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  • Writer's pictureClotaire Mandel

Rebel with a cause, vol 1 : Starter kit

I guess my perception of what rebellion is has changed. It's not necessarily matching with the idea of burning and looting. But more like something hidding in secretic details of our daily life. In the indivual way of being attentive to those details, in order to make our existence lighter, bearable for the planet to carry. This smoothness of living, this aesthetic gentleness, is transmitting naturraly. No proselitysm needed. It just naturally shine forth. So I just wanted to present a few objects that I'm carrying now with me everywhere, in any circunstances, and which make the beginning of a difference on their side, at their pace. This objects that I call the rebel kit. To everyone his little step, shameless.

The kit : - Coton "loot bags" - Bee wax wraps - Lunch box - Titanium spork - Zip plastic bag - Sewing kit - Water filter + bottle - Liquid container

- Organic coton loot bag Perfect to carry on bread, pastas, grains, vegs, fruits... Instead of plastic, we find nowadays more and more paper bag in a growing number of countries. Far from being the case in every country yet tho. Anyway, between paper and plastic, it always ends in a bin. And it reamins the choice of ruining oceans or chopping off trees.

Incredibly basic, those bags are magic. Light and easy to carry. Easy to tinker, durable. What else we would need ? This only thing would maybe be that it get smudged and takes odours. But as easily as it get cleaned. And it's far more aesthetic than a bloody plastic bag.

And it's also quite easy to DIY by recycling an old random piece of coton or tee shirt. Having not much around, and to be fair I haven't really think of doing it myself, I found those lovely organic coton loot bags. - Bee wax wraps Easy and efficient. Stuff things in, close it and sceal it by pressing with your hands. A long term package, getting easier and easier to find nowadays. Made with natural products, it's also doable by yourself. Useful, indeed, but helps to slowly getting rid of those single use packaging who congest the planet. And it's not just about the industrial packaging, but also foil or plastic that we use to cover plates and pots for exemple. Would cover about 75m of plastic film use. Easy to adopt at home or on the road.

The concept is pretty new and getting trrendy as it becomes more accessible in more and more countries. Lifetime is between 6 and 12 months regarding of your usage. Easy to use, pack and clean, it's also suprisingly efficient proofness wise. Odours, liquids, crumbles...

We carry it along, stash in a pocket, and you just give it when buying a pastry or whatever you're gonna take away. Or as a doggy bag for the leftover in a restaurant for exemple. What else. Way too practical not to use it. Far too much waste to do without.

- Lunch box It's finally pretty much the same concept as above, but in a rigid way ! I lenghtily avoid it, affraid of not using it enough and losing space, carrying useless stuff. But actually, no space to loose at all as even if you don't stuff food in, you can stash everything and nothing. Coffee, dry food, spices... Whatever !

When eating outside, especially in south east asia, we find ourselve with a pastic kit at which pit stop (fork, knife, spoon, plate...). A small effort to give your box at the right moment, and it's all good. On top, on the road, that allows two things : avoiding food waste by having a container t o keep the leftovers, and coocking for a few days ahead while access to a kitchen.

- Sewing kit Meanwhile the mass consumption is a common religion, fixing is a trully rebel act. Tinkering, fixing, sewing, in order to avoid any other pointless buy. We can often, by digging a tiny bit, fix what's going wrong.

Replacing our clothes just for a hole on it, a scratch or a blot, it's getting almost reckless. So we do tinker. If you have very limited manual/fixing capacities as myself do, it's gonna be a coarse remedy, but it has it's own charm as well !

Pretty spartan, but works perfectly as a first aid fixing solution ! - Titanium Spork In the same guideline as the lunch box, not to have to use too many different set of plastic cutlery a day, better have a spork under your hand to cover your need.

It's most probably polystyrene boxes and plastic set of cutlery that you'll find crashing on beaches, far from the common glazes. Not only, but it's a fair part of the problem. A visible part of it anyway. And if, in a common effort, we would have those little thing stashed in our backpack, locals would not have to deal with our invasive presence far after our departure. And it's not even mentionning the inside of the oceans. Note : I had back in the day a few plastic version of it done by light my fire. Cheap indeed, but breaks far too easily. Which results for me in overconsumming. Titanium kitchen wares are perfect in term of efficiency, weight and solidity. - Zip plastic bag A few of those to haul in your bags helps to protect stuff from rain, dust or humidity, but also and mostly for me, help me to stock couscous, lentils, dry fruits, peanuts. . It remains plastic, and the lifetime is quite limited. Not ideal then, but by taking extra care of it, I make them surviving long enough to worth having it.

And also, while travelling on a bike or walking, it helps to buy from the bulk sections of supermarkets. Which means avoiding buy per kilo or half a kilo, which is most of the time far too much. We buy the right quantity, at the right price, and packageless. Quite easy to get at supermarkets in a growing amount of countries, or even just at the local markets

- Combo water filter + bottle Calculation is quite simple if you travel for a while. The crazy prices for a bottle of water in most places worth the effort, especially if you smash a few daily. And it's just the pecuniary aspect of it.

That much bottles, every day, for as much travellers. All of this in countries who are absolutely unable to deal with that much rubbish. Anyway, who could pretend nowadays being able to deal with it ? Recycling is great. Stop consuming is probably much better.

An enormous quantity of solutions for water filtration nowadays. A solution to everybody regarding your needs. And lower prices make it more accessible as well. As much as the idiotproof way to use it, weight and bulk. It's always a bit disspointoing to see thousands of tourists coming in south east asia or anywhere else and buying plastic bottles every single day. A water filter and a bottle, done. And it also works at home indeed. Mostly in our countries where the tap water is super controled, easy not to buy any anymore. Even water you flush in the toilets is drinkable.

- Small liquid containers I was using those little container to stock up some oil anyway, but I found out by digging in the kiwi cities you can find pretty much everything you need at the bulk section of specific shops. Which means that I can buy coconut oil to do my own toothpast but also oil and soy sauce. Cause yep, the problem is mainly that I don't ant to carry over a liter bottle on the bike. Soyce sauce and oil often come in a plastic container as well, and the glass bottles are far too heavy to be carrying.

As food, having a solution to stock up small quantities allows to save money, consumming in adequacy and reducing what we carry on the bike. This bulk food/stuff system is obviously not available in every country, but we can also see the problem from a different perspective. In most of the side of the road food shacks or people we meet on the way, in hostel kitchens, we can easily grab a bit a soy sauce or oil with no bother. But for that, you need a proper container. Not sure it's gonna affect much the life of the one your borrow it from, fills your bottle up and ready to ramble again !

Here is the first part of an actual important topic for me, how to make my existence more bearable for the planet. Just a quick note : I'm not pretending saving the planet at all. I've changed some of my habits, and I feel much better now for a few reasons. People showed me how easy it could be to make an effort, so did I. Then seeing that, some have decided to do a little something as well. Slowly but surely. As one person doing a little act reamains a little act. But a group of people acting is changing the global direction, helps people to face questions and search for answer. Overall, I just couldn't keep on complaining about the situation while not changing myself at first my consumption.

Next to come : Vol 2, acts and facts. Stay tuned !


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