“When you realize Heart and Earth are spelled with the same letters, it all starts to make sense.” Unknown
As we close out our month focused on love, I would be remiss if I forgot Mother Earth. It's the one thing each and every one of us has in common and share every single day, every single moment.
Last year my family committed to reduce our plastics and ultimately our waste. We worked on bringing all of our own supplies when out - bags, cups, straws, packaging - and buying bulk and without plastic wrapping. We committed to reducing our purchasing of things made out of plastic that were not biodegradable - choosing alternative products such as bamboo and cotton. Although we worked hard at it - we had some serious struggles. It appears that almost everything out there is wrapped, sold, transferred or shipped in plastic. Local vendors we worked with delivered everything in plastic (from prescription bottles to packaging to containers).
It took a concerted effort and some detailed conversations with people and businesses to educate them on using less plastic, offering alternatives, suggesting they carry options, asking them to make some changes to accommodate our desire to reduce our plastic footprint. I have to admit that every time I come into a place with my own cotton bags, glass jars, and paper bags - people are SUPER excited but even while they LIKE what we are doing, they don't seem to want to commit to it.
That's the issue.
"The earth is what we all have in common." Wendell Berry
It's just one bag, one wrap, one little prescription bottle. But it's not. It's millions of bags, millions of bottles, millions of plastic wrapped items. We need to stop this and WE can if we make the demand for alternatives heard.
Each time you take your own bag, or buy unpackaged items or insist on no wrapping, you send a message. We don't need this plastic and we don't want it. So, here are a few little tips to take to start this change and I ask that you join me in reducing over consumption and waste and show how much you love our earth.
1. Take your own bags everywhere you go. Cotton bags are easy to make, washable, easy to use and easy to store in your car, purse, home. If you don't have a bag, tell the store you can carry it without or ask for paper bags or a portion of a cardboard box they are recycling. Or better yet, if you don't have a bag, you don't buy (my new rule!).
2. Buy bulk. Whenever, wherever you can - buy in bulk. Lots of stores offer bulk supplies - Sprouts, Whole Foods, local health food stores. Use mason jars, cotton bags, glass containers to buy, fill and store (just weigh your jar and mark on it the weight in pen when you enter the store so they can remove the jar weight before purchase).
3. If you don't have a cup or straw on you - you don't get a drink. Fill your car and purse with metal straws and reusable metal/glass cups for anytime you want a drink. EXTRA - you can reduce waste AND you often get a discount on your drink!
4. Choose reusable items over disposable. Straws, cups, cotton face wipes, towels, storage containers. Buy it washable and reusable every time you can.
5. Rethink - Reuse. Before you throw something away, stop, think and see if there is something else it can be used for. What else could this item do, be, serve as? Yard planter, magazine holder, planter - think outside it's original use OR ask your friends and neighbors if they could use it. SO many times I have found new happy homes for items I no longer need or want!
6. Explain to local vendors what you are trying to do. I informed all my extra mail vendors that I was trying to reduce my eco footprint and they stopped sending me junk mail! I notified my veterinarian of what I was doing so they package my prescriptions in small paper envelopes or reuse the glass jars (from jams) I bring in. Invite them to be a part of your adventure and maybe, just maybe they will try some of these things themselves.
"Keep close to nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." John Muir
Last but not least, step outside - climb a mountain, swim the lake, hike the hills - BREATHE. When you spend time outside - you remember why it is you are working hard to show Mother Earth some love - YOU WANT TO PRESERVE THIS! Show the Earth some love and she will love you in return.
See you on the mat my friends!
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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