The Global Climate Strike, Plastic and Greta Thunberg
On Friday, 27th of September 2019, I joined the Global Climate Strike in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain. This strike shows the deep concern which exists, especially with the younger generation. This movement is inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, a young girl of 16 years old.
Joining the Global Climate Strike
I have lived in the South of Spain since 1976, so it did not come as an immense surprise that on arrival at 18.00 hours there were hardly any people. Living in Andalucia for so long, one finds out that things normally start later than expected.
The meeting point was at the end of the famous Calle Larios which is the Plaza de la Constitucion. In my beginning years, it was open for motorized traffic, but now it has been transformed into a lovely pedestrian area.
Michael had made a nice board where on both sides one could see our bUnited widget and the 5G Space Appeal widget. I began talking to some young teenagers, while the plaza slowly filled with people.
Most of them were young people. Some older people like us and quite a few young couples who had their small children with them. I talked to as many people as I could, handing out the homemade leaflets, and after 1 hour I had no more voice left.
Sadly, because of COVID-19 bUnited stopped. 1.500.000 people had become a member and this worldwide movement was growing every day. I sincerely hope that they come back in the future and continue their excellent work.
People had boards with things like “There is no planet B”, “Stop the Pollution of the Oceans”, “Stop Climate Change” and a lot of other signs with similar wordings. A band joined the scene with big tambours (drums) and when they started playing a fantastic rhythm, we started moving forward while dancing.
The protest march filled the whole Calle Larios with people and slowly but surely we moved towards the harbor.
I must confess, as I had no voice left and after over 2 hours, we opted for a coffee at a street-side cafe and watched a lot of the march go by us. We would have liked to stay longer, but we do not live in Malaga. We had guests coming for lunch the next day. I had still some work to do that night, so we then walked back to where we parked the car and came home.
My impression is that a lot of young people are conscious of what is happening in the world and are worried about their future. Will they still have a place to live and raise their families?
A Program on TV
I have had Astra Satelite TV since 2000 and this gives me a big mix of different channels in quite a few languages. I can also choose between many German channels and the other day, 23 September 2019, on RTL, came a very interesting documentary on plastic.
Jenke von Wilmsdorff, a well known German TV journalist, author, and actor, presented one of his Jenke Experiments. Since 2013, he has made documentaries on extreme situations which he would willingly experiment on himself. Examples of his experimenting included living in poverty on the street, becoming an alcoholic, or the case where he took on the role of a single mother parent.
What eating food wrapped in plastic will do to your health
His last experiment was on plastic, and his findings were interesting but also alarming. For a 4-week period, he would only eat food wrapped in plastic. This might include meat that was initially purchased in plastic wrappings or individually wrapped sandwiches or even little dessert cakes.
He could eat TV dinners (microwave dinners) in plastic trays or consume drinks from plastic bottles. The object of the test was to make sure everything he consumed had come in contact with plastic.
Before he started, he had his blood and urine evaluated for plastics and plastic indicators. They performed the same analyses on his blood and urine during and after the test. The first week showed some changes in his health, and he started feeling awful, had headaches, and tired easily.
After the 4 week period, lab values showed that certain markers of plastics had increased by 400%, meaning his body was heavily polluted by plastic. It took many months for his body to return to his previous health.
He visited a kindergarten and there the children, ages 3 to 5 years, were tested for plastic. The results were alarming. These young kids already had plastic accumulating in their system. The mothers talked about the needed changes in their daily lives, trying to eliminate as much plastic as possible, including children’s toys.
A plastic-free family
Jenke also visited a family with 3 boys, living nearly plastic-free for more than a year. Their tests showed amazing results. This family used to produce around 10 big plastic waste bags a month. But with their change in lifestyle, they were able to reduce it to half a bag a month. They would bring their own containers and bags when shopping.
Neither would they use any plastic bottles like shampoo or bath gels. They would mainly eat organic. The lab test of urine and blood for this family gave extraordinary results. They were extremely healthy and had no plastic in their bodies.
It seems that our modern lifestyle is terrible. Jenke stated that each week we consume the plastic amount equivalent to a credit card.
Cleaning up the head office of RTL
Jenke works for RTL, a big TV channel. He observed the cleaning operations in the main office and made a suggestion to the company. They agreed and supported his idea, and the cleanup had amazing results.
Normally, every evening, the maintenance company would arrive to clean the many individual offices. In that office building, there were over 4,000 waste bins. Every evening the plastic bag would be taken out and a new one put in, no matter how full it was. This resulted in a yearly use of 180.000 bags.
Metal bins replaced all the plastic bins and each office only had one. It requires the office personnel to dispose of their trash by getting up from their desks and taking it to the metal bin. Once a week, this bin is emptied into the main collection bin on the street. They recycled the 4000 plastic waste bins into skateboards for children.
A trip to the Maldives
Included in this very interesting documentary was Jenke’s trip to the Maldives. This YouTube video shows you how beautiful these islands are.
The fact that the highest elevation of these islands is 5 meters above sea level, but most islands are only 1 meter above sea level, makes one realize how climate change will wipe out their existence.
The many tourists coming here for their holiday of diving, sun, and beach do not realize that the Maldives hide one big secret. There is a garbage island not far away from where holidaymakers are having fun.
The biggest garbage island in the world
Jenke visited the island of Thilafushi. This island is burning rubbish day and night, trying to get rid of the waste of the world. He did not have to search long before he came upon plastic wrappings which identified the waste as being from Germany. Even if tourism brings in dividends for the Maldives, tourists produce a lot more waste than the locals.
This video shows the trash island, something most people in this world ignore.
I can tell you that the Jenke Experiment was one more eyeopener for me. For both my websites, I have written quite a few posts on plastic. This post shows how the “advanced” countries often close their eyes and would rather ship their waste overseas, instead of finding a solution themselves.
Some positive inventions
Luckily there are some companies that have seen the need to find a solution to the plastic overload. Corona beer is one of those companies and I hope many more will follow their good example.
I would like to end my post with Greta Thunberg. Through her action, it has created a worldwide movement. The Global Climate Strike has brought millions of people to protest on the streets. Governments and world leaders are not doing enough to save our planet.
People, and especially the younger generation, are becoming more aware that the environment will not be a healthy one if we do not make a change.
If the governments won’t do it voluntarily, we have to act to make sure the atmosphere we breathe, the water we consume and the food we eat are of sufficient quality for everyone to live a happy, healthy life, and raise their family. The people are raising their voices. I hope everybody is carefully listening.
Here you can listen to the impressive speech of Greta.
They have accused Greta of being manipulated by people and or organizations in the background. I like to continue in my belief that she had a vision and then with her action is causing this worldwide movement.
As an Afterthought
It is possible! We can make changes! An outstanding example is the tiny country of Bhutan. It only has 700.000 inhabitants, but what they have conceived for their people is admirable. This country is carbon negative. Other countries can follow this concept in the world. The only thing you need is to have the wish and then do it.
Listen to this inspiring TED TALK
We have the obligation to take care of our planet. This is an obligation we owe to future generations.
I have made a special page for you. It holds a collection of things you might find interesting. Before you leave, pay a visit to Recommendations.
Source: My Life
Photo Source: Private and Pixabay
There are many solutions for our planet. You might care to read the following post.
Mondez and Kayla
I am so glad that you are a part of this movement! I think it is a great cause and I was personally very proud the 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg was able to eloquently express herself. Boards with things like “There is no planet B” is such a great way to make people think and it inspires me to use this slogan as well.
I also thought the research you did and what you wrote regarding eating with plastic was surprising information and pretty alarming. It definitely leaves something for me to think about and I appreciate your post!
Good afternoon Mondez and Kayla,
Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
There are a lot of things very wrong in our world. Personally I find it very sad that Mother Earths is suffering so much. Luckily there are many movements worldwide which one can join to make a difference. Did you look at bUnited and at 5G Space Appeal? You can join, it is free and it will help our planet.
Hi Taetske. I really enjoyed reading your article. I hope we haven’t left it too late to try and stop climate change, but I suspect we have probably left it for so long with no action being taken that it may now be irreversible.
Whilst admiring the young people around the world for making a stand, I do think that they are the biggest consumers of plastics and often unnecessary electronics. They will have to lead from the front if they are to succeed. Well done for helping raise awareness and good luck, Andrew.
Good afternoon Andrew,
Well, it is not too late yet but nearly. Some unrepairable damage has been done and if we do not call for our governments and leaders to get their act together it goes in the wrong direction.
Sadly it will be the younger generations that will suffer the consequences. Did you take a look at bUnited and 5G Space Appeal? Both are good causes and you can join for free. Every voice counts.
I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget. Thank you for your visit and comment.
I think it is good that children are taking the lead in the battle against climate change, as it is their future and not those who are getting on in years. Climate change is such a complex process, as it is difficult for industry and individuals to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The onus is on us all to reduce emissions and to curb our excessive use of products that produce emissions.
This includes plastics, which have been excessively overused by society in general. We need to ban single-use plastics, replace them with starch-based products or paper. The use of unnecessary plastics to cover food, when it is not needed is totally shocking. We need to find ways to preserve food better, which is environmentally friendly. What gets me is that most plastics are thermoplastic, which can be recycled. Thermoset plastics cannot, so why do we throw it away.
I believe that in the future scientists and engineers will either develop plastics that degrade quickly overtime or find ways where plastic will decompose quicker. I know scientists are looking for bacteria that break down plastics in soil. Who knows what the future will bring.
Thank you for the interesting article. Keep up the good work.
Good afternoon Antonio,
Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
You are right, Global warming= Climate change and as everything is related you will have short but also longterm consequences we do not even can imagine yet.
The fact is that Spain will live in a constant heatwave by the year 2050 and by 2100 the south of Europe will have emigrated to the North.
A good alternative to plastic is Hemp. Many things can be made with Hemp, like building bricks for houses, clothes, shopping bags, and toilet paper. The list is quite a bit longer and another important fact is that growing Hemp is good for the environment. Some time ago I wrote a post on a special worm that is capable of eating/digesting plastic.
Did you have a look at bUnited and 5G Space Appeal? Both are free to join and doing that we help our planet.
Despite being praised for taking a stand on behalf of young people around the world, I think they are the biggest consumer of plastics and often use unnecessary electronics. To be successful you have to lead from the front. I believe that in the future scientists and engineers will either develop plastics that quickly reduce excess overtime or find ways where plastics decompose faster. I know scientists are looking for bacteria that break down soil plastic. Who knows what will come in the future.
Good Morning Surajit,
Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
It is true that the younger generation always wants the latest gadgets. Too much brainwashing by advertising and in the end it comes down to one thing, money. Now, because of COVID-19, people are more isolated and your primary contact with the world is your TV and the internet.
Yesterday, on the Spanish news, I heard they make a biodegradable mask in Spain. You can wear it for many hours, which is bad for your health. Masks are an added problem to the waste we have already. I wrote a post on a grub that eats plastic, but we have to become more conscious of the plastic problem that affects the entire world. Instead of throwing plastic out into the environment, we should recycle. Finding alternatives to plastic would be a great idea. Take Hemp. You can build a house, make garments and many things in between from hemp.