Woot, I have made it 33 years on this crazy planet, and I find myself bowing to all that I have seen, been, and achieved in this short time. I dream about the future, and can only imagine the beauty and lessons this world still has to offer me.
I have lived a minimal, non consumer lifestyle for a long time. I have been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old, and got into the habit of making and carrying my own organic, animal free foods everywhere I go in reusable containers. I feel guilt when I purchase something in plastic that is single-use or disposable. I ask myself, “where did this come from, where will it go, am I living my values and voting with my actions and dollars by purchasing this product?”
Our house has excellent recycling for when we lax on our efforts, or receive gifts. I am not perfect, but I go without, make efforts to distinguish between my needs and desires. Join me! Do you think you could shift to look at each disposable object as a metaphor for our relationship with earth, or how this world values some people more than others? Can we see our purchases and choices as a direct reflection of what we support and know to be true? I see a deep story in every plastic lid or fork that people consume. Can you imagine a world with less plastic? We have to start imagining this world to make it true.
Removing single use plastic means shopping at places that support programs like bringing your own fabric bags and jars. The stores that I have shopped at for over a decade in Vancouver love that I make the effort, and gives me a discount for not using their bags. I look for products sold in paper, grab things loose, and shop at the farmers market. I have gotten good at preserving food over the years: drying, canning, and freezing things so that I can eat local all year round with minimal waste.
When plastic waste does come into my life, I save it, and every few months bring it to the “mobile plastic recycling centre” in my hood. If you live in East Van, it happens the 3rd Saturday of every month in the parking lot at Britannia. They take all the plastics that the City won't recycle. On that note, did you know that many things you put in the city recycling bin aren't supposed to go there? Check recycling numbers. It takes effort to redirect the waste you create. We have a huge 3 part worm bin at our house and urban farm in the city
I like to make and carry hemp or cotton produce bags (let me know if you need a few, or check them out at the Van Farmers Markets). I also pretty much always have a mason jar or two, because over the course of a day I need liquids and it’s good to carry your own vessels. Plan ahead, buy in bulk, and cook at home. It’s easy if we can all share with each other to stay inspired!
So this is my birthday wish for you. Can you make the effort to consume less and create less waste? Can you stop for a hot second and consider the effects of the products you buy on your natural environment? It takes serious practice and training to learn to stand on your hands in yoga, we practice discomfort and peace in these movements. Expanding our practice way beyond the mat is an ode to our honour for our earth and home.
Plastic Free Yogi is a challenge to start the process of making no new plastic waste. It is hard! Really HARD! We live in a world that packages most things in single-use plastics, but small actions by conscientious individuals can have widespread effects. I’m sending love and honour to those who tread lightly and to those who aim to leave this natural environment healed and supported. May we remember each year that we have the power to inspire great actions and small miracles with our love and intention.
Love and bows!