Last week we discussed reducing consumption and other ways to avoid creating so much waste. This week we will be exploring different ways you can make changes in your own home and family that will significantly reduce your footprint. Don’t forget about the 2018 Ocean Guardian Contest. It’s not too late to start taking action and enter the contest for a chance to win a Bodhi Sessions surf and yoga camp for two (and other great prizes)!
We bring you some alarming news. The UN Environment reports that by 2050, human beings could devour an estimated 140 billion tons of minerals, ores, fossil fuels, and biomass per year. As the world continually urbanizes (especially in developing countries), and population growth continues, the future of our resource consumption is “far beyond what is likely sustainable”. As Mother Teresa so gracefully once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”. Her words encourage us to inspire any change because on the global scale it can spark a fire in other people, communities, or even in companies. So let’s bond together as Ocean Guardians, and start implementing the following actions into our lives!
Use that reusable shopping bag
The average American goes through about six plastic shopping bags a week, which means that 1.8 billion bags are used and discarded every week just in the United States. This makes for a real mess! So purchase that reusable shopping bag and show up to the grocery store as a proud environmental steward. It can be hard to remember in our busy lives, so follow these easy steps until it is a routine!
- Keep a reusable cloth bag in your car
- Hang your shopping bag near your front door
- If you use a shopping list add “take shopping bag” at the top
- Set an alert on your phone!
Pick up litter
It’s not a glamorous job, but we all need to do it. Especially us Ocean Guardians, we need to lead by example! In Sweden, a trend called “plogging” started, which consists of picking up litter while you jog. It goes to show we can make anything fun! We have some helpful tips for you to pick up litter:
- Take two minutes to pick up visible litter each time you visit a natural area (beach, park, hiking trail, etc.)
- Practice the principles of Leave No Trace
- Instill good habits in the next generation — speak with children about the importance of putting garbage in its place
- Reduce general consumption of packaged goods to prevent litter
By taking a few extra moments of our day to pick up litter, we can help to preserve Mother Earth’s beautiful flora, fauna, and geographic features.
Plant a tree
Yes… you! It sounds like a big task but it can be made easy and does wonders for this planet to help combat greenhouse gas emissions in the air. Trees are essential to the life of Mother Earth and to human beings as they create the very air we breathe each day and even can reduce violence. Unfortunately, despite humans knowing their importance, we have cut down half of the trees on the planet so far. This may be jaw dropping, but that’s why we now have to take action and start planting! Here are a few pointers on how you can get your hands in the dirt!
And if you can’t get out to plant a tree, there is still hope! There are many organizations that you can donate to that will do the dirty work for you. Here are a few but there are tons you can find!
Start your own compost!
What is composting? It is a natural aerobic (requires oxygen!) process which biodegrades organic waste and turns it into nutrient-rich food for our soil. Compost is so rich in nutrients and beneficial to healthy soil and crops that many gardeners refer to it as “black gold”. It helps plants better feed themselves, attracts beneficial insects and microorganisms to the ecosystem, and suppresses many plant diseases. And not only food scraps, but items we come across daily (cardboard, newspapers, dryer lint… even our hair!) can be responsibly disposed of and transformed into food for our planet.
We’ve compiled a few helpful ideas to kickstart this process, no matter where you live!
- Being an indoor composter is easier than you may think, and if done correctly, should not create any smell or mess!
- If you’re lucky enough to have some private green space, check out these tips for starting a backyard compost.
- Can’t start a composting pile at your home? There are more and more programs springing up everyday for food waste drop-off or pick-up programs. Try searching for one in your area.
Time to get your hands dirty!
We here at Bodhi hope that this sparked your fire to begin your journey as an Ocean Guardian. All four of these actions can be the beginning of your ideas that will encourage others to unite through mindful and positive action.
“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans” -Evo Morales
Written by Kerry Dunn