Today and this weekend we are celebrating Earth day (April 22-24). Of course, we should be celebrating the wonder and beauty of our home every day, but this weekend we are reminded to do so even more. We should all make a point of spending a day or a full weekend somewhere in nature, reconnecting to our Mother Earth, teaching our children the importance of being in the nature, of loving and preserving our home.
This weekend is also a good time for all of us to reflect upon the many problems our planet is facing, problems which are affecting not only the planet but all beings living on it, including humans. A major one I would like to address is plastic pollution. Mother Earth is suffocating in plastic, a man made product which was invented to make our lives easier, but is now taking such a great toll on the environment. Plastic is everywhere and it seems to be shaping our lives and enslaving us.
A few years back I did a little experiment and have tried to live plastic free for a month. At the end of the month I came to a conclusion that it is almost impossible to live completely plastic free (atleast here in Croatia) which made me see the great extent of this problem. There were simple everyday items we all need and which are sold only in plastic packaging, many things had to be planned ahead (like taking your own cup for takeout coffee, preparing work lunch at home etc.), some things could be done with a bit of planning and being mindful, some things proved to be very difficult. After this month and my, what I thought was, failure, I felt enslaved by this product. There was no getting away from the many shapes and forms in which we use this pollutant which will take thousands of years to degrade while affecting the health and life of marine life, wild life and us, humans.
But then I realized that that this experiment of mine had taught me a lot. It taught me how to be mindful every moment of every day, considering the greater effect of the simplest of my actions like everyday grocery shopping. It had taught me that, ones you become aware of something, there is not much turning back. Today I use plastic mindfully; I say no to plastic bags and always carry my own shopping bags to the market, I buy food on the markets and not supermarkets, I buy eco detergents and bio cosmetics sold in biodegradable plastic, I make my own home cleaning products, use regular instead of liquid soap etc. I think about every item I take off the shelf – do I need it, is there and alternative etc.
It is up to all of us to make a difference, to stand by the choices we make, to be more mindful and stop this overconsumption, to teach our kids the right values. You can start by making a little experiment of your own this weekend, see if you can be plastic free for one weekend, involve other people, involve the children around you. You can also plant something, go for a hike, sit in the woods and meditate. Be meat free for the weekend and consider the great impact meat industry has on the environment. There is much we can all do, and it takes all of us to make a difference.
Our Mother Earth gives us life, think about what you can do to help her continue to do so.
Happy Earth day!