Our environment – from the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink, all these factors can dictate the quality of our health. Just a few of these elements ~water, earth, and air can have a major impact on how we feel. When things become out of balance the result can be detrimental. The good thing is we can recognize these imbalances and make the change to correct it, adapt to tip the scales back into balance. The problem is that people are unaware of the fact that the actions we do daily are unsustainable. When we are unconscious and uneducated in our choices – blinded by the reality of what is right in front of us – it can be difficult to realize the changes that need to be made.
This past week I was inspired to look more into research being done on the state of our oceans. This was in part due to teaming up with Point Break Apparel who contributes 11% of their proceeds to cleaning up our oceans. I always love the idea of supporting a company and working for companies that consider the state of our environment. The truth is I am still learning about it all, as it is not something that has always been in my full awareness. One of the more impactful articles I came across was about the amount of plastic debris floating around in our oceans. “…in the last two decades of the 20th Century, the deposition rate accelerated past the rate of production, and plastics are now one of the most common and persistent pollutants in ocean waters and beaches worldwide.” This article also describe plastics initially being an eyesore and not impacting the environment in a negative way… as the years roll on and the plastic deposition increases into our oceans it is becoming very obvious that it is in fact impacting the health of the marine biome. More and more species of ocean life are confusing plastics for food and end up ingesting it!
So why should we care about this?
There are many reasons why we should care, but the few I will highlight here first are – bioaccumulation. Over time the creatures of the oceans ingest more and more plastic which ends up in our own food supply for those who eat seafood and fish you end up eating this plastic yourself. This can greatly affect your health, as plastics are known to absorb toxins.
There is also a lot to be said about the potential for the entire oceans ecosystem to die due to the amount of pollutants that get dumped into it. There are many articles that reference the death of the oceans resulting in the death of us as well. The oceans help to regulate temperatures on land – without the oceans as a buffer we will see temperatures rise at a much faster rate! This also directly affects our health as “People who live near or interact with the ocean could also be at increased risk of illness, as warmer oceans quickly spreads pathogens, such as cholera-carrying bacteria and algal blooms that can cause neurological diseases.”
Okay so enough background information – what CAN we do about this? It all starts with each one of us on an individual level. Rather than waiting on big businesses to make the change – here are a few ways we can start to create change for us to come back into balance for our planet:
- Be Open – FIRST be open to the possibility that the way we are doing things now is not sustainable. Once you become more open and create space for other possibilities is when you can actually see more clearly what could change for the better.
- Do Your Part – REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE! I know sounds like what you learned as a kid right? But for real just do it.
- Spend Your Money Wisely – your dollars count and influence the market ~ where there is demand turns into supply so make sure when you do make a purchase that you support businesses that are conscious about their eco-footprint! For example brands such as TenTree who plant trees (so important for the quality of our air!) with each purchase, Point Break Apparel who gives 11% of their profit to organizations that clean our oceans, or Elate Cosmetics that uses non-toxic and vegan ingredients and even has seed paper so you can plant the packaging to create some herbs in your home!
- Thrift & Swap – Taking reduce and re-use a bit further into re-circulation! An even smarter way to reduce your footprint is to go thrift shopping, making smart purchases at second hand stores, and by doing clothing swaps (or “energy exchanges” as I like to call them) with friends! In Winnipeg we have stores like Plato’s Closet where you can bring your gently used clothing to get money back and to be re-sold in their stores. There are also places around the world that have created whole malls with all repurposed and up-cycled items for sale like the one in Sweden called ReTuna Recycling Mall.
- Bring Your Own Mug – When you go out to your local coffee shop instead of getting your coffee in a to go cup you can do one of two things. 1. Bring your own thermos OR 2. Ask for an inside cup. Pretty simple right? Yet it is not always in our immediate awareness to do something like this. So here I am – inserting this awareness for you (and myself!).
Tasha Konkin is a young creative with a passion for holistic health. From teaching yoga, creating new plant-based recipes & experimenting with new experiences, she follows a path to healing through the connection of movement & alternative techniques.
Want to support? – check out http://www.pointbreakapparel.com and use the code: NAMASTASHA15 for 15% off your purchase!