Here is what you can do instead

I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you that the world's plastic problem is at a critical level today. From the Stone Age to the Iron Age to the Steel Age, we delineate society’s epochs by their primary material for fabrication. Ours will most likely be called the Plastic Age.

Microplastics and the plastic waste in our oceans, food-chain and even air are harmful to humans and wildlife. In one study, 100% of the mussels tested contained microplastics.

The decline in materialism and nationalism

Digital nomadism is hardly a new phenomenon. If you reached adulthood after the subprime crisis, you probably entertained the idea of remote work from a tropical paradise. Or you have done it, only to realise that working from the beach is such a bad idea, that you don’t understand why people inundated Instagram with laptops on the beach photos with the caption: “Today’s office”. Ugh. Kind of obnoxious to start with. Also, did they not sweat onto their beach sand-covered Macbooks enough to call it quits? I sure did. No judgment; we are all victims of the Millenial hustle culture…

The case of Bali

Are you working remotely due to the pandemic? Love it? Are you contemplating moving to a location that fits your personality and lifestyle requirements better? Now you can, but be mindful of where you go and how you go about it. You don’t want to end up bitterly staring into the horizon, questioning your life choices as people do acro yoga around you. How did I end up here, microdosing mushrooms and getting Bitcoin mansplained to me twice a day? If that sounded too specific, it really isn’t.

I lived on the road for over a decade, and every time…

A mindset shift to feel less overwhelmed

Instagram’s curated perfection, articles about seemingly overnight success businesses, and insanely successful people younger than you;- it’s all too easy to feel like a failure and get anxious. Hey, slow down with the coffee, already. I am about to tell you that you are allowed to go easy on yourself. Society puts way too much pressure on you in your twenties.

All the same, it is not uncommon to have a mini identity crisis every now and then. Perfect social media personas and seemingly endless options are enough to make anyone feel inadequate with a severe case of FOMO.


How corporate America blames you for climate change

Did you watch the Netflix show, The Good Place? Its great revelation was that everyone was going to the Bad Place, aka hell, because the system is rigged. Every human gets points for doing good deeds.

Except, today, even buying a piece of chocolate could mean that you are perpetuating inequality, supporting farms that do not pay living wages to their workers. Not to mention that the chocolate was shipped from the other end of the world, adding to the industry's massive carbon footprint.

Now that’s enough to give us all climate anxiety, which is a very real condition. Watching…

Don’t let anyone take advantage of you

Do you feel like some people are judgmental towards you, talk down to you? Or do you find yourself agreeing to things you did not want to do in the first place? Do people generally take you and what you do for granted?

It’s soul-crushing to be around people who do not value you, and sometimes you can simply walk away. Identify abusive relationships, be it romantic, professional or friendships and give yourself the option of ending them.

But if you find you are always subtly treated with less respect than you feel comfortable with, maybe adopting the following behaviours…

A mindset change from a clinical psychologist

Positive psychology. It’s been gaining steady popularity in the past decade. I think it is because some of the professionals started to wonder why we study stress, anxiety, panic, and depression while placing little emphasis on what it means to be happy? Stress and depression are necessary to study, but they stem from the lack of meaning and happiness in most cases. So why not explore what happiness means?

Happiness research sounds like a woolly discipline at first, but there is more to it than we’d give it credit for.

To mention a few names who gained popularity in the…

I don’t want to swap stargazing for incrementally faster internet

On a mild May evening, I was standing by the river Danube in downtown Budapest- the capital of Hungary. Being a fairly big city, light pollution is a problem in Budapest. It’s a minor miracle to see more than Orion’s belt, the Vega or the North Star on clear nights.

So imagine my astonishment when I saw a seemingly neverending stream of bright dots on the sky. Their luminosity surpassed the North Stars’. I stared confusedly at the dystopian apparition until they disappeared behind the horizon. …

You are part owner of the night sky by law. Why aren’t we talking about its future?

A few weeks back, I went to a rural area to watch the Full Moon eclipse. I was stoked. I reclined in a sun chair, ready to take in the eclipse in all its once-in-a-lifetime majesty. Except I saw a satellite passing. I grunted irritably, waiting for it to leave. But then another appeared. Then another, and another. Starlink’s dystopian chain of satellites made a guest appearance, shining brighter than anything else around them, save for the Moon.

I used to get excited about seeing artificial objects slowly pass over the horizon, floating peacefully in the Earth’s orbit. Not anymore.

The pandemic was a year-long Xmas for aspiring autocrats

Yesterday, I was out on my usual stroll with my dog, and there were over ten thousand people on the streets waving rainbow flags. I got excited beyond measure. Is this a Gay Pride? I had flashbacks of past Pride events, especially my first ever one in Chicago. The glory!

What I have mistaken for a joyous celebration of Pride Month quickly turned out to be a protest against an anti-LGBTQ+ law passed by the increasingly far-right Hungarian government. The anti-gay propaganda law has been likened to the Russian one by international human rights and news organisations.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t…

Ono Mergen

Environmental scientist. Rethinking culture, future, equality, science, and climate change. 🌍 Sustainability, Branding 📧 For projects:

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