I am excited to hear from all of the people who are in support of the clean-up. Part of my life journey is to find forms of service that balance my desire to do something that I love and am passionate about, something that benefits people and the planet, and something that people value enough to support financially. The response has indicated to me that I am onto what that ‘something’ is.
I love to make nature art. The creation process teaches me every time by reconnecting me to the power of observation, the beauty of our home, and the meaningfulness of having physical connection to our environment.
I find a deep fulfillment when I pick up garbage. The reason I call it ‘deep’ is because it feels different than most other things that I do in order to make myself feel good, worthy, deserving. It feels like service for the sake of service, straight from the heart’s inspiration.
Both activities create incredible experiences, garner positive feedback, and feel good to me. Why not put them together and see what happens?
Now, onto the questions I have received about the mission.
Q. Why Mexico? Why not Canada or the United States?
A. A number of reasons. The first and foremost is because it doesn’t matter that it is Mexico. I believe that I am a citizen of the world and a steward of the planet. My home is everywhere. It isn’t about borders, territories, or ‘other’ places. Earth is our collective home. Messes need to be cleaned up, they aren’t someone else’s problem.
Beyond that: I’m right beside Mexico already, there are massive piles of trash in Mexico (cutting down on the need to travel and increased necessity in those specific areas), there are less regulations in Mexico (living in a camper in the U.S. and Canada often makes me a criminal – most municipalities have bylaws forbidding sleeping in vehicles overnight or just have “no overnight” signs), and the people in Mexico are much more open to such work (because the problem is more visible).
Q. What are you doing with the garbage once you have collected it in trash bags?
A. The art that I will be creating is going to be done using the colours of the trash bags in creative arrangements. The bags help to keep it collected by preventing the trash from being blown away. I have made the decision to move forward with the clean-up by doing the first step – collecting it. I am a fire starter – I get projects going. I do not believe that we need to have all of the steps figured out before we start; it is useful to leave room for them to emerge as you go. This is how I have been living for a number of years now, and each next step arrives exactly on time. This is putting the practical in service to the impractical.
I am open to ideas for subsequent steps. I am reaching out to organizations and communities who might be able to help transport it elsewhere for proper disposal. There is a company potentially installing waste-to-energy solutions in the area that might be able to use it. The whole point is to see what sprouts from this small seed of inspiration and to show people that we all have the ability to follow our dreams.
Q. What about safety?
A. I will be using gloves and a grabber claw to collect. The area I am looking (and the Baja in general) is just as safe as anywhere else in the world. I believe that the intention behind the mission will serve to inspire support from the local communities in surprising ways.
Q. Why don’t you team up with another organization doing similar work?
A. As far as I am aware, there isn’t one. I am definitely open to connecting with any if you have suggestions. I would love to hear from more people on the Earth’s beautification team! There are a number of projects working on ocean cleanup, however I am not feeling called to that specifically at the moment – the land needs love too!
Q. Why don’t you get a job and earn money the hard way like the rest of us?
A. I’m not entirely sure what people think is easy about what I am doing. The actual physical work is quite draining on the body. It’s not easy to ask people for help. I’m choosing work that is not supported by our established institutions and systems. I am trying to shine light on the necessary and valuable work that is available today, and yet left on the sidelines by our current economic agreements. Getting a job is easy. Supporting meaningful work where there are no corporations hiring is hard. But with your help, we make it easier not only for me, but for others to do the same by inspiring others into fulfilling service. We choose what we support with our dollar votes. This is my dedication to co-creating a world that supports people in doing what they love.
If you would like to support the beautification of the Earth and sponsor my 198 hours of garbage transformation in Mexico, please donate whatever you feel one hour of this work is worth to firstname.lastname@example.org (paypal or etransfer)