Written by Maja Milanovic
“I … I wear a plastic suit,
plastic is my food,
maybe I am also made of plastic.”
This is a literal translation of a punk rock song written by Idoli in 1981, which towards the end of the decade became a hymn for my generation’s rite of passage. As we sang the chorus that consisted of one word “plastika!” over and over again, “plastika, plastika, plastika, plastika,” our bodies banged into each other as we formed small mosh pits between the furniture in our family apartments. We felt the angst, we were idealistic, we were about to change the world. Our parents had unbelievable trust in us, the world at the end of the 80’s seemed safe, freedom was abound and there was no room for anything else in our future but to thrive.
What we couldn’t phantom in those early teen years is that the country outside of our apartments would cease to exist in a few years, and that decades later this “super material” would start wrapping Mother Earth at an unprecedented speed.
Today, the news about the state of Earth continues to make us confused. We question what really is true, which often leaves us meandering instead of making that extra step towards leaving a positive imprint on our planet. I am as guilty as the next person as human habits are not easy to change.
When a friend sent me a book on zero waste last year to inspire me, I went to my local stores and realized immediately that the store shelves are not organized for this life style. I heard that there is one store in town that sold food in bulk, however, that meant that I had to go further and with my own glass jars to shop. The enthusiasm was there but my home never became zero waste. Instead, I was overwhelmed.
I thought to myself, “it has to be easier than that” because we can all agree that none of us feel good when we hear that another whale washed up on shore with a stomach full of human plastic waste. Plastic even harms the smallest creatures like oysters, causing them to make fewer eggs. While writing this blog post, I learnt that there are 500 times more micro plastics in the ocean than stars in the sky. Suffocating, no?
As micro-plastics enter every nook and cranny of our environment, sadly they also find ways to make it into our bodies. For instance, many tea bags including the fancy silky ones that give me so much comfort and a sense of luxury contain nano plastics. Even though it is not proven so far that these miniature plastic bits are bad for humans, shouldn’t we stand in solidarity with our non human neighbours? They keep our oceans healthy and clean, and in return the oceans create half of the world’s oxygen that we breathe. Mutual reciprocity seems pretty urgent, don’t you think?
Everyday, when we wake up, we have to make individual choices. Today, as I brew my favorite Lemon Balm with Rose Buds tea, I make a pledge that I will only buy loose teas from now on. Min Systers Tehus’ loose teas stored in beautiful metal tin boxes are a wonderful and easy way to exchange your tea bags for a healthier option without losing the expected taste or pleasure. You can also use the leaves to brew a few times before they go to waste.
And maybe next month, I will decide to never buy fruits and vegetables in plastic packages. One small step at a time … gradually the market will see that plastika, plastika, plastika is not a trend in demand anymore, and they will adjust to their customer’s needs. Let’s feel the angst agains, become once more idealistic, we still have a shot to change the world. And why not throw a party while we are at it?
But first let us know – what small step will you make today?
Maja’s Tea Recommendations:
For an easy first step
Maja’s Suggestions for a little bit of inspiration
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, a book by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Maja Milanovic has an international experience in film, theatre and TV as a writer and director as well as writing and proofreading blogs and online content. A truth seeker, she bridges worlds together to remind her readers that we all belong. In her free time you can find her cheering her son’s soccer team, drinking green tea, reading, and hanging upside down in her AG Yoga Hammock. You can follow her on Instagram milamaja12 or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org