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?

https://unsplash.com/@zibik
https://unsplash.com/@antoinegiret

Are you ready to CHANGE?

Project Koh Sak Feb ’17 ++

(Photo Credit: Mahidol University International College)

And the journey continues… this past February ’17 I decided to stay the whole weekend on the island of Koh Sak. 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. It’s 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 such 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….

As always upon arrival to the island, we would separate into different groups and collect the waste found on the beach. You have to imagine, that the temperatures would often reach around 35 – 40 degrees, so we always started early and took lots of water breaks. People often think that the collection is easy, but it’s not only the plastic bottles, cleaning products, straws, cotton buds, cups and more we looked for, but also #microplastics. Dr Wayne Phillips (Professor at MUIC), would often return with the microplastics and put them into different sizes and count even those.

It was a tiring process, but much needed. We cannot start working on solutions, if we don’t know what the problem is and where it starts.

Watch the pics and see how the story unfolds…

#education #plastic #waste #rethink #reduce #refuse #noplastic #nowaste #mindful #consumption #experiental #learning #handson