Plastic in our lives
This is a throwback to an exhibition, Plastic in our lives I visited in 2013 at the Museum der Gestaltung in Zürich. It was titled as Plastic in our lives, it was an exhibition which was a moving exhibition from place to place as clearly we around the world apparently need more awareness of how plastic is damaging our health, systems, our birds, our animals, our oceans, lakes and rives and hence our earth. More then ever today we are talking even more about sustainable living, it has become a very IN topic for conversations and discussions. Actually we are all fully aware of the damage that plastic is doing. But are we taking enough steps to not use plastic in our everyday lives. I grew up in India and that was the time when it was all sustainable living, but today it is very fast living everywhere and hence we are using use and throw things or disposable things. Some plastic is recycled and its made into mats, bags etc. And we feel happy about the re use of this plastic. But I feel why do we have to re use it, and not use it at all or try to reduce the use of it. We can have bags from cotton, leather, and mats from straws, jute, viscose etc. For me it always have been a subject very close to my heart. Read on more on the exhibition.......
Museum der Gestaltung: November 2013
The Exhibition about Plastic was running in Zürich and from here it kept on moving from place to place to make people aware of the damage plastic is having on our lives. It was so heartbreaking to see the real effect or rather damage done by plastic especially to the water animals and what it is doing to us and we don't even know yet. Here in the pictures belwo you will how many years it takes for things to get back to nature. It really freaked me out. For example, a disposable diaper takes 450 years. But of course, it’s convenient. I remember I was bringing up M without disposable diapers in the early nineties in India. My mom and aunt had made stitiched little traingle nappies, with a string on one side and a loop on the other. I was using these and then the soft cloth square ones. After putting the cloth daiper on I would put up on top one plastic diaper as a cover, and it worked fine. Of course, it was lot of work to do. I had dozens of those, super soft white big square nappies. Then one fine day I found out a lining made of recycled material, which I could also flush too. So that was so much easier to use. These cotton nappies used to hang up on the washing lines in the sun with colorful wash pins on them. But then I was to go to Sweden with a 11-month-old baby in 1995 and a friend of mine had bought some real cool foreign diapers, which were so practical (we all thought at that time and now too) and super easy to use. Use and Throw!!! I fell in love with those and from then on for some next months I started using them until M was not toilet trained, I started to use them in the night or if we had to go away, they were rare to find and expensive too, if you found them, back then in India. Now it’s like finding lollipops! I must admit they are super easy to use. Life had become so easy now but what I didn't know then is what that kind of comfort which we all are so used to now is doing to our Earth.
You see while writing this post I thought let’s put up a real picture of a cotton nappy and I went to google nappies, diapers, cotton nappies, homemade nappies. After surfing for a long time, I could find just this one picture of a cotton Nappy and if you look closely it’s not a real Nappy but it looks like one. I think it’s a small soft towel folded like a Nappy. Someday I must find an old one with me somewhere and will put up a picture.
Sometimes I think "Ignorance is a real bliss" and development is not necessarily good or I would say invention to make or lives easier.
Now I can give you a number of examples where in I can say I grew up seeing things recycled. For example, my father still using his old Gangis (inners) as dusters to home and to clean his car and dust the rooms and furniture and it works great because the cloth is super soft by being worn out. Now I got spoiled and started using the nicely packed mircrofaser or a plastic duster and so on. But now again am going back to making dusters with old t-shirts. As a young girl I always loved to sew and that too bags........YES lots and lots of bags and most of them I made from my pre-loved skirts, frocks and the lower part of jeans which my brother used to throw away after he had cut shorts out of them. I made so many for my aunts, cousins and sometimes I used to get just the bottom on the jeans to make one. Let me tell you those were the sturdiest bags for shopping. Now-a-days i carry those small fold able bags in my handbag so that I never have to use a plastic bag.
April 2019: Now when I wrote this post in 2013 Papa was still here, it felt so surreal to read about him in present tense, I would keep it that way only.
Another thing was soap in the older times, feels like a lifetime ago. We grew up using Lux soap bars which were packed in paper and had a picture of Rekha or Hema Malini (famous bollywood actressess) on it. For my hair my mother taught me to use either Multani mutti (fullers earth) mixed with natural yoghurt and the second thing which she used for my hair was a mixture of three dried leaves or Herbs. Amla (gooseberry), Aritha (soapnut) and Sikhakai (Acacia concinna, just checked on google) these three used to be soaked in water overnight and boiled for a while in the morning. Then sieve it voila!!! you have a ready shampoo to use. Well now here I still have some soapnut powder which I sometimes use to go back in time. But I guess I will have to make it a practice again and stock it up. One more thing my grandma used soap nut powder to wash her silks!! You see. Well I think we were doing so many things right, but now I guess we will have to try and go back there.
April 2019: M told me that now-a-days she again started to use a cake some, which comes as a shampoo and she bought it at some store in Zürich, so you see we are going slowly towards that and today youth is very careful of the effects of packagaing.
I must be off to my pilates class for now. Have a look at the Plastic Garbage Project for more information and if you want you can contact these people and have this exhibition in your city, town or country. I think the more people see this the better it will be for all of us and especially for our grand kids and great grant kids.
Take a small baby step today, say no to plastic bag, carry one cloth bag. Say no to plastic bottle, carry one glass bottle, we all started doing this for a while now. I am sure if we all take little steps together it will make a difference. After all the scientists say at the moment this is the only Earth we got.
Have lovely day.
Here are some pictures which I took at the exhibition, was really overwhelming.
Complete view of the exhibition and on the right hand side of the picture you see the real stuff they found in the sea
The birds mistake the plastic stuff for food, eat it and then they die
There were different articles, small films to see there and it was really sad but the good thing is we can all make a difference.
By doing small things like instead of buying plastic disposable things, use bamboo ones, or instead of buying take away take your own cup or water bottle or tiffin boxes.
and this is so easy to do, say no to plastic bags and carry your own.
Here you can see a diaper will take 450 years to dispose, a cigarette butt 1-5 years and so on.
A styropor Glass 50 years
A plastic bag needs 10-20 years but if we all start making little changes in our lifestyles, we can make a difference.
There are generations left........................................
Do it for you......
Do it for your children..........
Do it for our grandchildren.........
Do it for this Earth.........................
Do it because its the right thing to do..........
We only got this earth.........before its too late..........we should all come together and try and make a difference.........Amen..........