Happy Friday World Wise Beauty! Today is World Environment Day, and some might ask, what does this have to do with wellness culture? Well, I have to tell you, almost everything! One of the key words I often use at World Wise Beauty is ‘interdependence’, because life on this earth is really an amazing ‘interdependent’ network of living, breathing things! And guess what– we are part of that network. We are not so separate as we might feel sitting behind our computers everyday. Thought the word network might grab you though!
So please read on, and celebrate ‘World Environment Day’ with me because a healthy planet is crucial to our health, happiness and well-being. As the wise sage Buddha said,
“Nothing Ever Exists Entirely Alone; Everything is in Relation to Everything Else” ~Buddha
You don’t have to be a tree-hugger, environmentalist, conservationist or an activist to care about the planet. All you have to be is grateful and ‘conscious’. It all starts with understanding that we are not alone, and that we and all of nature on earth are interdependent. How simple is that? Apparently not so simple, depending on the beliefs you subscribe to. If you feel Man is superior and we have every right to ‘USE’ this earth as we please, I don’t think anything I share here will make a whole lot of difference to you. So feel free to check out. But if you believe we are part of this beautiful network called nature, then you just might be interested in what I share in this week’s ‘WRAP’. No lectures or proselytizing here, just some useful tips and informative stories on how to take care of this beautiful home called ‘EARTH’.
‘Think Global and Live Local’ is not a new concept, consumers, governments and business leaders are all feeling the pressure to confront and act upon the fact that unbridled production and consumption comes with mounting pollution and at a significant human/animal/earth cost. Here is a great article to help you think about adopting the conscious lifestyle approach of living locally.
I’ll refrain from rehashing endless studies and scenarios on the planet’s future, and instead focus on how just being more ‘conscious’ can make you part of the solution and not part of the problem. Doomsday and hopeless apocalyptic gloom will never get us out of bed every day right?
Just to give this conversation some sobering context, take a look at this article from the International Business Times. I had to share with you, because it also describes the ‘World Day Environment Awareness’ movement from the United Nations Environment Program, and their message this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care“. Okay prepare yourself, because this is where the ‘conscious’ part comes in mentioned earlier in this post.
World Environment Day 2015: 21 aerial photos show humanity’s impact on Earth
I find it discouraging when some articles are entitled “The Only 7 Things You Can Do to Save the Earth that Matters’. Only 7 things? Really? While some of these editorials are tackling the big challenges of ‘carbon footprint’, I don’t think suggesting you stay home and never fly in a plane, is realistic in today’s world. For those not really sure what carbon footprint really means, check out this short article from the San Francisco Chronicle to learn more. Essentially it means everything you do has a positive or negative imprint on the environment. Take a look at the two ancient quotes I shared from Buddha and Plato, and that word ‘interdependence’ will become more meaningful to you as you read on. The encouraging news is, even tiny changes can make a significant difference.
So what is the one important but easy ‘thing’ you can do to make a significant difference? Be Conscious! In Western societies we especially need to try to be a ‘conscious consumer’. Many of you already are protecting the earth by practicing ‘conscious consumption’. Maybe you are against animal testing, against animal cruelty and eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, against GMOs, or against harmful unnecessary chemicals in our personal care and home products. Some of you feel really strong about ethics and only buy ‘Fair Trade’ products, which I shared a lot about in a ‘WWB WRAP post last month’. The bright side is, collectively we are all ‘for’ protecting this beautiful planet, and all of the ”conscious lifestyle values’ mentioned can reduce our overall ‘carbon footprint’.
Don’t let naysayers knock your efforts and say they don’t matter if you are flying on a plane. It all matters and it all adds up! Below are four questions you can ask when consuming anything, and being ‘conscious’ will give you a real sense of empowerment. I am going to add another important question to lead this list, because it can help you feel grounded in this pressurized consumer marketing world we live in. Always ask yourself…
- How was the product made?
- By whom?
- How did it get to its point of sale?
- What effects on the environment will it have after purchasing?
Fabulous Post from Metro UK Adam Boult for Metro.co.uk Wednesday 22 Apr 2015 3:14 pm
1. Throw less stuff away
Stick your recyclables in the recycling, put your leftover food in the compost, and try to reduce how much you send to landfill, as landfill sites are kind of gross and look like this:
waste not, want not? (Picture: Getty)
2. Turn things off if you’re not using them.
Turning your TV off at the end of the day can a difficult and time-consuming process (*cough*) – but leaving it on standby overnight is not only a pointless addition to your carbon footprint; it could also add up to £86 to your electricity bill each year.
3. Only boil the water you need
Do you overfill the kettle when making tea? According to a 2013 study, three-quarters of all UK households boil more water than they need, adding a hefty £68m a year to energy bills. So stop doing that.
4. Get a bike
Bicycle use in the UK is among the lowest in the EU – yet bikes use no fuel, produce no emissions, keep you fit and help you live longer. Also, bikes are cool.
5. Buy second-hand
Stop being a sheep-like slave to capitalism and look to eBay, charity shops and second-hand stores when you need to buy something. According to a 2009 report, if more people did this we could reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by ‘an average 4 million tonnes of CO2 per year between now and 2020.’
6. Reuse plastic bags
Stop killing so many dolphins. There are more than five trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans – of which plastic bags account for a large proportion – and they strangle sea animals and wreak havoc on the food chain. Worth bearing in mind next time you get a plastic bag to carry something that has a handle.
7. Don’t leave chargers plugged in
Another small way to reduce your energy consumption – phone chargers and laptop leads constantly left in the socket will continue to use a small amount of electricity, completely unnecessarily. Take a second to pull them out.
8.Think of the bees
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live,” Einstein supposedly said (but almost certainly didn’t). Bees are massively important to the food ecosystem, and it’s a huge cause of concern that their numbers are declining. You can help out by making your garden bee-friendly, with plants such as lavender, roses, sunflowers and geraniums.
9. Reuse plastic bottles
If you must buy bottled water, despite the fact that there’s plenty of perfectly drinkable water in the tap, at least reuse the bottle. Plastic bottles use oil in their manufacture, they’ve got to be shipped around on carbon-chugging vehicles, they’re very rarely recycled and they take hundreds of years to biodegrade.
10. Eat less meat
Meat-eating is the second biggest environmental hazard facing the planet after fossil fuel vehicles, says the Union of Concerned Scientists. PETA point out that producing just one hamburger uses enough fossil fuel to drive a small car 20 miles. If you’re not ready to go full vegetarian yet, why not cut down at least? The Meat Free Mondays site has some good tips on getting started.
Happy Weekend! Thanks for taking the time to learn more about WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY with me! We may have ‘BIG FEET’ but we can certainly tread lightly as we walk through life on this planet. It’s a wrap! Stay tuned next week for more on what matters in wellness culture.