The Bowl and the Spoon

This year they’ve declared Mountain Film, a zero waste festival. That means I’m carrying a small canvas bag containing a cup, a plate, and a utensil. The initiative came directly from the screening of Bag It last year. Since then the presence of any single use disposable in my life has come to feel like a mortal rather than a venal sin.

I’m grateful to the festival for upping the ante. We’re all grownups, after all. They don’t need to give us plastic chum. They can ask us to bring our own plates and we should be able to figure it out. Stores can stop giving out bags and we’ll get it.

But their policy summons even greater questions and action. Candidate rules to live by:

1. Don’t buy anything. Ever again. In my life. Why should I? I live at the top of the food chain in the richest country in the world in the twenty-first century. What possibly could I need or want?

2. Don’t buy food unless I’m hungry. Truly hungry. Am I eating because I need to or because I want to? And if I want it, do I really want it?

3. Try to see the whole life of the food. Where did it come into being? How was it harvested? How did it come to me? Eat only those plants and creatures that I know.

4. Substitute human energy for fossil energy. This is a big one. Where can we use our hands and bodies and not rely on the grid?

5. When it gets dark let it be dark. Darkness is a gift from the universe. Why mask it with light? What a colossal waste.

6. Be where I am. Why talk with someone far away rather than the person right next to me? And why look in a device rather than the vista ahead? How much energy could we save if we weren’t trying so hard to be somewhere else?

7. Think twice before flipping a switch. Any switch. Every switch incrementally warms the world.

Anything anybody would care to add?

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