my plastic fast

the pacific trash vortex. image u.s. national oceanic and atmospheric administration

lent has a bad name, probably because of its association with the rather silly giving up of good things, like chocolate. but i want to claim the battle between carnival and lent for a kind of environmental ascesis

it’s the thursday after sexagesima. those of you in the know will get that we are in the climax of carnival, with all of the mardi gras excitement but also beginning to think about what to do for lent

peter bruegel the elder, the battle between carnival and lent (detail)
peter bruegel the elder, the battle between carnival and lent (detail)

right–lent. i find it useful to have a period in which one can pare away habits that encumber. sometimes, it’s also good to experiment with a more conscious way of being in the world. lent gives me a frame for cultivation. i think that i’ve found in its asceticism a means of poesis

this year, my battle between carnival and lent can be summed up in just one word:

this year, many events have conspired to place plastic at the center of my thoughts. according to a 2015 study  in science, an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic ends up into the oceans annually. as you know, i love the ocean, which figures in much of my work, not to mention the life of my friends in ‘atolan and cawi’. seeing the filled with microplastics, water bottles, and other plastic trash…kalimlaan

but i have to admit that as long as i buy my tofu in plastic containers, drink take out coffees, and forget to take my water bottle along when i go to yoga, i’m part of the problem

the pacific trash vortex. image u.s. national oceanic and atmospheric administration
the pacific trash vortex. image u.s. national oceanic and atmospheric administration

so i’ve decided that my lenten fast will be a fast from plastic, particularly single use plastic. i welcome you to follow my blog in which i discuss my experience (probably failing now and again) as i try to wean myself away from something we find too convenient

it will take some planning. thus, we begin at sexagesima. my battle between carnival and lent will involve an accounting for where i use single use plastic and preparing to live without it. palemeden kako! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *