Each April 22nd we all think about Earth Day. We might up our recycling game, cut back on red meat or take public transportation in the name of doing our part.
In the same way New Years Resolutions, are over by mid February, many of our Earth Day resolutions last about as long. How long until we are throwing out our shampoo bottles, ignoring Meatless Mondays when our friend suggests meeting for cheeseburgers, or driving to a party solo when we could have taken the train?
What many of us do not realize is how day to day we are connected to the earth on a personal level through the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the air we breathe and the world we live in.
We can not be concerned with personal wellness, without taking into account social and planetary wellness.
In our efforts to drink the right green juice, to have the newest Athleisure outfit and the best blender sold, did we miss the point of Sustainability? So what exactly is it? Per the Global WellnessInitiative ”Sustainability is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain ecological balance” So we can not have one without the other, as all of our food, clothes and air we breath started with Mother Nature. However, we seldom think of it in those terms.
As a Wellness Coach, I often urge my clients to think of their health not just as the number on the scale, but their overall satisfaction in life, how well they are sleeping, how many relationships they can count on, are they happy?
In the same way, we can not discount the importance of Sustainability in the larger picture of Wellness. Are we depleting our natural resources to have the newest yoga mats? Are the fish we are eating being over consumed? Do we do more for the earth when we can?
We can’t cure all of the planets problems on Earth Day, but we can become more aware in general.
A few tips to keep up your Sustainability awareness:
1. Act local, think global
Pick ways on your day to day life you can make an impact that you will keep up. Do not pick areas to work on that you will not be able to maintain and then make yourself miserable because they are impossible for you. For example, say no thanks to straws at restaurants or use your smartphone vs printed airline tickets when flying.
Download books and magazines or go to the library instead of purchasing books and magazines. Pay bills online vs writing paper checks, sending in an envelope and a stamp. These small changes add up to the amount of paper we all use, and if we lead by example to our friends and family, imagine how many trees we can save.
2. Level up when making big purchases
Your washer just washed it’s last load? Look into the eco choice. In a few key word searches you can find out which of the new washers use less water, power and soap.
Booking a vacation? What is the resorts stance on how they treat their workers? Are the spas using the latest techniques in managing their own resources. It all matters.
Traveling Internationally? Research which countries make a point of banning plastic bags and encourage bicycling as a form of transportation.
3. Redefine wellness
Think of Wellness as more than getting to the hottest Cycle class or adding the eating the right superfood to your post workout smoothie, but our relationship with nature.
How often are you outside on purpose? Deep breathing on a walk or making sure the ingredients in our beauty products are natural. Are we eating non GMO food, drinking pure water and trying to not be stressed out?
Change isn’t overnight and that’s okay. Don’t be so hard on yourself that if you aren’t perfect by tomorrow you get frustrated and stop trying, as we are all works in progress and that is fine. Imagine if we all worked towards sustainability on a daily basis what we could accomplish?