PlasticFree Woman Introduces Eco Bricks
Changemakers of Baja’s environmentally woke Espacio Amor
“There’s something I need to talk to you about,” says Natalia, a 29-year-old videographer who recently moved from Mexico City to live in Baja’s El Pescadero and help run the treehouse Airbnb camp, Espacio Amor.
“I know you came with so much love,” she says. “And you brought all of these vegetables with love yesterday. But I don’t want plastic here, I don’t want it in my kitchen!”
I am relieved, and totally embarrassed. The vegetables I brought from Todos Santos the day before could have all fit in one single bag, but I’d used several—plastic—bags! Natalia is right, single-use plastic kills Earth’s living things, and she has a no-plastic rule in Espacio Amor’s Shanti Kitchen.
“So, you can put everything in one bag, and then reuse that same bag next time you go,” Natalia offers gently. “Or even better, you can carry it in your shirt,” she says, modeling for me what that would look like in her signature oversized T-shirt, which makes me laugh.
“People might look at you funny, but then if they ask you what you are doing, you can educate them about the problem of plastic.”
Natalia shows me the “EcoBricks” in the Shanti Kitchen, which are essentially large plastic soda bottles that get filled with any plastic that does, inevitably, make it into the Shanti Kitchen. Food packaging and wrappers get folded neatly and stuffed in, as do little plastic bottle tabs, and scissored six-pack rings. They are so densely packed that they can be used for building garden walls or you name it, rather than ending up in the landfill or ocean.
I’m grateful to any friend who can speak their truth, and stand up for the Earth. I’ve continued on my Baja journey using cloth bags and make an effort not to buy anything packaged in plastic, which is a challenge we can all manage to take on.