An Ultimate Mexican Talent.
It is worldwide known that all the efforts from Developing Countries still come short, when talking about Waste Culture. The level of awareness about the vast impact this produces in our environment is something that needs much more improvement still. One of the things I admire the most about the USA is precisely this, its Waste Policies. I imagine it is similar to every First World Country, but I've been to some already, and nothing has impacted me in such a positive way as the USA and its tight rules and consciousness regarding trash and waste management. Although I understand it was not always like this, I can only applaud the way this society has evolved in a sense that everyone makes their part into building a better place to live in.
I've seen Mexico develop dramatically on this issue over the past decade, but, we still have a lot to do. For example, it makes me so mad every time a friend posts a picture of how beaches are left after a holiday. People keep dumping trash wherever they go, everything is left in ruins. Besides, it is practically the work of non-profit groups and good Samaritans to take care of the aftermath. The government lacks the initiatives to keep the streets clean and most importantly, to implement the necessary educational programs to pass awareness about this critical issues to the next generations. It saddens me to say that all we can rely on, at least on this matter, is the good intentions of a small part of the community. That's it. Like for example, this "Basura Challenge" takin up the streets of Tijuana as we speak, in which people randomly fill a bag with trash from the road and nominate more people to do so. Well done Tijuana!
Being that we have been in the Recycling Business for more than a decade now, this is obviously something that we are very passionate about as a family. I'm always observant of the international differences regarding waste culture. Still, as a Green Business Owner, let me tell you, there is something we do in Mexico that I haven't seen anyone do here in my 6 years living in the USA. And, for descriptive purposes, I'm going to call this Organic Recycling. Don't get me wrong, people in the States will keep their streets clean, ceremoniously sort trash in the right bins, some of them will even take it to a Recycling Center for some extra bucks. But, to give new purpose to what you'll consider useless trash, well that my friends, that requires Mexican talent. In Mexico like in the USA, the word waste is used to describe something you can't further use, need or want at the moment, but believe me, in Mexico, not a lot of things get this adjective, though. Truth, we still have much to learn regarding adequately sorting away said waste, but nevertheless, we definitely can teach you one thing or two about reusing an object to the extent of disintegration. Besides, the USA has a consumer mentality, not prevalent in Mexico. In here, people throw things away so quickly, mostly, because there is a never-ending supply of such object wherever you go, at a relatively affordable price. Why get in the trouble of fixing something, if you could just go to one of the thousand warehouses around you and get a new one, Right?
In Mexico, on the other hand, the lack of opportunities and little resources have shaped our lifestyle, delivering an adaptative skill for using and reusing whatever we have, until we get the best of it. The word "chicanada" refers to the ability to fix something that was apparently beyond repair, leaving it maybe not as presentable as it was before, but at least functional enough to perform its intended objetive. It comes from the word Chicano, AKA a Mexican living in the United States. We have developed a set of mechanical tricks under our sleeves to fix everything that crosses our hands, over and over again until it completely disintegrates if it has to. We are also the masterminds behind many Frankenstein Gadgets, which consist of combined parts of different artefacts to create a completely new item or fix an existing one. Recycling is less about getting money for cans and plastics, and more about the use you'll give to those cans and plastics while you have them in your power, long before getting rid of them for good. Let me explain with a simple example: Take a can of food. What happens here in the USA is that you will open the can, use its content and then, most likely, throw it into the blue bin. In Mexico, though, that can will most likely fill a new purpose before its final destination. It would be a nail container, a pencil holder, a pot, a flower centerpiece, etc.
Let me share with you some fun facts. While growing up, God forbid you'll dump anything to the trash before asking your Mom or Abuelita first. They're the experts when it comes to Organic Recycling. I still have memories of the looks on my aunt's face, while carefully analyzing a random object, deciphering its future use, before deciding to dump it away. There are tons of jokes about kids finding random foods like beans, for example, inside butter or mayonnaise containers, since Mexican Moms love to use them as tuppers. Grandmas save the cookie cans and use them to storage thread and needles, and so on. Now you know! Mexico is the "Recycling Wonderland" of the world, where old cans become pots, plastic containers become Tupperware, old brooms become doorsteps, pails of paint become bathtubs , used tires become walls and old buses become restaurants. Whatever hipster trend is mainstreaming recently on Pinterest, believe me, it is nothing new down there!
We even recycle food! There are lots of dishes that come from "recycling" other dishes! Like Tortas de Pavo, which are the famous meal you eat the next day after Christmas, a favorite one by itself! There's also Arroz con Leche, and the Capirotada, to state a few, both desserts created as an attempt to recycle some leftovers! Also, shredded meat is a good example! You can make soup with the broth, feed dogs with some of the bones and many dishes with the beef or chicken! Like for example Sopes, Tostadas or this amazingly delicious yet simply to prepare Baked Taquitos! Click the link below to show you how!
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