Wednesday, March 20, 2019

#IAmPrivileged

There was this thought in the back of my mind. I knew for sure that it’s the time – as a resource – that makes it easier for me to dive into what zero waste means.

I have time and I feel privileged.

I am privileged. I never had to worry about food or shelter. I also had good clothes, the best education I could get, I never had to plan whether I should take this or that job because I am lucky enough to stick only to my education. I can get even more education, there is no limit for that. I have Internet and water on a daily basis, I can afford rice milk weekly, I can travel wherever. I have books to read, movies to watch, I can go to the cinema, I hang out with my friends whenever. My parents are one call away.


I am privileged. My heart is full of gratitude for my parents because they made all of these possible.

I am privileged to have time and energy to search, read and implement zero waste hacks into my life.

I am privileged enough to buy an eco-friendly toothbrush, a zero waste toothpaste, bio food, eco-friendly detergents. But what about those who aren’t? Or what about us struggling to find the best wasteless alternatives out there on the market when everything is plastic-packed?

It’s easier to go for the Colgate toothbrush – cheaper and could be found in any market. It’s easier to choose processed food – cheaper and saves you a lot of time. Usually, you have no time. It’s easier to grab some Cif cleaning product because you know only this one from the ads on TV even though it has tons of toxic ingredients.

What happens when you don’t have time? When you don’t have energy? When you cannot even reach the information related to climate change? What if you cannot grab the fucking idea that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US is responsible for even a small-small part of humankind-destroying-their-planet context?


I have time to cook. I have the energy to go and argue with X & Y at the farmers’ market when they insist of giving me a plastic bag or at Fornetti when the cashier refuses to put the fucking fornettis in my reusable bag. I have the energy to look into the best eco-friendly alternatives and to write about them. I have time & access to listen to podcasts and Youtube videos saying you’re not supposed to drink cow’s milk because it’s bad for your health as a human adult, but does my aunt have this time? Or my neighbour working at Mega Image? Or does my classmate have enough money to buy a reusable coffee cup and enough energy to carry it in the bag every single day?

Uf, breathe. How I got to see things is like this: there are people with enough resources to start and do stuff (#1 information + doing), people who know about climate change and ways to fight it but do nothing because of various reasons I don’t even want to start mentioning (#2 information + not doing) and finally people who are ignorant – willfully or not (#3 no information + not doing).

Another aspect I started taking into consideration is P O W E R. That is governance & public policies & big brands. You cannot expect people to live a zero waste lifestyle while everything in supermarkets is packed in plastic, there is no collaboration between NGOs/government/brands, not to mention how unlucky should you feel living in a country where people are concerned about trying to make laws that will allow them to steal even more without being punished *wink wink my fellow Romanians*.

I am privileged and yet I feel powerless. I can make changes; some other crazy people around me can make changes, but THE SYSTEM. DOESN’T. CHANGE. It gets worse. You cannot buy plastic-free veggies & fruits in some supermarkets which are probably close to your home. Veggies & fruits are anyway more expensive than processed food. Bio & dairy free products are twice or three times more expensive than non-bio ones. Oh, what about that mayor who wants to build a garbage incinerator in the city? What can you do about that?


I am privileged. I feel powerless. But I have this burning desire to make a change. So I want to make use of my privileges. How? Sending e-mails, talking with people, getting involved, learning about how policy making works.

Because I have access. To everything.
Because I have resources. Both time and money.
Do you? If yes, #MakeUseOfYourPrivilege!

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Maira Gall