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As a member of the Conscious Community, it's important to realize the role we each play in the well-being of ourselves, our loved ones, and the home in which we all share - Planet Earth. I'd love to share some facts with you that I hope will empower you to take conscious action within your own life so that we may collectively be a part of something stellar!
The truth is, this planet does not belong to us. We are temporary dwellers of this space and time. Regardless of however long that may be for and whatever distances we may travel, our existence plays an overall role in the conditions of living for generations to come. This is why it is important to take the best of care and strive to improve every day. Here are some tips and tricks on how we can do so together!
Thanks for your open minds and consideration soul fam :)
#1 Avoid as much plastic as possible
This is a HUGE one!
Here are some scary, but nonetheless, NEED to know facts..
- That bottled water you may drink from multiple times a day.. is most likely tap water (depending upon the brand). Up to 40% of the bottled water sold is... tap water. Meaning: when a person buys bottled water - they are basically paying an astonishing 1000-2000 times more for something they could have for much less through their water bill. Not only costing them more money, but this purchase also supports the profits of companies that do not have the consumer's best interests at heart as they are also destructing our environment in the process. So next time you leave the house, please strongly consider taking a reusable bottle with you. You'll be saving your money and green all around the world as well ;)
- Oh yeah, and bottled water is classified as a "food" by the FDA, (makes sense.. Right?) which means it is subject to less stringent regulation than tap water. Uh.. Frightening!
- Then there's BPA which was initially used as a hormone replacement in women and a growth hormone in cattle. Now it resides in plastic products that regularly come into contact with food and drinks.
- Today our society is producing approximately 300 million tons of plastic annually.
- It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade.
- 50% of those plastics are thrown away after being used only once. (I would think an even higher percentage by all of the plastic I've seen in garbages.. Sigh)
- Some areas of the ocean contain hundreds of thousands of pieces of plastic per square mile.
- Because of this, 44% of all seabird species, 72% of cetaceans, all sea turtle species, and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in our around their bodies. Tears..
Who else is feeling the pain of these statistics with me?!
The good news is that WE, yes YOU, can be a part of positive change!
How you can help:
Boycotting plastic may sound like some silly revolution to some.. but truly, this is one of the strongest ways I have found to help preserve our precious environment. Here are some ideas of how we can do so :)
- #1 - Invest in a reusable water bottle!! Mason Jars make great storage containers for drinks (and foods) and there are also some great conscious companies offering larger sized bottles as well. Find one that fits your style and rep it all around town as you spread the good word! Mama Pacha will thank you greatly for it ;)
- Use reusable cloth shopping bags instead of single use plastic bags.
- If you forget the bag in the car, bring your groceries in the basket / cart out to your car and bag it there. This small shift in habit makes a BIG difference and helps to set a strong example!
- When brining your grocery bags inside, put them by the door once you empty them as your reminder to bring them back out to the car on your next way out :)
- Upcycle - think of new uses for old items
- Bring a reusable mug when you order coffee to go. Some stores may even have a reward system for this!
- Wear natural clothing. Ideally locally sourced
- Don’t just discard electronics, try to get them repaired or traded in
- Say NO to drinking straws. Straws are sadly being found in the noses of sea turtles and also being harmful to many other animals in addition to our environment. Say no for the turtles!
How many of you are committed to these practices already? Which are you considering incorporating into your daily routine?!
Please help to stop plastic pollution by joining in these efforts and being a part of the solution!
#2 - Make a statement with what you buy
It’s true - Money talks.
Especially in regards to the companies that we support. We can each make a big difference by avoiding buying products that are produced in an unhealthy fashion for employees, consumers, our environment, and animals.
Important to keep in mind - that often, when we buy “cheap”, someone else is paying for it. Workers, animals, or the planet itself.
So sometimes it is valuable beyond dollar amount to pay a little extra.
How you can help:
- One of the greatest ways we can vote with our dollar is through our food. Support your local farmers, buy organic, Non-GMO, and shop in season.
- Don’t buy products that harm animals or support companies that use abusive tactics
- Whenever you can, buy local products that directly support your cOMmunity
- Fair Trade Certified products are guaranteed to have been produced under humane conditions for workers
#3: Save Water
- Water is the essential component to all life. It comprises 70% of the Earth’s surface, and up to 75% of the human body. From all of the sweet and accessible water on Earth, we use 98% for industrial purposes and agriculture, only 7% for the nutrition and health of every living organism.
- People in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world have to walk an average of 6 km to collect water
- The average toilet uses 6 liters of clean water in a single flush
- It takes up to 2900 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans
- USGS estimates that it takes 4,000 to 18,000 gallons of water to produce a hamburger, depending on conditions the cows are raised in. (The water doesn't go directly into your burger; rather, it is used to feed, hydrate, and service cows.)
How you can Help:
- Install water saving shower heads and low faucet aerators
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
- Don’t leave water running while cleaning the dishes. Use it only to wet and rinse
- Use the dishwasher and clothes washer only when you have full loads
- Research how to save water in your yard or garden
- Decrease your meat and dairy consumption. By not consuming either - heres the difference you can make in a day:
What you save by living a vegan lifestyle PER DAY:
- 1100 gallons of water
- 45 lbs of grain
- 30 sq ft of rainforest
- 10lbs of CO2
- An animals life
Take a moment to envision all of these factors and how you can help to create such miraculous savings PER DAY! Simply by what you allow on your plate. Powerful!
# 4: Organic & Non - GMO
Regardless of diet, organic foods are a smart priority. Opting for organic food is an overall wise and deeply conscious choice for personal and planetary health. Buying organically grown food - free of harmful chemicals, bursting with more nutrition, taste, and sustainable sustenance - shows our government that we care about the quality of our food. This also supports a hopeful future for generations to come.
Important to Note: Nutrition Labels on processed foods are often a product of misleading advertising and actually have harmful health effects. An examle of this is “nonfat” which usually means packed with harmful chemicals and sugar instead which converts to fat anyways.
Processed foods are strategically designed to be addictive and can influence us to overeat.
It’s important to keep in mind that processed foods are made for a long shelf life, not a long human life.
Less processed foods are generally more satisfying then their highly processed counterpart. Consider transitioning to more home made / fresh meals. You may even discover a new love for food and cooking!
How we can help:
Organic Farming supports eco-sustenance and farming in harmony with nature. Please help support this way of life! Often, organic is not much more expensive than conventional, if at all.
Support your local farmers markets and shop in season to receive the best deals.
When choosing organic, take pride in knowing that you are helping to reduce pollution and protect our Earth’s water and soil.
This keeps our children and future safe. Pesticides poison our soil which then requires a decade to renew. These chemicals are harmful to the people who work on the farms, live around them, and those who consume their biproducts.
Be mindful of the companies you support through your daily purchases. Many companies are concerned with profits over people so it goes a long way to help support the companies who truly care and genuinely wish to support your health and wellness.
#5: Eat Less Meat and dairy
My intention with this philosophy is to help spread awareness. What you choose to do with the following information is solely up to you.
As conscious beings, it is of great benefit to us to eat mindfully and see the connection between what we feed our temples, and the energy (or lack there of) that comes with this. Eating more veggies, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds instead of meat can have huge implications upon our personal health, and the planet’s health as well.
How does eating meat effect our planet, you may ask?
- 51% of Global greenhouse gases are attributed to livestock
- Cows are provided more food AND water than our entire human population. Meanwhile, there are billions of people starving around the world every day.
- Most antibiotics in the world go straight into your meat. No bueno.
- 26% of land worldwide is used for grazing livestock, while 33% is used for growing livestock feed
- 16,000 liters of water are needed to produce only 1 kilogram of beef
How we can help:
If you go to a restaurant, do your best to choose a vegetarian or vegan meal. Especially when eating out, there’s very little chance of knowing where products are being sourced from.
Support companies that offer veg options, organic, and non-gmo. Yes, they can be scarce, but they are SO worth it! And this brings us back to the point of voting with our dollars. By supporting more restaurants with these values, we are also enabling their expansion and showing that we want more similar dining options.
Peace can begin on our plates. There are several documentaries you can watch for free on Netlix that help open our eyes, minds, and hearts to the reality of the meat and dairy agricultural industries.
Cowspiracy - Highly recommended. This is not focused so much on animal abuse as many other documentaries can be. This gives you direct insight of the environmental impact being caused and helps us to realize just how valuable the daily choices of our food are.
Vegucated, Earthlings, etc.
If the transition seems scary to you, create an intention for why you would like to reduce your meat and dairy intake, remind yourself of this intention each time you eat, and transition at a rate that you feel comfortable with. Starting with "Meatless Monday" is a great way to see what it feels like to go a day without consuming animal products. Get a friend or your family involved :) You'd be surprised just how great the alternatives can feel and taste!