And the journey continues… this past February ’17 I decided to stay the whole weekend. Just reaching the pier the first day already put me into shock… a constant flow of incoming tourist buses unloading thousands and thousands of Chinese tourists. Its not only about the size of the groups I was concerned about, but also about the infrastructure of the pier and everything else. Transporting such large groups at a fast pace has certain downsides…. Reaching the island this time was yet another shock to the system, even though at this stage I should be used to it already. The teams separated into two groups and did remarkable research work during the morning hours…. Watch the pics and see how the story unfolds…

Endlich mal was vernuenftiges im Fernsehen…; German T.V. highlights problems with plastic packaging.

Sometimes I just want to pack my suitcase and move to a country, where awareness is a few steps ahead of Bangkok. Its not easy to live in a city, where plastic awareness and education are still at stone age level… sometimes frustrating, but focusing on the positive things which have come out in the process.

Plastic Free July: how to stop being so ignorant about your plastic consumption.

Hoping that more people in Bangkok will join the plastic free movement, as we are drowning in plastic waste all over the country.

The Zero Journey

Plastic Free July posts are popping up all over the place, which makes me so happy!  Recently, a friend and fellow blogger notified me she had signed up for the challenge to see how well she could do; I was thrilled for her, as she has been very involved with mindfulness, as well as practicing kind habits for the environment.

Plastic Free July is an awesome incentive to get people thinking about the amount of plastic waste they produce, and start thinking about ways they can reduce this harmful product.  However, it still upsets me greatly that a lot of people, quite frankly, do not give a shit.  They would rather continue to live in ignorance and not accept their environmental responsibility.  This is shocking to me because they do not understand how easy it really is; how one little change can have such a positive impact on the planet…

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