Hello Earth Day.
Today we are reminded of our precious, beautiful planet. Earth. Lovely Earth that nourishes us and sustains us.
This day helps us to remember to take care of the earth. Not just today, but everyday.
How can we begin to take care of the earth?? We live out our day to day lives, we have habits, and sometimes we don’t give much thought about how our actions impact other people, ourselves, or our planet.
One way that I help to protect our planet everyday is through one of my favorite yoga practices – Ahimsa. Ahimsa is a sanskrit word that means non-harming or non-violence. You could also say that it means kindness. And this leads me to compassion and love. Treating others (and the planet and all living things) with kindness, compassion, and love.
I step back and think, are my habits in line with the idea of Ahimsa? Are my actions fueled by kindness and love? Am I hurting anyone, anything, or the planet with my actions?
Here are some ways that I like to do my part to help protect Planet Earth with Ahimsa in mind.
- I choose to walk or ride my bike. When I have to run an errand or go somewhere that isn’t too far, I choose to walk or ride my bike. This way I do not pollute or add to traffic. It is kind to the earth, doesn’t add another vehicle to the congested roads, and helps me get a bit of exercise. Of course, there are times I must drive – when I need to get somewhere fast or have to brings things I can’t carry, but I try to choose when I use my car mindfully. When Covid is over, I also like to take the subway or bus, it makes going places seem like a fun adventure, I don’t have to deal with the stress of driving, and I don’t pollute as much. You can choose to not drive.
- I choose not to eat meat. Meat production contributes tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I am being kind to the animals by not eating them and kind to the planet by helping to reduce pollution by choosing a plant based diet. If you are not ready to go vegetarian or vegan, perhaps you can choose reduce your own meat consumption to reduce your impact on the earth.
- I choose to eat organic. Most plants used for food are sprayed with pesticides to kills insects that would eat them and herbicides to kill weeds that would crowd them. Also, some plants, like corn, are genetically modified to be toxic to certain bugs. Imagine what this is doing to your own body. Imagine what those chemicals do as the seep into the earth. Imagine what this does to other animals. You can choose to not put chemicals in your body to help the planet.
- I choose to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I try to be a thoughtful consumer and not buy things that will end up in the landfill. If I do have something that I am done with, instead of throwing away, I will donate to charity, send them to a place that upcycles, or see if someone in my local Buy Nothing group can use it. I check my packaging and anything that I can recycle, I do, even if it takes a little extra effort. I remember driving by a “trash hill” (we used to call it Mount Trashmore) when I was a kid and wondering if this is where the garbage goes now, where will all the garbage go when this hill is too big? What we throw away must go somewhere. You can choose to be thoughtful about how you dispose of things.
- I choose to conserve water, use LED lightbulbs, and so many other things… You can choose to be thoughtful about how your own actions impact yourself, others, and the earth.
You can choose to act with Ahimsa – kindness, compassion, and love.
I notice that when I act with kindness, compassion, and love, another thing happens: I feel better about myself. I feel good about how I am impacting the earth and helping to sustain it for future generations.
I also feel gratitude – by stopping and being thoughtful about the impact of my actions, it makes me aware of all that Planet Earth gives to me, how it nourishes me (body, heart, & soul), and sustains me.
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.– Jane Goodall
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
May you have peace within,