Respecting our planet and protecting the environment is something everyone can get behind. Regardless of when Earth Day is, each day we need to make the decision to respect our planet. Here are twenty ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, starting today!
1. Shop in the bulk section with your own produce bags.
If your grocery store offers a bulk section, this is a great way to reduce your consumption of single-use plastics. Try bringing your own bulk bags so you can skip the plastic variety that the grocery offers. Plastic bags are typically not recyclable and are incinerated to their final end. When you shop, start in the bulk section first with your own bags. See how much of your grocery list you can knock out without purchasing any packaging! Then move to the produce section, and see what you can find without plastic. Bringing your own bags goes a long way!
2. Bring your reusable grocery bags to the store, store them in your car.
Leave your grocery bags in your car! Make a habit of putting your grocery list in the bags when you get in the car, or move them to the front seat so that you don’t forget to take them with you. However you ritualize this, I promise you CAN make it a habit. Plastic bags only serve a purpose for a matter of minutes, before they are thrown out. Due to their aerodynamic features, they often get caught in the wind and blow out of waste bins and landfills, sending them straight to the oceans or the sides of our roads. Help eliminate them from your habits!
3. Carry your water bottle & mug with you everywhere.
Water is so good for you – you should be sipping on it all day.
4. Compost your food scraps.
There are so many different types of composting – whether you are in an apartment or live on several acres of land, there is a composting solution for you. When food is thrown out in plastic bags, it produces methane gas, which is really toxic. By allowing it to decompose with proper aeration, that food can be turned into something productive for your garden!
5. Shop Secondhand.
Regularly check your local thrift stores. You can find some great deals on gently loved products that are ready for a new life. Fashion causes a lot of waste throughout its supply chain – rock the vintage look instead, or choose to support small businesses.
6. Repair items you have that are broken.
Don’t let your first instinct be to throw it away. Just because money might not be an issue or it only costs $ to replace, you may be able to get more life out of the same product by repairing it. You’ll find that you can find uses for old things you never used to use or find ways to get something repaired instead of buying a replacement.
7. Reduce your meat consumption.
Plants, fruits, and vegetables have a lower carbon footprint when it comes to their agricultural production. You may find several benefits to your health from adding more plants and plant-based foods to your rotation. Try doing Meatless Mondays for a month with your family. Then maybe try some new vegan recipes.
8. Walk, bike, or carpool.
Get some exercise and some fresh air! If you live local and the weather is nice, take a walk outside. Don’t be in a hurry all the time. You can find enjoyment in the daily tasks of life if you carve out self-reflection time within them. Going for a walk is a great way to get in meditation time.
9. Hang dry your clothes.
Driers on high heat settings can be energy-intensive. If you have a clothesline, hang your clothes outside, or look for a drying rack. You might be able to find one at your local thrift store.
10. Avoid purchasing products wrapped in plastic.
If possible, look for products without plastic packaging. Find the veggies in store that aren’t pre-cut, but instead you can put in your own cloth bag that you brought. If your store has a bulk food section, take your bags there and fill them with many of your pantry staples.
11. Learn how to sew.
If you can repair minor damage to your clothing items, you can prevent those from becoming major damage! Learning how to sew can give you a multitude of DIY projects that you can do with scrap clothing or fabrics.
12. Volunteer (do a trash pick-up!).
Pick one weekend a month to do a trash pick-up with your family in your neighborhood. Invite your neighbors and their children, and their friends. Get everyone involved in keeping the community clean.
13. Ask for “no straw” when you order a drink.
Make it a habit to ask for your drink, with “no straw.”
14. Bring your own utensils to avoid using plastic ones.
You can purchase travel kits with utensil sets to keep in your bag. That way when you are on the go, you can avoid using plastic utensils for takeout food.
15. Use plastic-free cleaners (like Dropps or Blueland).
There are companies that make cleaning products in refillable, or plastic-free containers! Search for plastic-free options on the internet!
16. Donate unwanted newspaper & old towels to your local animal shelter.
Animal shelters use newspaper and old towels to line kennels and are in constant need. Consider donating old blankets, animal food, newspapers, or towels to your local shelter.
17. Purchase Carbon Offsets
If you have to travel a lot via airplane for work, you may feel some guilt at the carbon emissions from a plane flight. There are companies that allow you to easily calculate and purchase carbon offsets, which protect natural land in exact offsets to the pollution caused by your travel.
18. Stop buying things! Love what you have.
19. Plant a Tree or Garden with Flowers
Bees love flowers. giving them more options for pollinations helps out the bee and honey farmers. Support your local bee population by planting floral gardens with high nectar flow plants.
20. Teach a friend what you learned.
We are all in this together. If we want to see our planet improved, we all have to be in it together!
Take a minute to think about what your answer is to this simple question: Do you want to thrive or survive?
Early in life, we quickly learned how to survive. When I say survive, I mean that we were all shown the skills we need to get by and make it in the world. However, is living each day simply surviving enough? Or do you want more from your life?
I wasn’t happy with just surviving. There was more to life for me. I wanted to live a healthy, happy, vibrant life where I could soak in all of the energy from our amazing Earth and grow from it. Simply put. I choose to thrive.
Survive or Thrive?
The difference between surviving or thriving mindsets is pretty simple. Surviving is doing what is necessary to live. Thriving is not being satisfied with surviving. To thrive is a choice. It’s an attitude.
However, more often than not, I find that most people are barely getting by–physically, mentally, and emotionally. Each day, most people are just surviving and going through the motions. They are just getting by.
What Would You Do?
But let me ask you this–If a building was burning and you were locked inside, what would you do? Would you sit back and say, “Well I have no other option other than to die in here” OR would you say, “I’m not going to die today; the only way I’m going to die is trying to get out of this burning building?”
While it was a dramatic example, my point is that when faced with a crisis, we can do anything. Living in survival mode prohibits us from living a life of meaning and contribution. Merely choosing to survive in life is a crisis.
If you feel you have been surviving and just going through the motions, let today be the turning point in your life where you turn it all around.
Here are three ways to help you thrive instead of just surviving.
1. Find Your Purpose
II know how easy it can be at times to let life take over every move you make. If you aren’t intentional about staying purpose-driven, it’s an easy habit to let slip away. Staying purpose-driven can mean many things. Maybe you already know your purpose which is great.
However, maybe you don’t know what your purpose in life is yet and that’s fine, too. Everyone discovers what their purpose is at different stages in life. I firmly believe that we all created to do great and beautiful things in the world.
2. Clear Your Mind
Most of the time, people who settle for a life of survival let the tough times of life tear them down. I know firsthand that life can be hard. However, to thrive in life, you need to take time to reset and refocus your life. When your mind is in overdrive, sometimes you need to hit the reset button. My 3-Week Clearing Mental Clutter Mini-Course shows you how to banish your mental roadblocks by recognizing what they are and how to do something about them. Weekly affirmations help to keep you on track, short mindful movement sequences to help you step into your body fully, and a private accountability group helps to support you in clearing the mental clutter and creating great clarity.
3. Surround Yourself with Likeminded People
You have probably heard a million times—“Birds of a feather flock together.” Well, it’s true. If you surround yourself with people who are not motivated and searching for ways to better themselves, that’s the type of mindset and life you will adopt. When you hang around with people who focus on growing, getting better, and maximizing their potential, you will also embrace this mindset. If you want to make sure that you don’t fall into survival mode, hang around like-minded people.
My FREE online Facebook community, Daily Dose of Hope, is dedicated to helping others purposefully excel through the messiness of real-life, both on and off the mat. This group is about reclaiming the health and well-being of all its members, inspiring each member to see they are worth it, and assisting in the cultivation of each person becoming the best version of themselves!
The Choice is Yours
It’s easy to let everyday demands in life take over and dictate how your day goes, but each one of us has a choice on how to respond. Just remember: You have a purpose. You were put on this earth to thrive, not just survive.
This month, I am brought to a place and opportunity to see myself, my beliefs and intentions in another light. From others eyes yet, again in a new fresh way! The old me would have been horrified to experience this, to even behold and know what others thought of me. But yoga has so graciously offered me the opportunity to see things as they are through my own eyes and the eyes of others.
We are all connected, someway, somehow, and how we got here is still yet to be a mystery. Science has its “theories”, religions have their take and probably many more than I can even consume in one sitting of information on. Regardless of how we got here, why we are here and who or what keeps us here, ultimately, all of “this” here on this Earth is something to be experienced, taken in and both enjoyed and learned from.
From dead-ends to a personal connection with the world
Some say that it was in my blood to become an addict, to struggle at some time in my life from depression, because my past family has had that struggle. Maybe I did fall into that cut-out, or maybe it was just how the cards fell, unrelated to my family and their DNA. But what I know was no mistake or coincidence was that yoga found me. And the kind of yoga that sought me out were exactly the kind of yoga that I needed to move forward from the DNA dead-end, from the continuous circles of nowhere-ness that was once my life.
Yoga allowed me to shape and mold my own beliefs and values based on what the world could and has offered me; my limitless potential that I have been shown. The “union” that yoga has so kindly offered me, with myself, with my family, and Copper Tree, and the known and unknown world that surrounds me is priceless. What I come across again and again is that as much as we try to “know” this mystery, put science to it (even yoga) – some things will never be able to be explained. For me, I would hope it to always stay that way.
A simple connection
I find myself constantly reading, researching and studying and all this information is wonderful and amazing. However, none of this has ever yet to outweigh my own personal practice on my mat, and the integration of myself into this world that surrounds me. In the last 6 months (probably more), evaluations and criticisms of all kinds surround the yoga community, both at large and in-house. I have had now many opportunities to sit and meditate and reflect on these questions and remarks to find myself coming back to the same answer again and again. “WE ARE ALL ONE”, whether we come from one maker or that we are simply one existence – isn’t it in the end really the same thing? In yoga, we use the word “ATMAN” which means Brahman which means “universal consciousness” or “God”. Funny to me how those two definitions can be used interchangeably in a text older than the dirt your house was built on, yet we can’t seem to grasp the simplicity of the connection. We as educated peoples know almost too much and we miss the entire point.
Grow, experience life, and discover your self with yoga
What I hope for all those who have an opportunity to know yoga and those that choose to come through Copper Tree’s doors, is an opportunity to discover something within themselves that they may not have known before. Grown somehow, found the ability to get off the high horse and step into the rawness of life – where you don’t need to know the answer. And there is no separateness. We can all just “be” regardless of language, culture, beliefs.
Yoga may not be a religion; however, it is a lifestyle and in part a belief in something greater than ourselves – whatever that may be. Don’t let simple words get in your way of experiencing something quite amazing… Yourself.
And as a yoga teacher and a student of life I am simply sharing what I have been so graciously been given…
Meditation is an approach to training the mind. It’s just like how an athlete trains their body for a game.
Even though the thoughts of meditation can seem challenging, it is actually pretty simple. First, you choose something to focus your attention on. Once you’ve decided on your focus, the goal of meditation is to keep your attention on it for as long as possible.
So, why should you meditate? Well, meditation has been proven to temporarily alleviate stress, strengthen the mind to cultivate inner peace and improve your overall mental well-being.
The Benefits of Meditation
The benefits of meditation are limitless. In my opinion, meditation is the most valuable activity you can engage in to improve your self-awareness. Self-awareness means recognizing what you are thinking, feeling, and doing when you are doing it. It is a practice of mindfulness, which is the idea of being 100% present and engaged in whatever you’re doing–free from distraction or judgment.
A recent article by Healthline identified the following 12 health benefits of meditation:
- It’s a good way to manage stress
- Minimizes anxiety
- Improves self-image and promotes a positive outlook on life
- Increases self-awareness
- It can be practiced anywhere
Just as there are many different reasons why people meditate, there are also many different types of meditation.
Types of Meditation
Just as there are many different reasons why people meditate, there are also different kinds of meditation. Breath awareness or mindful meditation, is by far my favorite. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and anger, and sharpen your concentration and attention skills. When you become more mindful, you are able to accept your thoughts and feelings without judgement. Overall, meditation is about finding awareness and achieving peace in whatever way works best for you.
Here are some great meditations to help focus your mind and relax your body:
1. Mindful Breathing Meditation
Mindful breathing meditation gives you an anchor—your breath—on which you can focus when you find yourself distraught by a stressful thought. Mindfulness distances you from your thoughts and feelings, which can help you work through unpleasant feelings rather than becoming overwhelmed by them. Clear your mental clutter, relax and renew with this 30-minute guided meditation audio.
2. Centered Breathing Meditation
A heart-centred breathing practice focusing on developing appreciation, love and connection all on the waves of your breath. Centered breathing guided meditation uses simple counting to help focus the mind and relax the body.
3. Body Scan Meditation
Body Scan Meditation is designed to help you develop a mindful awareness of your bodily sensations, and learn to release the stress in your body and mind. This mindfulness practice can help to reduce stress, improve your overall well-being and decrease aches and pains. This body scan meditation audio will guide you through gentle exercises to guide you to deeper body awareness.
If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying! Just like many of the other things you set out to do in life, the effort you put into meditation will be directly reflected in your success or lack thereof. When you learn to enjoy the process itself—and work to get better at it—then you are more likely to keep at it long-term and give yourself the best possible results.
Muscle cramps can seriously cramp your workout. One minute everything is fine and then suddenly, out of nowhere, a muscle cramp rears its ugly head.
A cramp is a sudden, involuntary muscle contraction that sharply tightens and shortens a muscle. It’s usually temporary and non-damaging, but can be very painful. Cramps are a nightmare – but they’re common, especially during exercise.
But, why do muscle cramps happen anyways?
Although the exact cause can be a challenge to pinpoint, cramping is often the result of muscle overuse or strain from exercise, dehydration, mineral depletion within the body, and heat. Despite the various reasons these pesky cramps happen, the million-dollar question is: Are they preventable?
The answer is yes, there are things that you can do to help lessen your chances of suffering from muscle cramps. Prevention is key!
Muscle Overuse or Strain
If you are going from no movement to sudden, extreme movement, your body may not be happy to go along for the ride–especially if you are expecting it to go from zero to sixty in an instant. When it comes to exercise, consider the value of a warm-up. Yes, something to help bridge the gap between your sedentary life and the point at which your body to get moving. Foam rolling and gentle, dynamic movements let your body’s tissues know that there is going to be a more, intense movement to come. This may not eliminate that pesky pain but it can greatly reduce its chances of occurring.
Water makes up about 60% of your body weight. Your body needs water to survive. A lack of water in your body can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions which can make you tired, have less energy, and cause muscle cramps.
To prevent dehydration, you need to drink an adequate amount of water each day. There are many different opinions on how much water you should be drinking every day.
The rule of thumb is you NEED to be consuming 6 x your body weight in ounces of water per day, or roughly half your body weight in ounces. The more active you are, the more water your body is going to need. Consider adding a drop of lemon essential oil, fresh strawberries, or cucumbers to your water to help your body absorb the hydration more effectively. So, drink up–water that is–to keep those muscle cramps at bay.
One way to stop cramps is to eat enough of these key nutrients: potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
Potassium is a critical mineral for muscle contraction. It’s often a go-to fuel for those who like to hit the gym. Other sources of potassium include apricots, oranges, lentils, salmon and sweet or baked potatoes with the skin.
Magnesium is a key mineral for relaxation. Foods containing magnesium include avocado, nuts and seeds, bananas, whole grains (brown rice, cereal), dark chocolate, and dried fruit. Who doesn’t love a good excuse to buy some chocolate?
All too often we are worried about getting too much sodium. However, in all honesty, your body needs sodium. And, if you exercise, you are most likely losing quite a bit of that essential mineral. So, it is important to consider replenishing your lost sodium with a healthy post-workout drink, a vegetable juice drink, a few carrots, or even some pretzels.
Calcium is critical when it comes to developing and maintaining strong bones and muscles. Although milk is often the go-to for people when they think calcium, consider selecting yogurt, kale, broccoli, tofu, or almonds instead. They will also provide with you a great source of calcium and have less sugar when compared to milk!
If you do find yourself suddenly under attack from a muscle cramp, the following exercises might provide you with some relief.
- Stretch — Engage in light stretches that are focused around the muscle groups that are cramping.
- Massage — Lengthening the cramping muscle by using gentle massage techniques may help reduce the duration and severity of the cramp. A foam roller is also another great option to use!
For more information on how to maintain your health with exercise through diet, send us an email or scroll down and send us a message!