Posted by: David McKay | August 9, 2012

Becoming.

My last post I started by saying I wanted to jump start my writing. Lately, life has been playing havoc with any kind of schedule other than just getting from one day to the next and I had let the writing slide.

If you have ever done any kind of writing and thought to yourself that perhaps you might actually be good at writing and then you one day realized that in order to actually be good at something you actually had to do it, then you know how I feel on most days.

I have been trying to do this “Photo a Day Challenge” through facebook for the last three months. It goes one month to the next and there is a subject for each day. For example, today’s photo subject is “messy.” I could take a picture of my kitchen counter, or the floor of my car. Or my life. Or being a teacher. Our society would fit. Human existence.

A photograph, words on paper – these are ways to distill the mess into precise form.

The challenge we all face – finding a balance between the past and the future, here in the now of the present? That can be messy. It usually is. Watching human life unfold in all its glorious mess is a wonderful thing.

My daughter drools and pees and poops. That can be messy. But what a joy! Such a beautiful life! How incredibly happy she is to be alive to have the chance to do all of that!

Is there something you know that you are good at, but just aren’t putting enough of your energy into? I imagine there might be something – for each and every one of us. Start thinking about what that is, and what you can do to make a change. Do that today. Challenge yourself.

And do that again tomorrow. Repeat.

I believe that life is about becoming.

Thanks for reading.

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Reimagine.

Love.

Posted by: David McKay | July 12, 2012

Changing.

I have been trying to kick-start my writing lately. The last two posts show that. And, I suppose I have also been trying to release some pent-up emotions. Those two posts were like bursts of steam escaping from sudden, brand new cracks in the crust of the earth on the slope of a mountain rising out of a sea..

There is a rumbling within me that is seeking a way to get out, to burst, to ease pressure…
To relax.

Right? That happens a lot in nature: animals hunting, volcanoes erupting, the earth quaking. There is fire and lightning, thunder and sudden downpours, the intensity of being born…

And when you are born – after that fight to survive, after finding air for the first time, after the intensity of the hardest thing you have ever done in your life – if you are lucky enough to find yourself meeting people who love you – truly love you – then you will learn that it is okay to relax;

To learn to smile;
To begin to laugh;
To love unconditionally.

You learn other things, too.

You learn to cry.
You learn that when you are so sad, when all you know how to do is cry, you learn to trust, because you know those people will help you go back to smiling, and laughing, and loving.

You learn to remember what you have learned.

Thanks for reading.

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.
Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Reimagine.
Love.

Posted by: David McKay | July 7, 2012

A Sea-change…

I made a comparison today:

The slob sitting life out on the couch smoking and drinking, playing video games and watching mainstream television bullshit eating processed foods and Monsanto GMO chemicals is the same as the rich person buying up material crap, hiding in penthouses and McMansions behind locked doors and individually wrapped lives, constantly busy busy busy with no time to give to the simple needs of living, hiding their fear, unable to cope with reality.

They are both in denial. They are both contributing to the destruction of our world through apathy and selfishness.

One feeds off the other, and around it goes…

I believe that the people that are ruining this planet know that they are. How they live with themselves is easy to figure out – they cannot come to terms with their own weaknesses, and so they opt out. But, really, their weaknesses are quite simple. It boils down to just one – they are human.

We, as humans, are in the process of waking up – as a species.

It is time. To make a change. Before it is too late.

I challenge you to stop what you are doing and think about how you can do it better.

That is all. Just do it better…

Take some responsibility for more than just yourself.

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Reimagine.

Love.

Some links to earlier posts about the sea-change:

https://beyondplastic.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/why-you-should-read-this-blog/

https://beyondplastic.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/full-fathom-five-thy-father-lies/

Posted by: David McKay | July 6, 2012

Plastic World.

I don’t know what to write anymore.

The world is going to shit. Plastic is everywhere. It is all pervading. It is invasive. I hate it, but I have resigned myself to a plastic world…

Record heat wave. Fukushima. The 1% ruining it for the other 99%. The Alberta Tar Sands. Polar bears. Politicians being bought by corporations. Money=speech. Gulf Oil Spill. 30,000 indigenous people suing Chevron in a trial lasting years and years and years. Mountains being blown up for coal. Oceans being depleted of their fish. Forests being chopped down. Species by the hundreds being annihilated. Austerity. A war on drugs. A war on terror. Our educational system being underfunded and decimated and our military spending always being maintained. It goes on and on and on…

And for what?

My daughter will inherit a world ruined by the powerful elite for their short-sighted greed.

I just changed my mind – I am not resigned to the fate of the world at the hands of the incompetent. To hell with that.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: we need a sea-change, an uprising, a new way as a species to survive and to live in the world. We are not separate; we are a part of a whole.

I am not going to give up. I will continue to work towards something better in the face of great odds. How about you? What are you standing up for?

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Reimagine.

Love.

Posted by: David McKay | May 11, 2012

Each day…

Plastic. Still here. I took a break from writing about it to have a child. So, I now have a child.

I have a kid! She is beautiful!

Hmm… makes me think.

What has happened in those 50 days since my last post? What has happened in the twelve days since she was born?

I did a little research:

That is 68,493,150,685 in fifty days, or to say it in a language you might understand: a shit ton. Sixty-eight, four hundred ninety-three, one hundred fifty, six hundred eigthy-five billion bags! In just fifty days? That is ridiculous.

Pounds!? How many plastic bottles in a pound? I’m not doing that math right now, but it’s a lot.

If you say that 2.4 billion is 27%, that would put the production of plastic bottles at… hmm… math problem. 27%x = 2.4 billion times 100%. Divide both sides by 27% and x=8,888,888,888.89. That is 8.9 billion pounds of plastic bottles produced each year. I will divide by 365 (days of the year) = 24,353,120 and then multiply that by 50 (days) and I get: 1,217,656,012.1765. That is approximately 1.2 billion pounds of plastic bottles produced since my last post. Another shit-ton!

Let me sum this up: This if effed up. You know it, and I know it.

Every day that my daughter lives there will be 1.37 billion plastic bags used, and 24.3 million pounds of plastic bottles produced. Every day! Is that the story I want to write, or that I want my daughter to read?

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.

Love.

 

 

Posted by: David McKay | March 30, 2012

Impending Fatherhood!

I am about to have a child.  41 days from now, give or take…

I suspect I will not be writing too much soon…

Not gonna start a baby blog, I’ll tell you that much.

However, if I do write soon, I believe that I might criticize the current power structure and what they are doing to ensure the well-being of the next generation — in regards to their health and education;

I might write about the lack of transparency in our government;

I might write about the lack of awareness that the majority of people have regarding the well-being of our planet…

Our Planet!

I am about to have a child.  I just turned 43 years old.

If you think I made this decision lightly, you don’t know me.  I know that there are whole races of people that have chosen to die rather than continue to live on this planet that we are in the process of fucking up.

________________________

The above was written nine days ago.  The countdown continues… 32!

And I think again of the future.  What parent does not consider the future?  I thought again of the seventh generation.  My blog has a search box, so I entered “seventh” and it took me to this:

https://beyondplastic.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/holy-crap-i-am-going-to-be-a-father/

“Our leaders were instructed to be men of vision and to make every decision on behalf of the seventh generation to come; to have compassion and love for those generations yet unborn. We were instructed to give thanks for All That Sustains Us.”

~ Haudenosaunee Faithkeeper, Chief Oren Lyons addressing delegates to the United Nations Organization, in opening remarks for “The Year of the Indigenous Peoples” (1993) in the United Nations General Assembly Auditorium, United Nations Plaza, New York City, December 10, 1992.

I challenge those parents out there that might be reading this: take a step towards making that seventh generation welcome on this planet, before it’s too late.

Baby steps are okay.  That’s how we all start out…

But we have to start.

It’s been a while since I added some music.  Here’s a parting shot: One Voice, by The Wailin’ Jennys…

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.

Love.

Posted by: David McKay | March 8, 2012

Bag to the Basics…

I have been wanting to write something, and I just did not know what.  I thought I would get back to my blogging roots and do a little research via the internet on plastic bag bans.

Let’s start with this New York Times piece from Kate Galbraith in the Green Column: Should Plastic Bags Be Banned? from February 8th, 2012.  Austin is considering a ban on plastic bags.  Would a ‘wide-ranging ban’ on plastic bags really cause chaos and confusion amongst the customers of Austin?  Seriously, are we humans really that stupid?  Look around you, Ronnie Volkening, president of the Texas Retailers Association.  He called the proposal for a ban draconian and fears for the consumers ability to handle the loss.

That might help the therapists of Austin, though.  What about that, Ronnie?  Maybe there is grief counseling that is available for those consumers that will suffer from this bag ban.  Or not.  Maybe those suffering consumers might just adapt.  Because they’re human.  That’s what we do.

We screw with stuff, generally making a mess of things, then we adapt, make some more changes, and then we adapt some more.  Do we need to keep making things worse and adapting to that?  Why not turn around?

You know that if you turn around, and take a step, you’re still going forward?

So, instead of trying to fix a problem with yet another problem, or ignoring a problem in the name of profit, why don’t we just impose a ban on plastic bags and let the chips fall where they may?  Let’s move in a more positive direction…

I’ll adapt to that.

Thanks for reading.

Responsibility in not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.

Love.

Posted by: David McKay | March 1, 2012

When Will We Wake Up?

….P.L.A.S.T.I.C…..I.S…..R.U.B.B.I.S.H…………….

A friend’s blog.  Check it out.  I hope it might help inspire you.

Too much crap.  That’s it, plain and simple.  Too.  Much.  Crap.

Responsibility in not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.

Love.

 

Posted by: David McKay | February 15, 2012

Moby-Duck.

I just read an article in The Guardian called, The great escape: the bath toys that swam the Pacific, about the 28,800 bath toys lost at sea in 1992.  The article is an edited excerpt from the book, Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea, by Donovan Hohn.

The book looks like it’d be a good read; it sounds like the author went on quite an adventure.  Mr. Hohn said that he just wanted to find out where the ducks had gone, and how they got there.

His take on what he discovers about plastic is well-spoken:

What’s most nefarious about plastic is the way it pretends to deny the laws of matter, as if something could be made from nothing; the way it is intended to be thrown away but chemically engineered to last.

We have been conned.  We all know plastic is made to last, and at the same time we are told it is okay to throw away.  We are told recycling works.  But, it doesn’t work.

By offering the false promise of disposability, of consumption without cost, it has helped create a culture of wasteful make-believe, an economy of forgetting.

Make-believe.  We do not want to admit that our way of life is unsustainable.  Consumption without cost.  That is irresponsible.  How easy for us to sweep what we wish to ignore under the carpet.  Or just let it wash out to sea.

Never mind that only 5% of plastics actually ends up getting recycled.

Never mind that the plastics industry stamps those little triangles of chasing arrows into plastics for which no viable recycling method exists.

Never mind that plastics consume 400m tons of oil and gas every year and that oil and gas will in the not-too-distant future run out.

Never mind that so-called green plastics made of biochemicals release greenhouse gases when they break down.

Those innocuous, happy, little yellow ducks went floating off across the ocean to become a scourge of the earth…

Thanks for reading.

Responsibility in not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.

Love.

The title is from, The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss.  I saw it on the blog called, “Vermont Litter With a Story to Tell.”  His mission is to promote a culture that is intolerant of trash.

I thought that I would share that blog with you.  It is from a Vermonter who just wants to make a difference.

I like that.

His name is Bernie Paquette.

These are his words:

On an individual level in 2012, will you compost in order to build new rich soil? Will you plant a tree to help prevent soil erosion and to slow carbon build up?  Will you pick up littered trash to prevent it from reaching our waterways where it kills fish and other aquatic life? Will you find ways to use less plastic? (Plastic never completely deteriorates and it is killing birds, fish, and turtles while polluting our ocean shores.) Will you place sustainability in the forefront of your production and consumption decisions? How will you personally transition from a participant in a gluttonous wasteful economy to a participant in a Green sustainable economy?

Thanks, Bernie.

I will also ask, “What are you doing to be a part of a Green sustainable economy?”  Kinda fits in with my last post about the Keurig…

Thanks for reading, and please, go check out Bernie’s blog if you have a moment.

Responsibility in not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.

Love.

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