How I reduced my waste to (almost) zero

By Joanna Chojnicka

I’m really happy to be able to live in Germany, where waste segregation and recycling are a big deal. I’ve been trying constantly to improve my habits and reduce the amount of waste I produce in my everyday life; however, I have to admit that I didn’t give it too much thought – up to a point. The point when I realised that the only waste going into my general waste basket were banana peels and used coffee. I then went and bought biodegradable organic waste bags that are supposed to go to the brown Biomüll containers. Since then – and it was a couple of weeks ago – the only thing that I have put into the general waste container was a vacuum cleaner bag.

Continue reading How I reduced my waste to (almost) zero

Advertisements

Binary oppositions

By Joanna Chojnicka

Over the last few months, I have been thinking a lot about… binary thinking. Seeing and understanding the world in black-and-white. How the whole intricacy and complicatedness of a problem gets reduced to two apparently contradictory options that may have actually little to do with the original issue. We saw it with Brexit, where the social, cultural, and environmental change, the influence of neoliberal capitalism and globalisation, emancipatory movements, various shades and aspects of migration, racism, and lots of other issues suddenly became the simple choice between Leave or Exit.

Binary thinking is not new, of course. The anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss claimed that some basic binary pairs, such as ‘life’ vs. ‘death’, ‘maternal’ vs. ‘paternal’, ‘good’ vs. ‘evil’, or ‘raw’ vs. ‘cooked’, constituted the building blocks of myths, out of which we, humans, developed the ability to think conceptually.

Continue reading Binary oppositions