There is no away... suggestions for treading lightly on the earth

This is a subject I feel quite passionate about - and I wondered whether it fitted into my business concepts or not. Then I realised that 1) I don't care if it does or doesn't and 2) I think it does.

You see, I don't think you can care about your body, mind and soul without taking notice of what is going on in your environment.

And if I am teaching compassion to oneself through my work or my meditation classes - there comes a point that compassion has to extend outside humans to embrace animals, and then outside of animals to embrace 'other living things' and by embracing 'other living things' well, how does one ignore - well just about every living thing - which includes our eco-system at large.

So it becomes then a wee passion of mine - which sometimes I am good at and sometimes I fail dismally (by traveling for example) - to care about what I do to my own back yard. And by that I mean the entire earth.

We only have this one planet. Let's shrink down the entire planet to say - your home town. Or even smaller - your neighbourhood. Or even smaller - your own home and garden.

How long, would it take for you to have no place to put your rubbish? How long would it take for the plastic to have built a mountain in your back yard? The food wastes? The packaging? How long do all these things take to bio-degrade? How toxic would your environment be - if all the chemicals that you use had nowhere to go - but onto your very own garden?

Can you imagine?

Your backyard is a smaller version of the whole planet.

There is something about ‘treading lightly’ on this earth that continues to ring true for me.

One of the things that helps me to consider my need to reduce, reuse and recycle is by imagining my entire house and property having to deal with all it's wastes, without the help of external sources. Obviously there are somethings I rely heavily on the council to provide (sewerage for example) - but what if, I had to dispose of all my rubbish within the confines of my property - because, lets face it - this planet is just made up of thousands of properties, thousands of bit of land. When we throw stuff 'away' - where is it actually going to?

I try to treat my own house as having it's very own eco-system.

I struggle when I see things wrapped in gladwrap/clingfilm, plastic containers being thrown in the rubbish, food being thrown out (especially meat - something had to die for that to happen).

Of course there is the inevitable rubbish that can't be recycled - and in which case can we be putting pressure on the producers to do their up-most to reduce the amount they use? Can we just stop buying it? (I have been known to take a photo of excessive packaging and send it to the producer suggesting they could use a lot less packaging on their product.)

We are doing a pretty good job of destroying our wee planet with our man made goods let alone the unfortunate non-biodegradable liquids.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Start thinking of you home as having it own little ecosystem... imagine you had to dispose of all your own waste / rubbish. This immediately makes you think twice about what you are purchasing and how it is packaged.

  2. Don’t use plastic bags when shopping. We are getting much better at this I am happy to say

  3. Stop using gladwrap/cling film. Put leftover food into a container with a lid, use beeswax wraps instead.

  4. Recycle clothes and goods. And purchase second hand.

  5. Donate food scraps to the neighbours chickens, your cat or dog or to the compost. Get a bokashi system, start a compost heap. It's no biggie and it can make your garden grow!

  6. Use as little as possible of anything and everything - this includes beauty products, cleaning products, general household items.

  7. Reduce meat consumption - we general don't need as much as we currently consume and farming is hard on the environment (I certainly know if I had to kill my own meat I would likely become a vegetarian pretty quickly).

  8. Start buying earth friendly eco-friendly products. The chemicals which are in cleaning products just end up in our water-ways and in our ecosystem - choose products which will not be around in another 20 years.

When you next throw something away, ask yourself.... where is away? There is no away, it all just stays here, on this planet. The only one we have.

Reduce. Refuse. Reuse. Recycle.