A longtime anti-plastics campaigner speaks out on the plastic crisis at home in the Philippines and the larger global south.

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Film still courtesy The Story of Plastic

Growing up in Manila, Von Hernandez watched as incineration plants — and their attendant air pollution — surrounded his community. In the 1990s, Hernandez spearheaded an anti-plastics-incineration campaign. His relentless activism made him enemies in the plastics industry, and he was frequently attacked in the press by pro-incineration lobbyists and government officials. Eventually, though, the Philippines passed the world’s first national waste incineration ban in 1999.

Hernandez has worked as an environmentalist ever since — first leading programs for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, then as Greenpeace International’s global development director. Today, he’s the global coordinator for Break Free From Plastic (BFFP), a movement advocating for a plastic-free future worldwide. The work he does with BFFP is featured in the 2019 documentary The Story of Plastic, directed by Deia Schlosberg. …

High Water and What You Won’t Do For Love make the climate crisis vivid through unconventional performances.

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High Water (left) and What You Won’t Do for Love (right) tackle environmental subject matter in creative and non-didactic ways. (Images: Ash Tanasiychuk, Why Not Theatre)

As water flows into an aquarium, a hand reaches down from above, trying to force a balloon into the rising tide. The balloon bursts, and water sputters over the glass walls — evoking heavy rain on a window. Over the course of 52 minutes, the hand drops more objects into the ever-filling aquarium: ping-pong balls, glass jars, pantyhose with rocks in the toes. Clad in a safari vest and hat, fluorescent-framed sunglasses, and impeccable red nail polish, the owner of the hand watches intently as the water reacts.

High Water, created and performed by multidisciplinary artist Robert Leveroos, is a playful and genre-bending performance that uses everyday items, rising water, and Leveroos himself to create miniature scenes and images — all within an aquarium intended for goldfish. Objects take on new meanings in the aquarium-turned-set, as Leveroos tinkers with them in the water. These new meanings are left for the audience to discover; Leveroos hopes they bring their curiosity to the theatre. …

This holiday season, drink green and be merry!

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Photo by Sandra Cunningham/Stocksy

Whether you’re popping open some champagne at a holiday party or enjoying a glass of red while wrapping presents, for many, wine is an integral part of the holiday season. But, as booze flows at festive get-togethers, thinking about your ecological footprint can fall by the wayside. In fact, finding sustainable wine can be difficult at any time of year, because there are no standardized, global regulations or certifications for wine sustainability. However, there are small ways you can make wine shopping greener.


Rebecca Gao

Rebecca Gao is a Toronto-based journalist interested in all things climate, food and late-aughts teen movies. To learn more visit rebeccagao.ca

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