Today, April 22nd, is World Earth Day and this year’s campaign is entitled “End Plastic Pollution”. Plastic pollution is poisoning our oceans and land, injuring marine life, and affecting our health. This year’s campaign is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behaviour about plastics.
Watch this short video for background to this blog if you like (not essential but I think it is a good video to put the issue in context): The Majestic Plastic Bag – A Mockumentary.
Why is plastic an issue?
The headlines about the current state of the environment are grim- icecaps melting, species disappearing, water tables drying up, or one of the most devastating environmental issues to date: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is twice the size of Texas, has 7 million tons of garbage up to 2.7 metres deep in some places, and is destroying our ocean and murdering our marine life.
It is estimated that 80% of the plastic in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch originates from land; floating in rivers to the ocean or blew by the wind into the ocean. The remaining 20% of the plastic originates from oil platforms and ships.
But don’t lose hope, something inspiring and exhilarating is happening- and if you pay attention, it just might reinvigorate your motivation to help make a better world. There is a global outpouring of passion and ingenuity to solve our eco-troubles.
So, how does this relate to my yoga and lifestyle blog?
Be the change you want to see in the world
Yoga is more than just sitting on a mat and doing some asana (physical movements), pranayama (breath work) and meditation. It is about observation, dedication, peace, and love not only for ourselves but for our fellow humans, animals and our planet. We must make our way back to the basics and align ourselves with the original intention of what a yoga practice truly means, which I believe, is living a complete, peaceful, balanced, liberated and compassionate life, in which asana is only one small part.
So, I urge you as part of your yoga practice that you take it off the mat, look further than to yourself and think about the kind of planet you want to live in, the kind you want your children and grandchildren to live in and then be the change you want to see in the world. No act is too small.
“The beauty of small acts is that they cannot be stopped. There is no inconsequential action, only consequential inaction. Real transformation originates from the bottom and moves outwards.” – Paul Hawken
How can you make a change?
Take some time to be in nature. Spend quiet, reflective moments in meditation. Ask yourself what kind of world you want to live in and what you can contribute to the quality of life on Earth. Then offer up your best!
Here are some things that you might like to think about changing immediately: Stop using plastic bags at the supermarket, refuse to buy packaged food- especially fruit and vegetables, pre-packaging them is unnecessary and wasteful, stop buying bottles of water, or think of creative ways to reuse plastic items that you have already purchased, so they don’t end up getting washed into our rivers and eventually into our oceans.
Some things that you might like to think about changing in your community: Write to your local government with suggestions about improving recycling in your town/city or contact your local supermarkets (if they still use plastic bags) and demand that they stop using them.
Some things to think about on a broader scale: What is your country doing to clean up the mess their oil platforms they have made in the ocean?
If you’d like to get started straight away on this special day, you can make a pledge to reduce the amount of plastic that you consume on the following link: I pledge to reduce my plastic usage or for more information about this year’s campaign: Plastics campaign 2018.
Lokah samastha sukhino bhavantu (A powerful mantra for peace)
This Sanskrit phrase translates into English as ‘May all beings be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all.’
P.S. For more proof of the damage plastic is doing to our waters, you can watch the following clip on YouTube (37 secs long): ‘Sea Of Plastic’ Discovered In The Caribbean Stretches 5 Miles And Is Choking Wildlife