Do you ever get totally overwhelmed by all the beautiful content on the Internet these days? Scrolling through my Instagram feed is like riding a roller coaster of emotions: first, it’s inspiring, then it gets frustrating, and sometimes I have to turn off the damn phone and walk away because I have flung myself into a sea of misery and feel like I can’t even begin to compete with all the beautiful madness. I give up.
But then, I make a smoothie, pour it into a jar, and realize…it doesn’t have to be perfect. None of this has to be perfect, it just has to come to fruition (haha, fruit…smoothies…it’s funny, right?) and BE a thing. Our smoothies don’t have to have perfectly placed chia seeds and banana slices on top, and they don’t need to be in a vintage Mason jar. Nope. Today it’s a repurposed mayonnaise jar and tomorrow it’ll be an old salsa jar and whatever the type of jar, it’ll be beautiful, and more importantly…it’ll be damned tasty.
After all, the point is not to gain 100K likes on this photo. That’s never the point! The goal is to demonstrate that food can be delicious, sustainable, and easy. Make a smoothie! Grab a jar! Enjoy it!
My favorite yoga studio has a phrase on the wall at the front desk that simply says, “Begin Anywhere” and I always come back to that concept when social media gets overwhelming. By doing the thing (like making a smoothie and putting it in a mayo jar), we are taking control of the situation, and creating something amazing. That is totally satisfying (and sustainable). 👊🏼
The act of returning metal and glass for money is amazing (almost like magic), but it’s made all the more powerful when that handful of change is put right back into the local economy. In doing this, I’ve supported area farmers, while also feeding myself and my family. And, as a bonus, I’ve also invested in our future health by purchasing a few seedlings for the garden. All with money collected from metal and glass. 👊🏼
It’s a bit funny that as I try to eliminate single-use plastics from my life, I hoard 2 bins full of bottle caps, cigarette lighters, and toothbrushes. Why do I do that?
Easy: it’s a constant reminder to myself that not only did I actually go to Midway Atoll (sometimes I think it was a dream) but that our trash DOES have an impact on living things, somewhere in the world.
This year marks 4 years since my Midway journey began and in a way, it hasn’t ever ended. The physical presence of the albatross is long gone and I’m no longer within walking distance of the nearest tern chick, but the memories linger and the plastic is obviously not going away any time soon. Every time I look at that bin, I am instantly transported back to that atoll and then start thinking about how in the hell all that crap ended up here. Then, Take those bottle caps in the bin, for instance…
Sometimes I forget that the whole concept of recycling is a bit of a leap of faith. We trust that what we throw into the bin will be processed in some way, turned into some new plastic item but it’s made out of recycled plastic and we did our due diligence so check, check. Out of sight, out of mind. BUT! (There’s so many buts [har har har])!
The bottle you recycle MAY be melted down and turned into something and the bottle cap that was attached MAY get caught by the recycling center and sorted with the other #5 plastics, but it’s not necessarily a guarantee. See exhibit A and B, above. That stuff is sneaky and it gets out. So it’s not too much of a stretch to conclude that the only way to be sure that your consumption is really having minimal impact on the planet is to tread lightly in the first place. Skip the plastic bottle, people.
Tomorrow is World Oceans Day, a day to celebrate the salty seas that provide us with so many benefits. For me, that benefit is being able to witness abundant life thriving in, on, and around a water world. I want to protect and sustain it that so others can witness the same thing.
On World Oceans Day,and tomorrow and the next day, I’ll be thinking about Midway and the albatross (who doesn’t get a vote in any of this) and the easy things I can do to help make their lives easier: drinking my morning smoothie out of a jar with a reusable lid, not a plastic bottle with a colorful cap; sipping water through a badass glass straw, not a flimsy plastic one.
But beyond that, the biggest act we can take to do something, beyond the products and the refusing? We can talk, discuss, and argue with each other about this issue. Look how much attention the world of politics is getting right now, all because people are yapping. The more we bring this plastic crap up, the more we look into that bin of plastic, and the more momentum we build.
At the end of the day (regardless of what celebratory “day” it is), it’s our combined efforts and chatter that will magnify this dilemma and make the biggest difference in helping eradicate it. So I’ll keep the bins of plastic and they will keep reminding me to keep building that momentum toward cleaner seas. Here’s to getting inspired by plastic!
For more about my Midway journey including photos that may inspire you to purge the plastic out of your life, check out my guest post over at Plastic-Free Tuesday! And stay tuned as I continue to wax poetic about the Midway Months on here over the course of this summer. 😊
Well, it’s official. I’ve officially gone over a year without posting a single new thing here. Not that nothing has happened in the last year, I simply have not prioritized this space. That can only mean one thing: it’s time for a blog face lift! I want to be inspired by 7 In the Ocean and excited to write about all the things currently hung up in my queue of draft posts, SO here we go…revamp time!
First up: this awful layout – it will be parting ways with 7 In the Ocean and I’m not sorry about it. Stay tuned for some updated content!
Remember back in, oh…MARCH (almost a full year ago now, oy!), when I talked about impermanence and presence and how I wasn’t blogging very much? After that post, I wrote a few short tidbits and since then (October 2014) it’s been radio silence for four whole months. Sigh. Staying present and experiencing life gets in the way of blogging sometimes, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. However, I started this blog for a reason, darn it, and want to keep it going! Why, oh why, would I want to do that when I can’t even manage to post once a month? Well, it’s simple: my reasons have changed. They involve food. 😉
Background: in addition to being the face behind 7 In the Ocean, I also “manage” a Tumblr known to a small handful of individuals as “Food, Instagrammed;” maybe you’ve heard of it? It started way back in 2012, when Instagram was still new and I was trying my hand at being vegan. Being vegan turned out to be super fun and it was even MORE fun to take pictures of all the new food I was making. After filling my Instagram feed with food porn, I started the blog. I’m not vegan anymore but still have this love and adoration for eating things and feeding my friends good stuff. So…how is this connected with my plastic-free mission?
It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve really put some thought into the food we eat and yes…the inordinate amount of plastic waste we also consume. It’s insane how much of plastic waste is somehow food-related. Bottle caps, cling film, bags, styrofoam trays, bottles, containers…ugh. Given this absurdity, it only made sense to start involving myself in the world of food: to better understand the beast we’re dealing with as a society and to answer questions like, “Is it possible to prepare food for lots of people in a totally plastic-free environment?” (hint: not really, but I’m still learning) and “How do we subtly shift people’s perceptions about plastic pollution? Can we do that through food?”
By this I mean…if we make good, simple food, with minimal ingredients, minimal processing, and (surprise!) minimal packaging, we’ve accomplished two things simultaneously! We automatically eat healthier AND we create a cleaner planet with less food and packaging waste. Win, win, WIN.
I decided last fall to go back to school and learn more about food: butchery, food production on a commercial scale, nutrition, and the business of making food. Expect to see more food-oriented posts on this space, as well as the usual rantings against the world’s favorite packaging substance. Cheers!