Environmental Consiousness for the Environmentally Unconscious

The world is changing at an accelerating rate, for the good and for the bad. On its positive axis, the world is turning with the ability to communicate to each other internationally, the tools to discover the vast landscape of Outer space, and a renewed sense of optimism as we uncover profound stories of hope for our global community. On its negative axis, we watch the world slip into an increasingly polluted state, witnessing the effects of global warming in our daily lives. I don’t know about you, but I feel torn between the polar opposites.

There’s is so much that needs to be done to save our environment. I find it exhausting when I think about how much we need to do to keep our planet green, to care for all of the little critters in our biosphere, and to ensure that the Human Race has a good couple of billion years left on this planet without blasting it into oblivion. It’s daunting being “environmentally friendly”, especially considering how much waste humans create on a daily basis. Furthermore, it can be even more difficult to remember the environment. We get so caught up in our busy “person” lives that we frequently forget that the Earth needs that same love and respect that we demand of each other.

We’re all guilty of it. I’m certainly guilty of it. That’s why I’ve made it my mission for my blog this week to discover a way of being environmentally conscious when you are slipping out of awareness. These tips may seem redundant and even a little silly, but trust me, even I need the reminder in writing from time to time.

Start simple, stay consistent. You can restart your environmental consciousness by:

1) Turning off your lights and appliances when you leave the house. You won’t believe how many times I’ve forgotten to do this, so don’t feel badly if you’re in the same club. Go one step further and unplug any and all appliances that you aren’t using (including lamps).

2) Recycle. And actually recycle. Most major cities have programs in place that offer separate collection of recyclable items as well as disposal units on each street for recyclable items. Some cities even have a fine for not recycling! Heed ye well, and keep your plastics with the plastics, your waste with the waste.

3) Compost. In a similar vein, composting is equally important. Any food wastes should go in a separate container (usually, your fair city will supply one) and taken out at the assigned times.

4) Look for companies that use more natural ingredients in their products. From skin care to laundry detergent, companies around the world have been working harder and harder to provide environmentally friendly options. Keep an eye out for the word “biodegradable” in your products and “paraben-free” in your cosmetics. Not only will both be better for the environment, but they will also be better for you.

5) Buy local, buy organic. If at all possible, head to your local farmer’s market and buy all of your produce from a local vender. Many of these goodies will also be certified organic, meaning that they are pesticide free. That way, you know that you are doing good in three ways; you’re protecting the environment, protecting yourself, and helping local business thrive.

With all things, every little bit counts. There are huger steps that we can take towards saving the environment, grand plans that would take hours upon hours for me to outline in a thousands of sequences of blog posts. But for now, let’s start with the basics. Put these tips into practice and know that you are making a difference, no matter how small you believe it to be.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose a toast to our Great Mistress, Planet Earth. Here’s to another 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years!

Contributing author:Lauren Messervey.
Lauren is the social media coordinator for Yoga Tree. An avid Yogi with a love for Tree Pose, she is originally from Atlantic Canada and joined the bustling city of Toronto in June of last year. You may find her in the Midtown region, practicing Yoga or blogging for Yoga Tree. She is currently completing her first novel, set to be released Spring 2014.