I was recently hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The air was crisp, daffodils in bloom and I was sucking wind bigtime. Getting to the very top of McAfee’s Knob was a push at the end, and my body was screaming for some hydration.
I had three plastic water bottles on me and in between sips, couldn’t help but wonder where they would end up, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from a “toxins in my body” standpoint.
What you do matters, and all is not hopeless -- you can influence this tremendously with just a few small habit adjustments. Right now.
With it being spring and April the month of Earth Day, I encourage you to find just one minute to consider your consumption habits. If you do nothing else but gain a better consciousness about your consumption, that is a BIG win.
Why? Your waste is going to landfill. And if you recycle, good for you, however, China has changed its policies and is no longer accepting our recycling as it used to. So that stuff you’re tossing into the blue bin may actually be ending up in landfill (which in addition to lasting for decades emits methane gas), or being burned (and releasing toxins in to the air). Even recycled paper, straws, and (whatever), although better, is still waste.
So that plastic, one-use water bottle you’re sipping from, may also be what you’re breathing in.
Plastic is now part of the food supply, is in our oceans, and leakage from packaging can be in the food we eat and disrupt our hormones.
Just look at what it’s doing to turtles and whales (one was found two weeks ago with 90lbs of plastic in its stomach).
So instead of wondering about what landfill your waste may or may not end up in, stop recycling and reduce your use.
In my work at Balance Integration, we’re doing a “sustainable living” week for one of our clients and I’m pleased we’ll be able to influence the habits of about 1,500 people all over the world. I’m encouraging you to do at least one day of the same and use that time to:
Reduce your use
Reuse what you’ve got
Reclaim your strong, gorgeous body and earth
Below is a list of things you can do TODAY. Do all, or just one.
Carbon footprint “reduction and reuse” activities:
Eliminate single use plastic bags and/or water bottles every opportunity you get. It adds up!
If you spend a lot of time in your car, put together a “Sustainability Kit” that has reusable shopping bags, a water bottle and bamboo utensil
Go strawless. If you must use a straw, purchase reusable ones that just need a quick rinse in between uses
Line bins with bags made of compost or newspaper
Buy bigger containers instead of single use (like your yogurt for example)
Save a trip to the market and the packaging for your veggies and herbs
Plus, it is a great stress reliever and improves air quality by filtering harmful pollutants
Be aware of packaging
Getting takeout? Use your own bag or containers
Does your grocer always double bag? If you have a light load, and didn’t bring your own, request just one
Ordering items online? Double up/order in bulk. Use resources that use limited materials
Use a regular dry cleaner? Ask them to use just 1 plastic covering instead of one for each item
Coffee drinker? Bring your own mug to your favorite shop. Some shops discount the drink when you bring a reusable mug
Buy from and donate to consignment or thrift shops
Clothes and household items in good condition are accepted and some consignment shops will pay you for them
Shop with brands who uses recycled plastic or fabrics and/or commit to using environmentally friendly dyes like Everlane and Patagonia. Do your research
As we approach earth day, use this month to consider: What’s good for your body is good for the earth. What you decide to do with that information is up to you, and any small habit you adopt will make a difference. Stop recycling and start reducing.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
Join us for our next Montauk Retreat, May 31-June 2.