There is so much plastic in our oceans our sea life is dying. Not just dying, but being tortured in the process. The idea of this hurts my heart.
I recycle my plastic bags, drove my last car for 13 years being the second person to own it. I don’t buy process and packaged food as much as possible. I cook from raw materials at home and don’t support restaurants, (I know, blasphemy in our fast-food culture). I don’t believe that I need to have that new thing every day. I want to believe because I don’t buy water in plastic bottles that I’m not contributing to the catastrophe of our wildlife. It is not true, but I want to believe I am a terrible consumer.
I live on this plant and I create trash. I eat less than I did 5 years ago and therefore create less waste. I wear my clothes until they are thread-bear and recycle them. I drive as little as possible and I use palm oil. Geez, this topic is complex. I am a walking contradiction.
I strive to lessen my impact on this planet. There are many companies that do NOTHING but what they are mandated by law. I see this as a dishonorable attitude. I see the law as the lowest common denominator of accountability. Most of us would never think of taking something that wasn’t ours, breaking into a home or worse. The law is for everyone. Honorable and dishonorable. The question I ask myself is, “how can I be exceptional?” How can I go above and beyond with self-accountability?
There are nights I have such remorse for what humanity has done to this planet I feel an endless well of despair. Some experts say our seas are beyond repair. Some humans are so inconceivable cruel I cannot begin to understand their motives.
I take this idea into everything I do. How can we be self-accountable, without laws telling us how to behave, with my interactions and my soap making?
Lately I have read a few things about soap making that bothering me. Glitter.
Yup, there is much talk about banning Mylar glitter. Because it can get to the water sources. So can a plastic bag.
I don’t have an answer. The older I get, the fewer answers I have. So many things are mucked up. People with extreme wealth, while others struggle for clean water. There is an idea that all things should be equal. They aren’t, not with humans and not in nature. There is an idea that we are all capable of everything. It’s not true. I’m clearly not capable of being a brain surgeon. (I am over simplifying for brevity sake – a huge topic.)
I know this doesn’t sort it all out and might even muddy the waters…
We can move toward bio-degradable glitter before legislation does. This is the direction I’m moving with my soap art. Because I have begun to lose interest in glitter, I have focused on micas. Painting with micas, dusting with micas and coloring soap with mica. Curious how one door can shut and something else will appear.
My good friend, someone who has been with me for so many years I’ve lost count, presented a philosophical idea to me – do what makes your life bearable. We’re all trying to survive. This statement is true for every living creature and rife with equanimity.
My friend drinks whisky, on occasion. She is fully aware of what alcohol can do to the body taken in large doses. Managed pleasure. I, also, drink a beer or red wine. I don’t do this every day, but on occasion I allow myself a treat. A glass of alcohol with a friend can bring a sparkle to conversation. A version of glitter.
Glitter is a treat. If our waterways were perfect, not one plastic bag was floating around, unrestrained, would glitter on our soap be an issue? Is it the type of glitter? If we come up with a better glitter, can we still have this pleasure?
Are we going to remove all forms of pleasure from our world? How do we balance this idea, some things (by-products from art/industry/existence) are hazardous to us and our environments. We must be specific in our care for ourselves and our planet - weigh the results of our efforts and strive to do better in every area.
I am suggesting considered and conscious thought about our actions, the results of those actions on ourselves, our immediate environments and life as a whole. Taking such full responsibility, nothing is shrugged off. I’m unclear of the impact of glitter on our world and creatures. I’m unclear if it is repairable. I do know glitter delights me. I would happily trade all my plastic bags for the ability to use bio-degradable glitter. I also know the idea of a tortured creature is not worth any pleasure I might derive from glitter.
How much glitter can be made from one styrofoam egg carton? Is the real issue about glitter, that we cannot recycle it; that our sea life chooses glitter over food? Or that glitter contaminates our food sources? How about the fact that we are over fishing our seas?
Let's not mention Fukushima because that, on balance, tips the glitter scales.
I know glitter isn’t made from styrofoam, but let’s ask about the lesser of two evils, not throw the baby out with the bath water. In my heart of hearts, I see glitter going the way of mercury or better yet, Apple’s behavior?
The ancient Egyptians believed after death they stood in front of Thoth, the god of Justice. He then weighted their heart against that of a peacock feather. I have no idea if I have a light heart, but I can tell you mine would tip in one direction. I have adopted the Buddhist behavior and strive to do things that others don't know about to lighten my heart. This has no effect on the seas, but if I think for others, don't offer products that do terrible things, (only minor like all industry derived products) to the earth, I might - just might - lessen my innate burden to this earth.