I was frantically scouring the shelves at The Crazy Store in Mowana Park when I bumped into my daughter’s P.E. teacher, Midge, looking similarly harassed. She and a friend were looking for creative ways to label bottles of wine for a 50th birthday party. ‘Large lettering,’ I suggested, tapping my reading glasses. They laughed and…
6 Eco-Tips for Gaborone.
Who am I to tell YOU how to be more eco-friendly?
I’m just an ordinary person who had a weird moment with cling film.
The memory is hazy, but Donald Trump had just come into power and I was thinking that’s terrible for environmental issues, when self-judgement kicked in.
‘Everyone wants to change the world, but nobody wants to change them-self.’ Leo Tolstoy
Right now (or back then, if that’s not too confusing) I was covering a bowl with cling-film, enjoying that stretchy clinginess as it enveloped the bowl. The box said recyclable so it was fine, right? I took a closer look and felt queasy to discover that ONLY the box was recyclable, NOT the cling film – (and there was me being all judgy!)
It would never bio-degrade. It would stay like that forever, and I had naively assumed that the world as a whole was more eco-wise than that.
Things are meant to return to the earth – Poelo-Lefatshe (in Setswana) so how had we got to this?
Like so many of you, I started to see plastic everywhere – yogurt cartons, milk containers, fabric softener bottles, you name it! I was quickly engulfed by a ‘dark night of the soul’ but when I finally popped back into the light I had changed.
So things weren’t perfect, but blaming and self punishment didn’t solve anything. And all the bad news did help either, it just drained me of energy and prevented me from doing anything at all.
Which is why I started to focus on all the good stuff.
Even plastic is good in many cases (although we are learning the hard way that we need to use it more wisely.) Think about the pipes that bring safe water into our homes every-day? Such an upgrade from lead, which poisoned so many, back in the history of England.
I realised I was more useful to myself and others when applying optimism, rather than pessimism, which is why I dropped the shame at how little I knew, and started asking questions.
I picked up an awful lot of tips that way, some of which worked, some of which didn’t, but over-all I made progress and Family Gems Botswana asked me to write a post for you, so after all that pesky navel-gazing:
‘When you change yourself; the world changes too.’ Anon.