From cardboard cartons, sprout tens of small beans.
From cardboard cartons, sprout tens of small beans.
Photo by Christian Joudrey on Unsplash

My first memory of composting is from autumn 2004. My best friend and I were in the midst of a leaf fight. I have no idea if this is a normal kid’s game or just something two kids racing towards a sugar crash created in a fit of boredom. The rules of the game were simple: find any leaf and chuck it at your opponent.


Neon lights above a clothing rack that reads: being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. we’re #2.
Neon lights above a clothing rack that reads: being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. we’re #2.
Photo by Charles Etoroma on Unsplash *

I work for a big retailer.

I live for real sustainability.

These sides of me are at odds like Miley Stewart and Hannah Montana.

Okay. Yes, my alternate persona isn’t a pop icon or a sorta unpopular middle-schooler. But, hear me out — the Miley-me, the real me, is a hippie adjacent who has nightmares about discarded K-cups. The Hannah-me, my work persona, actively helps people by fast fashion and 24 packs of bottled waters.

On nearly every shift, I see something that makes my teeth grind beneath my hand-stitched, ethically-made fabric mask. Generally it’s something small — like having to scan fifteen box of plastic spoons. …


Line drawing of a person looking at their phone
Line drawing of a person looking at their phone
Photo Credit: visuals on Unsplash

We’ve all seen the split-screen reposts. But, why has this become such a phenomenon?


NOTE: this is the original of a piece I reworked/reposted here.

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https://curiosityshots.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Girton-Road-2.m4a

2016 marked the unimaginable. The start of the end — or the end — of the short film platform, Vine. In October of that same year, Twitter announced that starting the following January, Vine would put in place a permanent lock on users, preventing them from posting videos. Twitter’s decision to move away from the micro-video world ultimately led to the rise of a new platform, the (in)famous TikTok-then known as Musical.ly. With this new platform came the rise of viral challenges.

TikTok and Vine weren’t identical services. Vine videos were limited to six seconds, a fraction of the sixty seconds clips supported by TikTok. More than that, TikTok created the seemingly impossible — virtual duets. In the age of COVID-19, this doesn’t seem like much. Back in 2017, however, it was revolutionary. Duet videos opened up an entirely new and untapped realm of social media interaction. TikTok launched this unique opportunity by enlisting Bruno Mars and his fans to market the feature for them. The debut of this feature was…


Collective grief has been around since the formation of tribes and communities, but it has adapted in recent years to match where we connect most — online.

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When my grandpa passed away in early 2013, I was devastated. We all were. He was the ever-patient patriarch of our family and community. Throughout his funeral service and shiva, I cried. The moment my silent heaves stopped, my eyes would meet someone else’s and I’d start all over again. After his funeral, I took to Facebook with an in memoriam. It was a simple post — his life dates along with a sepia-tinted photo of him from his youth. The memorial felt like an appropriate testimony to his nature, classic and dignified. Hours later, when I logged back on to Facebook, the second wave of distress washed over me. …


A friendly guide to turn that paralyzing dread into progress

Protestor with sign that reads: “Act Now or Swim Later”
Protestor with sign that reads: “Act Now or Swim Later”
Image Credit: Chris Boese on Unsplash

If there was ever a time to have a colony of butterflies growing in your belly, it’s now.

As wildfires rage in the west, tropical storms batter the south, and leaders refuse to take any action, let alone pass a comprehensive green plan that target the biggest polluters (the 100 companies producing 70% of carbon emissions), the threat of global warming is no longer looming on the horizon. It’s here. And every day, that threatening front moves further inland.

Many of us are feeling higher levels of that clenched jaw, vibrational anxiety known as eco-anxiety. While it’s normal, it isn’t always helpful. Rather than laying a foundation in this dread, let’s plow the weeds and plant a garden with solutions. I know, that was corny. …


I didn’t see a single Sasquatch in the three weeks I spent in the Pacific North West. Instead, I saw some of the most environmentally friendly cityscapes.

A spiral concrete staircase with a thin tree growing in the spiral and through an opening in the roof.
A spiral concrete staircase with a thin tree growing in the spiral and through an opening in the roof.
Image Credit: Alexander Abero on Unsplash

We had barely left the bus terminal when our guide cheerfully boomed into his headset, “Some of you might have heard a faint buzzing since you got on the bus. If not, take a listen.” He paused. “Now you hear it, right? Because we have the lowest noise pollution of any large city you can hear the four beehives at work on the Vancouver Convention Centre’s green roof!”

This was the first of many progressive, city-sponsored sustainability efforts pointed out on that tour. And rightly so – Vancouver has plenty of awe-inspiring marvels in its cityscape.

After announcing their Greenest City 2020 Action Plan in 2012, Vancouver’s council has been pushing initiative after initiative aimed at growing and supporting their city while downsizing its environmental footprint. From funding sustainable architecture and creating green jobs to zero waste and zero emissions programs to sourcing renewable energy, Vancouver is treating climate change with the urgency it requires. As many cities inch towards a greener future, only a handful are as aggressive in implementing the policy and structural changes so desperately needed. …


Before of foggy glasses and after using Stoggles while wearing a mask
Before of foggy glasses and after using Stoggles while wearing a mask
Image Credit: Stoggles

This isn’t another essay on masks.

This is another essay on pandemic innovation.

BC (Before Coronavirus), regular mask use to prevent the spread of illness and keep pollution out of our delicate lungs was commonplace in East Asian countries. By 2013, face masks became a fashion statement. Masks that represented the styles of kawaii, Gyaru, Fairy Kei, Lolita, Harajuku, and even smog couture entered mainstream streetwear in Japan, China, and South Korea, and through online communities.


After a brief re-education on accessibility, I came across this Tweet of a socially distanced concert with wide aisles, flexible seating arrangements, and a huge Jumbotron on stage. My mind immediately raced with all the possibilities for an inclusive future.

Tweet:“Man if this is the future of concerts sign me tf up”, img: a shocked man & a socially distanced concert
Tweet:“Man if this is the future of concerts sign me tf up”, img: a shocked man & a socially distanced concert
Image Credit: Twitter user @MARTINEFPIERRE

In the five months since the initial coronavirus lockdowns started we’ve seen tremendous changes in all aspects of our lives — from the way we move throughout the day to the conversations we’re engaging in. As someone who’s taken more neoclassical art history courses than she’d care to admit, I am well aware of and sympathetic towards ‘eat the rich’ sentiments. Still, if you had asked me six months ago if calls to Defund the Police or Eat the Rich were coming from people on all sides or just from radical leftists, I would’ve dropped my croissant right then and there if you told me it was the former. My point is that during the turmoil and the boredom of lockdown, we’ve taken the time to learn about more than just the virus. We’ve looked inwards and at society to engage in difficult dialogues; such conversations have lead to a mass re-education on a multitude of topics from racial inequity to gender-based violence to racism and sexism in healthcare to hidden poverty in America. Despite this, there are many subjects that have been left off the syllabus. …


Close up of skin with acne and scars with text that reads: acne is normal
Close up of skin with acne and scars with text that reads: acne is normal
Photo Credit: Peter DeVito

Weeks or maybe months ago — I’m not sure, time is much less precise during Stay at Home — my thumb led me to an Instagram post that showed acne in a fresh, unashamed, unfiltered light. At least it was all these things to me. These photos highlighted acne and the picture-perfect imperfections of real skin on all genders, ages, and colors. I live with the ever-present bumps on my skin, but rarely have I seen acne so clearly displayed on social media and even rarer yet seen acne as something that just is rather than something to be cured.

The post was just acne — inflamed white heads and the hills and valleys of skin that’s suffered and healed from cysts. There was no ad nestled in the carousel of pictures. No fake positivity or coded language that implied shame. This post was simply dedicated to acne de-stigmatization and body neutrality — a new movement that I hadn’t heard of before. True, I had heard of body positivity. And, true, I had considered myself a part of it; on the bleachers, but still close enough to cheer on those leading the cause. The first body positive post I came across was in 2015 and, to an insecure college sophomore, it seemed revolutionary. It had pastels and cuteness and stretch marks and inspirational quotes. Not every post was surface level either. The main purpose of the body positivity movement, its community, and my interest in it was what it offered. Each post gave me the chance to grow while disconnecting external influences from internal notions of self-worth — in short, to love myself. Being a part of this online community felt like I was helping to create a happier, united future — a future where our bodies don’t dictate how others perceive us. …

About

Alexis Bondy

🌎 🌱 Image credit: Alice Butenko (@alivka)

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