Are you going to buy Trump's plastic straws

Everything out of joint - why 2018 confused me to the maximum

Our author really threw the year 2018 off balance. It has never been so difficult for her to distinguish between right and wrong.

I've never been so confused in my life. Never before have I had so little idea what is right and what is wrong. The world has never felt so shaky to me.

We counted backwards from 10. As always. Champagne corks popped. As always. Fireworks twitched the night sky. As always. And yet this turn of the year felt different than any other before.

2018, the straw year

As it turned out on New Year's Eve, I wasn't alone with this feeling. My friend Eva called 2018 the "straw year". The year when things were suddenly called into question that had always been part of our lives. "And don't get me wrong, I'm glad that this plastic mess is over!", She explained to us apologetically. "But the fact that there will never be yellow-striped plastic straws again somehow confuses me." I think the straw is a really good example. Because every change raises questions. First of all, looking for alternatives. For example, I recently found a hollow noodle in my cocktail. At first I thought it was great. Then I became insecure. Is it okay to sip a cocktail with a hollow noodle when people are starving elsewhere? Is it okay to sip a cocktail when other people are starving? I think anyone who asks a question will be given a hundred more questions as an answer. And this year these questions were far from easy.

My friend, the AfD voter

Another confusing field: politics. It has long been frightening that with Trump, Erdogan, Putin, Prince bin Salman, Kim Jong-un and Co., world politics is on disturbingly unstable legs. In 2018, however, the wind turned in our environment. If you raise a dark-skinned child like me, the pictures and slogans of all the "concerned citizens" in Chemnitz are hard to bear. But when the AfD gets over eleven percent of the votes in your own place - always a bit of a bulldog - then a feeling of home that was believed to be safe suddenly begins to shake. Recently, a good friend told me that he was one of the many AfD voters. I was angry and disappointed. Not only because of him, but also about my own thoughts, which at that moment even questioned the correctness of our democracy and the associated right to vote. Our democracy, our right to vote: foundations that I never intended to shake. Not even mentally. Not even for a split second.

What can i eat? How do I shop where?

Also a big topic in 2018: food and clothing. Studies upon studies have flooded the media in recent years. Red meat should suddenly be healthy. Low carb makes us die sooner. Soy and avocados are the devil when it comes to environmental performance. Fruit is as harmful as candy ... the list could go on and on. To be honest, I really didn't know what to eat last year. Seasonal and regional would probably be the correct answer. But what then happens to all those people whose livelihood is exporting exotic fruits? And how do I classify the TV report in which a seamstress tearfully asked not to forego the goods cheaply produced abroad because she would then have nothing left to feed her children?

Is paper better than plastic?

The fact that our supermarket only offers paper bags and that plastic is no longer even available on the vegetable shelf made me cheer at first. Then the damper. Don't we actually have a clearing problem too? How many trees die for all these paper bags? I recently read an article at GEO about the fact that sustainable consumption does not work, because "if you want sustainability, you have to be able to do without economic growth", according to the author's thesis. Uff. But what does that mean for me as a private person? How should i live What should I teach my children? I dont know. I really don't know anymore.

The firecrackers debate was consistent

Despite all the confusion and all the booming questions on my mind, 2018 was a good year in many ways. As for the awareness and sense of responsibility for environmental protection, I am impressed by a new awareness and willingness to question habits. The fact that the private fireworks were boycotted by so many people on New Year's Eve is impressively consistent and fits this year, in which so much has set in motion. The message from Alexander Gerst from space is probably what the world will think of in 100 years when you name the year 2018. Rightly so, because the wind is turning. Our confusion? Perhaps the necessary price that we pay to protect the world from ourselves after all. I just hope that it is also a harbinger of a new clarity that is coming our way.


What do I personally do with my confusion? I've decided to get more specific information next year. Less, more real conversations with experts. I'll let you guys know what they told me.

See you soon, here at BARBARA. Then hopefully with more answers than questions.