Earth day is an interesting concept to me. The idea that we take a SINGLE day to celebrate and appreciate this wonderful home we all share which provides for us so well. I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about sustainability in our everyday lives. Although sustainability has become a popular buzzword in the advertising and marketing culture, my intention is to talk about small steps we can all make in our everyday lives to improve our relationship with Mother Earth, by being a better steward of the resources she provides for us.
The only city by far that I’ve seen demonstrate living sustainability well, would be Portland Oregon. Sustainability to me, not only means conserving energy and giving back to the earth, but also giving back to yourself and keeping yourself clear and healthy. In Portland, they celebrate the earth everyday by truly living in connection with each other and their surroundings . Organic and local food is the norm, supporting local economy is extremely important and composting and recycling is pretty standard for every home and business across the board in Portland. Just about every neighborhood (which are very close and accessible by bike, foot or public transit) is sprinkled with various creative organic and local businesses. When the sun comes out, everyone goes outside and takes full advantage of it, no matter the day or the time. There is a deep appreciation for the beautiful natural wonders that surround the city. Although it may not be perfect, it’s one of the only communities I’ve seen that actually gets it.
It’s more about quality of life, which I think is so important. If you’re not enjoying your life, then what are you doing? Osho said, “If you are not enjoying what you are doing at that moment, then stop doing it.” I think that statement is so interesting, because we’ve all done things we don’t enjoy for various reasons. What if you were to just stop doing it because you realized it’s not serving you anymore. What would happen? We’ve been marketed to so much about what we could or should enjoy, but do you really know what you enjoy or have you ever thought about it? Discovering what you really want in life is a way of living sustainably. Simply because you have to have an idea of what you value in order to have love for yourself and others.
Out of my love for Portland and Earth Day this weekend, I wanted to provide some simple, easy, everyday things that you can do to live a more sustainable life. Your reasons may vary; maybe you want to leave a better planet for future generations, maybe you want to support local economies, maybe you want to live a healthier life or maybe it just makes you feel good, it does not matter so long as you are enjoying it and doing what you love to do.
Here are my suggestions to living a more sustainable fulfilling life…
- Plant a garden in your backyard or in pots
- Start composting
- Buy less stuff
- Walk or ride your bike to work
- Take public transportation
- Only buy stuff that is sustainable, lasts the longest, and is highest in quality.
- Support companies, restaurants, etc., that practice true sustainability and respect the earth.
- Eat organic, meet and support your local farmer, join a CSA, find a local organic source for your food
- Support local businesses that are doing things in line with your core values
- Tour a local farm that practices sustainable agriculture
- Visit local food co-ops
- Take a gardening, composting or organic agriculture class
- Clean out the stuff in your house, donate it to someone who can benefit from it
- Learn to live on less
- Spend more time outside and with nature, take a hike
- Spend more time with the people you love
- Do things you enjoy doing
- Make at least one meal a day a spiritual experience
- Eat one meal by yourself in quiet
- Eat pure organic food 80% of the time
- Show gratitude and practice gratitude regularly, write in journal, set your intentions
- Make time for yourself everyday
- Slow down your pace of living