After much discussion and planning, the second round of the International Plastic Quilt Project has got it going on in Mexico! In March of last year, we did round one with a group of youth in a small coastal community in the southern state of Yucatan. This week I started with the my 2 new classes in Mérida, Yucatan—all art students taking classes through a government-sponsored program for older adults.
I’m excited about working with this group for a many reasons. Create Plenty has generally worked on the issues near to our hearts with children in schools and social events, and with proactive parents and young adults who are already very concerned about these issues and are actively involved in their communities to address them.
Working with older adults is an opportunity that is often overlooked or passed by, which is unfortunate. These are grandparents who bring with them a great deal of insight and experience. They are immensely creative and passionate about a wide range of issues. They are excited about learning something new. And have many fond memories of the days, not so long ago here in Mexico, before plastic came along and changed their lives dramatically.
When they recall the days of old when they bought just about everything — snacks, cooking oil, bread, and meat — in bulk, they were required to bring their own bottle to refill for vegetable oil, tin container for crackers, or bowl for meat. Even butter was cut from the bigger block and handed over on a piece of thick paper. Without fail, they remember those days with nostalgia. There is no mention of how messy it was or how dirty it got, and never a mention inconvenience.
The take-home lesson for me is that to return to the “old days” of bulk and waste-free buying is not such a stretch, it’s not so hard to imagine, and we’ll all be just fine once we do. Single-use plastic will one day be this mistake humanity made and are working to repair the damage. May that day be sooner than later.
To keep up with our progress here in Merida, and see photos of the newest Plastic Quilt squares from Mexico, follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cre8plenty