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  • Writer's pictureYi Yu

Plastic Perception: Yi Yu, Week 10+11

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

What is Plastic Perception?

Plastic Perception inherits the essential purpose of the Beth Terry’s Plastic Challenge, which is to bring consciousness to one’s usage of plastics in everyday life. In addition, Plastic Perception aims at analyzing my habit of plastic use and putting such habit into a larger context. A bigger context means anything not under my direct control. It implies asking questions such as “where does this plastic come from”, “how will the plastic be treated after going to the landfill/recycling center”, “how and why was the plastic created in the first place” etc.

Week 10 (2020/12/17-2020/12/23)

Week 11 (2020/12/24-2020/12/30)

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Name: Yi Yu (Stephanie)

Week: 10+11 (2020/12/17-2020/12/30)

Total weight: 273g (wk.10) + 58g (wk.11) = 331g (11.68 oz)

Commentary of the Week

According to author Viktor E. Frankl, “to live is to suffer”. Based on such standard, I’ve been exceedingly alive last year. Please pardon my absence of the past week, as I’ve been working on another exciting project which I hope to reveal to you very shortly. I miss you, my readers, dearly. Sentimental words aside, let’s pick up the topic that remains relevant to us: the environment. As I contemplate (a substitute word for ‘blatantly procrastinate’) what to say in this article, I finally decided to briefly summarize my journey of becoming an environmentalist.

The story began at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. As I restlessly waited for my flight to the next destination, my brain unexpectedly directed me to play the second season of Rotten on Netflix. The episode begins with Mexican gangsters robbing avocado plantation owners, which of course captured my attention which desperately needed to be herded. The documentary then dives into the enormous amount of water required for avocados’ irrigation. The fact that it drains rivers after rivers to grow such… fruit (not vegetable) struck me like nothing else. Anxiety spread across my mind, so much so that I was still thinking about the dry riverbeds in Mexico when I was on the flight. I soon forgot that horrible feeling once I’ve arrived at my destination. It wasn’t until August 2020 that I finished the entire season, but the seed for environmentalism was planted in my head back in December 2019.

Starting in March 2020, all of those in the United States began to lose a sense of time. I am merely a drop in millions who have gotten affected by this mysterious virus that literately crossed oceans and mountains. While thousands of families were worrying about the money for the next meal or the bills to pay rent, I was lucky to be worry-free (thanks to my families’ support) and get some time to look back at myself. Still, I couldn’t survive the battle of keeping myself sober-headed. I lost track of time, my mind was in a muddle and I magically arrived in October 2020, the defining month of me officially announcing myself an environmentalist. In fact, it wasn’t so dramatic or stirring. I didn’t prime myself with grand knowledge, nor I knew where this would lead me to or how long I’d carry on. I simply started this blog called Plastic Perception (previously Plastic Challenge) and voila, we are at the article for week 11. Between now and October 2020, taking sustainability and environment as the center of my interest, I’ve read books, news and articles, I’ve listened to podcast and audio books, I’ve watched documentaries and talks, and I’ve taken actions online and offline including doing Plastic Challenge and cutting down red meat consumption.

Here we are, 2021. I’m not used to replacing the “zero” with the “one” yet (I guess becoming a programmer would be out of my league). When I was journaling prior to typing this article, I still wrote “2020”. Nevertheless, I’ll make more necessary and unnecessary mistakes this year, all of which are indispensable for growth. I appreciate this planet we’ve lived on and what it has brought us. I’ll continue to merge this love with my style of living in 2021. Thank you for reading. I wish you a year full of adventures and stories.


Yi Yu

Wrote on Jan 2, 2021

Los Angeles

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