As you grow and deepen your conversation with yoga, it becomes quite clear that the yoga practice must stretch far beyond the boundaries of that little sticky mat. Naturally, your practice begins to bleed into every part of your life, saturating your world with concepts like ahimsa (non-violence). Part of that concept is living in a way that is non-harming to the Earth.
Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to explore this mind-set, as we look for ways to give back to our life-sustaining planet. Every moment we are nourished and blessed by the abundant gifts of the Earth, and on this particular day we have the chance to give gratitude back to the source! This is a special chance to develop lasting rituals in your yoga practice and in your life that nurture an eco-centric approach to everyday living and that have the potential to last all year round.
When I told my husband I picked up some green beer, he assumed I meant a brew reserved for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (which is strange since I usually don’t even wear green that day).
No, I bought the other kind of green beer: eco-beer — extra refreshing whether it’s March 17 or any other day. I don’t remember ever seeing ecological beer in the States, so I was intrigued when I saw the label while living in Sweden last year.
Coral reefs around the world are in trouble. According to the World Wildlife Fund, about one-quarter of coral reefs are considered damaged beyond repair, with another two-thirds under serious threat. Some suffer from heavy fishing pressures, while others are succumbing to pollution or careless tourism. Climate change, with its attendant rising sea temperatures, is exacerbating the problem, speeding coral deaths.
More than half a billion people live near corals, relying on them for food, shelter from storm surges and the income that tourism brings. With natural reefs diminishing, artificial reefs are increasingly gaining favor. These structures usually take the form of sunken ships, decrepit oil platforms or other human trash.
But is depositing more human refuse in the oceans in order to create artificial reefs healthy for the environment — and for us?
It’s back to school time for most families, which means it’s a great time to think about how your school is doing on the green front — especially when it comes to the basics, like recycling.
If your school doesn’t already have a recycling program in place, consider starting one. Experts say the general steps to follow are:
Big wads of plastic in the ocean that stretch for miles and disintegrating polar ice caps are the kind of news stories that tend to make us feel hopeless regarding conservation efforts. Why bother to change our light bulbs to compact fluorescents if our planet’s imminent demise is a speeding train that can’t be stopped?
The reason we have these feelings is probably the work of environmentalists themselves. They’re sending the wrong messages, if you ascribe to the new field of neuro-conservation.
Instead of focusing the spotlight on results of scientific studies that prove our planet is rapidly warming, or on statistics about alarming species extinction rates, they should be talking about how an ocean view will make us feel happy or standing among trees will arouse our feelings of peacefulness.
After all, selling us emotions is what marketing professionals have been doing for decades. They know that we don’t just buy a car; we buy how that car makes us feel — wealthier, greener or more in control. Using the tenets of neuro-conservation may just be the boost that environmentalists need to gain support for their causes in a world that’s overrun with more scientific data than we know what to do with — or pay attention to.
Happy birthday, Earth Day!
Today, people all over the planet will be out celebrating our great, green planet! Earth Day, a day that is usually void of the doom and gloom that can sometimes bog down even the most optimistic greenie, will see folks from all corners of the world and all walks of life convening to honor the planet that provides us with water, air, food … with life! Today, communities will burst forth with music, art, films, local and organic food, environmental education and friendships and partnerships will grow.
Apparently I have upset the appliance gods. Right before the holidays, the dryer stopped drying anything. And then right after the holidays, the refrigerator started freezing everything.
December turned into one costly month budget-wise. And what about Earth-wise? You’d think that fixing something old would be automatically better than buying something new. But, actually, when it comes to the life cycle analysis of most appliances — or their cradle-to-grave environmental impact — it turns out it’s the use of an appliance that has the biggest impact. Which means if your refrigerator is a shade of ‘70s avocado, you’ll step lighter on the planet if you embrace the energy efficiency of the 21st Century.
While there are a lot of variables to consider, here are some tips to help you decide whether to repair a broken appliance or replace it:
The street you live on, your neighbor’s garage or even your own back porch probably has one: a light that goes on when it gets dark. Most likely, it was installed with the hope that it would make your neighborhood a safer place to live.
The conventional wisdom is that better outdoor lighting deters criminals — those who would do their dastardly deeds in the cover of darkness. But whether or not the facts bear that out, we do know that lighting up the night eradicates something else: the ability to see the stars in the night sky.
The “official” first day of spring may have been March 20, but with the cold weather, it certainly didn’t feel like it then. Now it seems like spring has finally sprung!
I may have “reached that age” when I appreciate each spring just a little more (or maybe it’s just my recent memory of the brutally cold winter), but the colorful spring buds are making me extremely happy this year. Another thing that makes me happy is the feel of a de-cluttered, freshly cleaned home, so spring cleaning is on my mind. Some of you may not have gotten around to this annual rite of passage yet, while others may feel ready for a second pass at it after all the recent rain (and the inevitable mud it invites in). Either way, before you start cleaning your home, consider doing a clean sweep of your chemical cleaning products first.
You’ve had “spring cleaning” on your to-do list for weeks now, but it hasn’t happened yet. Don’t despair; as with meditation and yoga, now is the perfect time to begin again (and again … ).
It is also a perfect time to detox your home environment. We spend much of our time indoors with our windows closed, so it is even more important to be mindful of healthy air quality. Consider this: The average home contains 500-1,000 chemicals resulting in indoor air quality that is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Yikes!
Here are nine easy ways that you can detox your home, so you and your family and enjoy a healthier spring: