The Revenge of the Recyclables

By Rebecca Kehl – Dec 2015

In this article, a mystery will be revealed before your very eyes… It is the 2-fold challenge of curing modern man’s addiction to plastic. I shall reveal the mystery now, at the beginning, to save you all the suspense. The answer is:

  1. Completely adapting to a life of reuseables (the way it was before the 1950’s), and
  2. Ending the production of plastic altogether at its source (plastics factories).

But don’t go away yet, because I took some very nice photos. Plus, I will give you all sorts of tips and ideas to get revenge on those disposable cups, straws, and packaging, and all the other crap that litter the corners of your house, streets, parks, oceans, bellies of birds and fish…  Let’s take revenge, by never ever touching one again… 😉 the ultimate shunning… an unwanted, unused, unthrownout, uncreated disposable cup. Bwah-hah-hah-haa…

Because, an addition is usually hidden, isn’t it? Or is it that we deny it, and we kind of let it slide until a fair bit of damage has accumulated… Because the truth is whether people are aware or not, they’re still buying disposable and plastic and paper products from factories which is why they can stay in business.

Here’s how life looks prettier, illustrating the 1st cure of the two: Reuseables.

reusable portable cutlery
Portable chopsticks and spoon in cloth pouch -Handmade by a local Taiwanese
The common denominator? You got ​it: cups designed to be used again.

cloths pads2
Eeeewww… Washable pads, so you never have to buy disposable pads or toxic tampons again. (Handmade by a local Taiwanese – see business card in picture)

What I’m noticing is it’s not a question of, “Do you have a reuseable cup (or set of chopsticks, etc)?” It’s more like, “How many reuseable cups in your cupboards do you have, and are you using them?”

There is a link between the healthy lifestyle, and the eco-friendly lifestyle. From a woman’s perspective, when one feels unworthy, she may overcompensate by buying more clothing and consuming more food.  She may strive for high grades, the big career, the next accomplishment. She might hurry up and get married to start a family in a nice house, with a couple cars, become a good cook and hostess, because she thinks it’s expected of her, and is a signifier of happiness and success.
So a woman chasing after the idea that “you can still have it all,” is not a well-rested, grounded, and satisfied lady. Deep down, we don’t really want it all. We all are unique creatures with our own take on the world and reason for living, not the media-contrived American Dream that haunts the trees of fallen forests and all the animals and indigenous therein, so America and China can build their single-family homes…  A person chasing after televised ideals of how life should be lived, will be shopping from a place of needing more to Be more, and perhaps to distract herself from her unfulfilling life…

However, when a woman is confident in her whole self, rooted down into the earth, aware of the environment on many levels, it is she who can consciously make decisions as she dances about her life.  She won’t struggle for things like a big house
in a choice neighbourhood, or lots of clothes and accessories.  She won’t need tons of friends and social activities to continually receive approval and feedback about who she is. In fact, she will be deeply approving of barbieherself.  She won’t need to be popular or beautiful by majority (advertised) standard. And when she enters a relationship, she’ll do it because she wants to, because it feels good and right, and because she’s ready.  When she shops for food she checks where the food is sourced, if the ingredients are real (raw, perhaps organic, unprocessed).  She’ll prefer fair-trade products that have compostable, biodegradable, or minimal p
ackaging. She’s aware of the evils of agro-business for wildlife, indigenous 11-beautiful-women-photographycultures, forests, global temperatures, bees, whole ecosystems, and believe it or not, any. living. creature. on. Earth. She buys from local people and companies, or international businesses that source materials and labor ethically. When she dines, she will take what and as much as her body asks for.
She doesn’t run away from her feelings. And even if her emotions compel her to unhealthy behaviour,  she can see it and knows why, without punishing herself. When she shops for clothing, she’ll have her body’s needs front and center.  She’ll know it’s not the amount of clothes in the closet, but she makes sure the ones she has are useful, comfy, and are true to her unique and beautiful feminine self.

Some questions to guide you if your intuition isn’t strong yet:

–  Do you really need it, or truly want it? Or are you buying it because it’s cheap, or you think it’ll impress others? (clothing)
–  Is for good for your body? (A good resource is The Blood Type Diet)
–  Does it have excessive, plastic packaging? (food)
–  When considering the ecological footprint of the manufacturing company, from the production to consumption, are you being a responsible earthling? (Ex. local or regional, supports small businesses and farmers, pesticide-free, herbicide-free, additive-free, fair-trade, etc…)

Different Bags for Different Gags  –  Easy-peasy Disposey  –  Guilt-free Trashy Experience

Here are some lovely alternatives to their plastic counterparts:

Bag Collage
Paper bag, bottom right – Large retail companies can employ people to take used magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, and sew them together on 3 sides. Use a brand name sticker to seal it.

We have arrived at the 2nd part of the solution, which is to stop the production of plastic altogether… 🙂 Let’s take a look at a 2009 TEDTalk called Seas of Plastic, from someone who really knows his stuff: Oceanographer, Captain Charles Moore.

Talking about politics and leadership is a hefty topic, but I’ll try to slice through it with some questions and statements.

The role of presidents, mayors, policemen, and government office holders is civil servant. That’s, people chosen by us to do our bidding, with our money. 🙂 Voice your desires.

If you were president or mayor, what would you do?  Like, after you got elected. 😉

In Taipei we’re so accustomed to dirty air, murky rivers, that it would be unthinkable to actually shut down factories and polluters upstream.  誰的阿媽阿公看过了淡水河乾淨的?When the the last time someone saw the Danshui River clean?  When was the last time you would dare take a dip (or a sip??) in a river near any city?

Can factory owners be persuaded?  One thing I’ve heard from some locals about factories in Taiwan is when laws got stricter around pollution these Taiwanese companies moved to China where the environmental laws are more lax. And they just keep polluting there. Something tells me there should be some sort of international law against pollution. Instead of going in search of oil, let’s go find the polluters. 😉

I think everyone can go back to pre-1955 and figure out how to live without single-use plastic and paper products, except for toilet paper.

While a lot of the problem is the sickness of the system as it stands, half of the problem lays in the hands of the consumer. Will you stop buying plastic products and products that are heavily packaged? Will you start to use earth products, reuseables, and products that are compostable and biodegradable?

What people are doing with trash:

Local friends taking a shot with me to advertise and popularize to-stay cups for to-stayers at Unico Fa Coffee, in Taipei.
Local friends taking a shot with me to advertise and popularize to-stay cups for to-stayers at Unico Fa Coffee, in Taipei.

Rebecca Kehl

Canadian woman having spent a fair chunk of her young adult life in Formosa! The name of her game: healthy living, animals and trees, and finding ways to de-plasticize our daily lives, chemical-free! Dancer, wellness enthusiast, cappu-lover, true friend, human, woman, soul, stardust... ;)

One thought on “The Revenge of the Recyclables

  • December 25, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Very useful comments. Of course this article suggests taking decisive action in our lives: we need to re-direct our intentions to start to conserve things, re-use things and recycle other things so that we help not only our own lifestyle shift toward conservation and planet protection, but to influence our families and community toward the same sustainable goals. Hence that at first we must persevere, but in time such things will become second nature. Cool stuff!


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