1. All my life I can remember hearing, “Just throw it away”. It was relatively recent that I realised that there is no away. The best waste is the waste that doesn’t exist.
2. My drawers are filled with electronic junk: earphones, pads, shuffles, and old phones, wires galore, … I guess I am waiting to come up with an idea to reuse them. That’s dumb! It costs more to repair than to throw the junk away.
3. Junk is “déchet” in French. “Déchet” is “waste” in English. I wonder how waste evolved into expressions like “Youth is wasted on the young”?
4. Junk mail is criminal waste. Last week, I received a thick envelope addressed with my name on it! Inside I discovered three pages of junk information and a junk plastic junk credit card to buy more junk. I wanted to send it back, but to whom? “Who is responsible?” The average American household receives 848 pieces of junk mail, which equals 1.5 trees every year and more than 100 million trees for all U.S. households combined. 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened. I came across a sign I am thinking of putting next to my mailbox:
5. At the fish shop: (Me) “I would like to buy an environmentally friendly fish”. (The guy) “Try our wild cod, it just came in today”. (Me) Is it environmentally friendly? I mean is the cod a sustainable catch?” (The guy) “What? “ Now I was starting to think I needed more specific vocabulary! (Me) Do you have any fish with labels?” He asks a colleague “What’s the name of the fish we had that was labeled for protected species? It’s slipped my tongue.” (Me) Don't worry, Ill take a half a pound of cod thank you! In the fishing industry waste is called BYCATCH meaning, the CATCHING OF NON-TARGETTED FISH AND OCEAN WILDLIFE. Global bycatch may amount to 40 percent of the world's catch, totalling 63 billion pounds per year.
6. PagaBags participated during the last week of May in several events around the Fashion Revolution Week. The point of the FRW is to raise awareness on waste, unethical practices in the industry, related pollutions and over consumption and also waste. Before the Fashion Revolution Week I decided to stroll in Lyon and ask people haphazardly “What is ethical fashion?” Though Fair Trade has made a name, apparently ethical fashion has not yet become a reference for the majority of shoppers young and old. Here is a link to the short video I made (in French, bien sur!) Click on the image !
7. The BBC news published (in July 2018) an article describing what the writer called ‘The Inside the fight to end the silence on waste’: "At a time when our waste and our environmental impact is firmly under the spotlight, news in early July that fashion brand Burberry had burned almost £30m ($40m) of stock has caused outrage. The company admitted destroying the unsold clothes, accessories and perfume instead of selling it off cheaply, in order to protect the brand's exclusivity and value. It added that it had captured the energy from the burning to try and make the process more environmentally friendly. But how widespread is stock destruction at this level? The BBC contacted 35 high-end designers and high-street retailers to ask about their practice. Only six replied with breakdowns or further information, and the rest said they could not help or did not respond at all.”
8. I know of a special fashion designer who cares about waste: Eileen Fisher. She is a pioneer in waste reduction. Her clothes are made to last. Their design is timeless. And her Renew Program takes back the clothes you no longer wear to be resold.
9. The women waste collectors in Karpala with whom PagaBags collaborated until 2018 (before we abandoned recycling plastic bags) have undertaken to recycle paper into reusable energy cubes. Tedious, poorly paid, but they live a life where survival is an everyday concern. I don’t know if their efforts will pay off. I don’t know how they plan to sell their energy cubes nor to whom. I do know that the time it takes to make an energy cube is long and exhausting work.
I am planning to help put together a project so that that may renew their collaboration with PagaBags like the women waste collectors located in Bogodogo who make our Smile Bracelets. The idea is to create hotplate holders using recycled beer capsules and upcycled wax. I think there is a place with our home items for this! I’ll post on this new project once I get it off the ground. The launching is planned for June.
10. “I wish”, is that followed by a past tense or subjunctive? For example, I wish there was more awareness about over consumption, plastic bags, waste, ethical fashion and polar bears or I wish there were more awareness about over consumption, plastic bags, waste, ethical fashion and polar bears?
11. “Time enjoyed is not time wasted.”