CHRISTA CLARK: BALANCE

Sustainability

CHRISTA CLARK: BALANCE

By: Christa Clark

This is the first part of a four-part series exploring our relationship with consumption, waste, and materialism, and seeking to restore harmony within ourselves, with others, and with the planet. Each newsletter includes a curation of interesting reads, tips to live more sustainably, and a DIY tutorial to help connect you with the natural world.

Balance

[bal-uhns]
Noun: a state of equilibrium or equipoise

The world is chaotic right now and chances are you’ve had moments feeling out of equilibrium. Creating balance within yourself is becoming more important than ever, but can also feel more difficult than ever. Consider this an opportunity for you to explore some simple ways to find peace and balance in daily life.

One area that’s really out of balance right now is our collective addiction to consumption, waste, and materialism. Chances are, you’re aware of the major problem plastic pollution currently poses to humanity, the most dangerous being microplastics: the shedding of tiny particles of plastic that’s in everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink.

Microplastics

Last year news hit the mainstream media that there is a high chance you are consuming a credit card worth of microplastics every WEEK. We’ve collectively created a condition where microplastics, pesticides, and the harm they’re causing for your health is pervasive. 

This is not meant to scare you, but rather offer you the opportunity to become more mindful of your relationship with plastics and the harmful chemicals in your life. 

Do a quick check in: How many plastic bags do you think you’ve used this year? What about plastic to-go cups? If the answer is “too many to count,” then you aren’t alone. The current world is set up against you to live sustainably and it can feel overwhelming to know where to start.

Thankfully there are some easy things you can do today that will help you save money, live more healthily, and also begin to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in your life.

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Waste

Many cleaning products are toxic to the environment and people. How can you reduce plastic waste and stay away from harmful chemicals?

  1. Make your own grease-cutting cleaning solutions with simple ingredients like vodka, vinegar, and essential oils.
  2. Baking soda is your ultimate cleaning friend. Use it to scrub, deodorize, and whiten.
  3. Keep your kitchen stocked with wooden dish brushes and a loofah instead of a plastic sponge. You can even make your own dish soap bar!
  4. Replace paper towels and napkins with cloth. Old cotton shirts are a free and effective option (which also keeps your old shirts out of the landfill).

Regenerative farming is slowly catching on, but something we need to adopt quickly in order to keep our food systems flourishing while diminishing the harsh impact pesticide farming does. The amazing thing is by using regenerative techniques, you eliminate the need for pesticides which are causing a slew of environmental and health problems to us, and keeps land usable for longer which means less need for clearing our precious rainforests. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Watch this incredible new documentary Kiss the Ground, about regenerative farming, it will give you all the good feels. 
  2. Make a weekly habit of going to the farmers’ market. It’s amazing to talk to the people that grow your food and get recipe ideas!
  3. Google local CSA box options in your area. Farms will deliver fresh and seasonal produce straight to your door.
  4. Keep a shopping kit with refillable jars and produce bags in your car (or by the door) so you can avoid plastic bags.

Try composting to significantly reduce the food waste going into the trash. If you are in an apartment, check out the Bokashi method! Your house plants will love the “compost tea” it makes.

Dive Deeper

  1. Braiding Sweetgrass - Book by Robin Wall Kimmerer on Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
  2. The race to save the planet from plastic - Scientists are trying to accelerate evolution to make plastics rot. A tiny new organism is showing them how.
  3. Where is our plastic really going? Big Oil Is in Trouble. Its Plan: Flood Africa With Plastic.
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