In this moment so many sentient beings are directly in the path of danger. At a time like this, tending to the mundane or long term feels just that, pretty small and/or remote. In one of those aching moments, I got an email from our good friend Ramona with a cheery inquiry “Hey! I keep thinking of you starting a juice/drinks business based on your healing drinks book . . keeps coming up…sending love…” Thank you, Ramona, this is a catalytic question! I wrote Easy Healing Drinks from the Wisdom of Ayurveda with the strong intention to reduce the plastic load on the planet. If I could persuade readers to make their own tasty drinks and then store them in glass containers they already had, it would be one less passel of plastic bottles landing in the ocean. This was my thinking. Yet as I write this, my Achilles heel is: with two broken blenders plastic and climate change proceed. I’m temporarily snagged in some efforts to slow these down in my own life.
Ramona’s a bright spirit. She probably imagined us with a festive palapa on the beach, pouring out freshly made Easy Healing Drinks to a long line of people snaking their way up the beach, cups in hand. Yes! Yet I went dark and saw mass production with plastic bottles. Forgive me Ramona!
How do broken blenders plastic and climate change relate?
What’s the connection between plastic pollution and climate change? First oil has to be drilled to make most plastics. Then once plastic is used and thrown away, its off-gassing accelerates climate change big time. Switching our focus for a moment from plastic bottles to plastic bags, only 56 countries have a full ban on plastic bags, 89 have no ban at all. Check the map to see where the US lands on this spectrum. (Scroll down within the article to find it.) Looking at this map, you can see who’s in denial and who might not be.
Nut and Seed Milks without Plastic
Here’s a dinky personal story. It’s easy to make nut and seed milks on your own if you’ve got a blender. I drink some healthy organic dairy – sheep, goat, cow – yet interspersing these with freshly made almond or pumpkin seed milks works best for my particular constitution. Also maybe for the planet. I can store the plant milks in Mason jars, pour, drink, wash the jars, start over again. I don’t have to buy those beautiful milks in their pretty plastic bottles at the store and wonder where they’re going to end up. But with a broken blender, I haven’t had any seed or nut milks all summer, unless I stir a little creamy tahini or almond butter into water in a cup.
Not all blender companies are created equal
This reality of broken blenders plastic and climate change has got me exploring. As things fall apart, they need to be addressed. Yet how? Cuisinart has a strong reputation for blenders. A while ago our newish Cuisinart glass blender got cracked in the wash. After much investigation it became clear Cuisinart wouldn’t provide a glass replacement part no matter how many contacts I made. The local shop where I purchased the blender was equally unable to help me keep this otherwise sustainable appliance alive. Cuisinart doesn’t recycle. (I bet you could have similar snags running somewhere in your own life. Here’s some insights from professionals about recycling small appliances and/or electronic devices.)
IDEA: This runs counter to spontaneous capitalist experience and an overworked life, yet if one really wanted a Cuisinart blender with replacement parts, some do exist. Instead of buying a blender first, you start with the website and see what models in the moment offer replacements. Then you buy one of those, hoping Cuisinart will stay steady on their current offers. Hm.
Minimize plastic use wherever you can
Second blender: I’ve held on to the sturdy glass pitcher and heavy rubber top from an older KitchenAid blender. Here’s the opposite problem. The machine designed to activate the blending long ago expired in service to the creation of Easy Healing Drinks. I go on line. Kitchen Aid no longer offers a bottom to match my hefty top. It does have a packaging recycling page at least. Broken blenders plastic and climate change in mind, I resolutely walk past all the organic milks in their classy plastic bottles at the grocery. Forget it, I think. (Don’t get me wrong, sadly I dump plastic in our garbage daily.) It’s just any place that I CAN avoid it, I do. Ruth Ozeki’s words in A Tale for the Time Being about the plastic continent in the Pacific haunt me.
A jewel in the rough
Broken blenders plastic and climate change lead me to Hamilton Beach blenders. Humble, modest so-so Hamilton Beach has a long-standing recycling program for all their appliances, a rare jewel amidst appliance companies. Best Buy also surprised me – not with blenders, yet with their program to recycle electronics. Maybe a cheaper blender with stronger values is worth more than a highly rated blender with no sustainable values at all? Solar blenders are next on my list to explore…
Small is beautiful
Yes, Easy Healing Drinks is accessible, if you’ve got electricity. You can make all the recipes in Easy Healing Drinks with a $100 or under blender, a juicer, and/or a pot on the stove. It’s also why Renee Lynn and I transformed two of the four seasons’ recipes into inexpensive eBooks. Accessible, sustainable. Something we can do, and you can do, quick and easy.
My hands cautiously finger the broken blenders plastic and climate change in mind. Mired in the present moment, I notice that sometimes difficulties lead to learning. Researching this blog has sure created that for me. I invite you to move through broken blenders plastic and climate change to a modestly healthier future. May we share it together with others.
With prayers that all sentient beings, seen and unseen, in the path of danger receive the help they need.
9/13/21: Update: Thanks to all the readers who took the time to respond with excellent ideas. Joan suggested thrift stores as an alternative and Susan pointed out Craigs List as an option. Mary Jo had a truly surprising solution – as a special ed teacher, parents of her students showed her how Mason jars could screw directly into a blender! You just have to be careful as you remove the jar. ..
Reflecting on this with you, I’m realizing that what’s needed is a more systemic response. That as a culture we need to create and support businesses that are willing to be sustainable on a much larger scale. This means sidestepping “throw away” non-renewable options in every possible way, including those paths mentioned above. Yet also working together to shift our whole paradigm.
Image Peach Hemp Shake thanks to Renee Lynn This is the drink I would make today if a working blender was on hand. So tasty.
Amadea Morningstar, MA, RPE, RYT is an Ayurvedic and Polarity Therapy educator and an Accessible Yoga Ambassador.