Plastic Free July 2019 wrap-up – Plastic Free in Mauritius
[Part 1] COMMUNITY ACTIONS & RESILIENCE
[with a throw-back to the lovely event organized some time ago by Tamarin Avenir Meilleur & Veranda Tamarin Hotel with some pictures from Noémie de Ravel – Photography ]
^ Pictures from Noémie de Ravel
Okay, I admit it- this is a catchy title… Plastic Free is a whole-year endeavor for our household, but it’s nice to have an initiative that put a spotlight on this issue every year for a month.
A few years ago I wrote about Plastic Free living in Mauritius for #PlasticFreeJuly – and wow, how have things changed since then! In the last year and a half I would say, a real speeding up of the local low waste movement happened, with the subject becoming more and more mainstream and more and more people taking initiatives about it.
It is easier and easier to find more sustainable and low-waste alternatives to everyday objects we might use [and I’m compiling a list of these – it was supposed to be out yesterday, but it’s taking a bit longer than I thought and I think I’ll share it by Monday] and while that is amazing, what I find even more interesting in this movement is how to take it from the individual level to the community level. I believe in community-resilience, and that we are stronger together. While we can take actions on our own and change our own consumption habits and life [& that’s already so freaking amazing] something even more powerful happen when we come together with others to take actions, we taken this endeavor to a whole new level: we don’t only change our life, but make it easier for others too to live a more sustainable life.
A simple example: while you could refuse plastic straws at the cafes and restaurant on your own, to come together with others to work with the restaurants and cafes owners to not use plastic straws anymore create a ripple effect where you’re making it easier for others too to lead a sustainable life. Of course, you can affect changes on a community level on your own –to continue this example to talk to the cafes and restaurants owners on your own, but even if you take the actions on your own, being surrounded, guided, supported by others on the same journey as you is primordial. You would need others anyway, be it just the suppliers of Eco-alternatives to plastic straws to continue this example, to offers alternatives to the restaurants and cafes owners.
We can’t do it all on our own, but together we can truly create a paradigm where it’s easier for everyone to be sustainable. And let’s be honest, sometimes it does take more time or more resources – for the moment, I do hope this will change- to do the ‘right thing’. And we need to recognize that in some situations some people don’t have the time or resources to do so… but if we have the privilege to be able to do something, maybe it then becomes our responsibility to act on it and to make this sustainable lifestyle more accessible to all?
In all case, community makes it easier for us all – be it coming together with your neighbors to have a rotation on who’ll go and drop the recycling for the whole group to the recycling bins, friends sharing fruits and vegetables with each other to eat local and packaged-free while not having the space to grow it all on their own, co-workers coming together to share knowledge and learn new skills or a family coming together to set up a business that will rise up to solve some waste-related challenges of our time… We are definitely stronger together. And while the waste epidemic might seem quite daunting, with others we can truly create some beautiful changes.
Even just talking about this subject with others and bringing up conversations about this crisis can be such a powerful thing to do – not only does it creates more and more awareness on the issue, it also allow us to have more perspectives on it which allows us to create more effective changes.
This event organized by TAM & Veranda a few weeks ago was truly a reminder of that; it was beautiful to see a community coming together not only to clean their surrounding but learn more about trash with a heavy focus on REFUSING and not creating future trash while recycling what could be recycled for the trash already created [never on all the clean-ups I’ve helped on, have I seen volunteers clean the plastic bottles for them to be clean enough to be considered recyclable…there was some heavy motivation in the air!]. It was an awesome and truly inspiring event to be part of, and just one example of this energy that is created when we come together.
Even just for your own sake – find some people that share the same concerns as you, it’s important for your sanity when the matters at hand can be so daunting! And something truly magical happens when many people come together, new ideas are created and can come to life.
So let’s create some magic beautiful people of Mauritius – we got this
Thank you Noémie for sharing and letting me use these pictures – you can follow Noémie on https://www.instagram.com/noemie_de_ravel/ or https://www.instagram.com/noemie.35mm/ for more of her awesome work.
And thank you everyone who works everyday to create this awesome sustainable reality we all dream of, including everyone who was present to this clean-up. WE GOT THIS team !