Germany has things called Schuttberge. They are made of all the rubble from World War II. The bombing was so severe and the subsequent rubble was so profuse, the Germans had to think their way out of it. There was nowhere to put it. Much of the rubble has been turned into Schuttberge. There is one called the Birkenkopf in Stuttgart. It is a place for people to get outside in the fresh air, to walk and ride trails and then to reflect on the meaning of war. It’s both a place to relax and operate as a memorial. You can read about the Schuttberge at Spiegel online. Why am I telling you this? Because I have been thinking about all the plastic, much of which will not break down. I blogged about how Adidas is recycling ocean plastic into sneakers – will they break down when their life is finished? Then there is much on the internet about the plastic bricks which may or may not be a fire hazard. People are thinking and we need to keep thinking. Plastic would be an insulator. Can plastic rubble not be turned into landscaping or safe building material somehow? Bike trails, parks, mazes, hills, waterproofing ? Could we not use all this plastic and turn it into something good like they have in Germany? Would it be suitable to stop degradation around beach and river areas? Could it be used to fill areas which actually need filling? Would it be safe? We need the scientists and environmentalists in on this. They would know what is feasible and what isn’t. Could it be used to build coral reefs? I feel sure now we need to get rid of plastic unless we can invent one that is safe for the environment. With war we do destroy the environment but we are doing that knowingly now just by daily living. We need to change our ways but we also need to work out a safe way to upcycle the things we cannot recycle. For the next while, at least, until we get smarter, we need to focus as much on upcycling as recycling.
Yet another example of age being a mirage.Older people are repackaging themselves and redesigning their purpose in life. Deshun Wang expresses it beautifully : he has spent his whole life preparing for this. Stereotyping is restrictive and constrictive for anyone and any group. It is great to see older people just being and if they are the ones who will free us of ageism then they are serving a great purpose in life.
Sister Madonna Buder is Nike’s new Unlimited Youth face and this is the ad. She started running in her 40s and has now become the Iron Nun because she can succeed in the Iron Man challenges. There are other videos of her on You Tube. She works hard, she is very clear that making the effort is what gets you there. She learned you cannot always succeed but just making the effort would get her to go where she wanted. As an 86 year old she is a great role model for anyone. She is showing that older people can be just as impressive and inspiring as younger people. She is rewriting the belief that old people need to limit themselves. Nike has taken it one step further to show that youth, in fact, is a state of mind and a lifestyle choice. Being active works. Putting yourself out there works. Looking after your mind, body and spirit works.