WARNING: NOT FOR THOSE EASILY OFFENDED BY COUPLE OF PEPPERY WORDS!
Recently a friend of mine posted a link to an amazing site: beanunfucker.com where I subsequently spent about an hour reading everything, became their Facebook fan, Instagram fan and signed up for their newsletter. Now, I never do this. But these guys are cool. Warning - there is and will be some strong, non-politically correct lingo and I love them for that as well.
There has always been an element of the tree hugger in me and I have always cared about the environment, even before the images of a lonely polar bear on a floating meter square of broken ice started to appear as the symbol of global warming and before all this became kinda “popular”.
Give huge thanks to the (Czech) communist regime of my youth where waste just….wasn’t. We, at times, queued for items (exotic or not) so then we made sure we would eat them, AND the wrapper (kidding). Beer and wine and soft drinks came in glass bottles which were returnable. That’s how we made pocket money - from dad’s empty beer bottles. Milk came in bottles too. Newspapers, cardboard and metal waste were collected and recycled in bulk, and you could make a penny (Crown) or two while doing so. Non-edible food scraps went to the chickens or in the compost heap and needless to say, most seasonal veggies came from the garden. Meat wasn’t eaten daily, because it just….wasn’t. We inherited clothes from our older brothers, sisters, cousins and my grandma made us fancy “Adidas-style” shorts from Russian flags (don’t ask me where she got those flags from, but I am not kidding). Our arses were the most beautifully clad in PE lessons at school.
Then things changed and stuff became stuff and there was plenty of it. Wrapped in plastic, at least twice. And then it was everywhere so we had to do something with it.
I welcomed the sight of recycling containers and bins and happily separated glass, plastic and metal waste and made sure that they were clean. I held myself back from strangling morons who would whinge about having to wash their cans of tuna before they put those in the appropriately coloured bin and those selfish morons who would refuse to recycle altogether.
And then I moved to Cambodia (via roundabouts). From relatively clean Europe I was suddenly ankle deep in plastic because everything comes wrapped in plastic here and people don’t see living amongst it a problem - yet. I witnessed (and still do) people carelessly toss rubbish out of car windows or while walking, old and young alike. I was (and still am) in shock and I know most foreign visitors are as well. But let’s not get into it here - how fucked up Cambodia is rubbish-wise. Let’s talk about unfucking it instead.
So, this beanunfucker.com is all about paying attention to what you do in relation to your environment and slowly, step by step changing your attitude, starting with small baby steps - such as turning your computer off if unattended or having shorter showers - all very valid points. (excuse me while I go and turn off the light in the kitchen because there is nobody there!) None of these actions will limit your lifestyle in any way, so why the fuck not?
While many improvements can still be made on my part, I consider myself a fairly successful unfucker. I separate my recyclables although it may all be a wasted effort considering my location and the available infrastructure here. I cycle almost everywhere. I take short, cold showers and use the amazing invention that the “bum-gun” indeed is instead of toilet paper. I bring my own shopping bags to markets and shops. I refuse to drink from plastic straws. I turn shit off (see above). Most of my clothes and household items are at least second hand. I don’t stuff my face with meat everyday. I put used coffee grind and tea bags into plant pots. On the other hand I am a fucker for having a cat (so some plastic bags are needed for the clean up operations) and I fly on holiday when I can. But at least I recycle my beer cans so that counts, right?
How unfucked are you?
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.