Ahimsa: Non-violence

As part of my yogic journey, I am doing my best to follow the 8 limbs of ashtanga yoga (more of which you can read about here) the first of which is Ahimsa (pronounced A-him-sA) meaning non-violence. 

As well as relating to the more obvious parts of non-violence: fighting, killing, physical and verbal abuse to other humans, animals, oneself (we all need to work a bit on that last one, not always putting yourself down EVEN in your own thoughts) recently I have been really aware of the violence we have been doing to our amazing & beautiful little planet. And today being Earth Day I was inspired to share this with you:

Aside from some of the more notable, well documented harm we are doing to the earth with C02 emissions, there so many less obvious things too. I was recently sent this powerful video and living on Malta, a little island in the middle of the beautiful Mediterranean sea, this really struck a cord in me.

I am not normally one to preach, but how often do we see rubbish floating around in the sea? According to The Ocean Clean Up about 8 million tons of plastic enters the oceans each year.

Did you know that if plastic bottles were around when Christopher Columbus was sailing the world and he had thrown one into the sea that it would STILL not have decomposed fully?  So every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists.

Jo Ruxton makes a great point in this video: "How can we make something disposable out of something that is indestructible?". We think it is fine to just throw away that plastic bottle after one use- out of sight, out of mind- but where is 'away'?! 

Next time you see a bottle floating in the sea or on the beach I urge you to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pick it up, out of the sea and put it in a proper bin. 

Although this is not solving the problem of making disposable things out of something indestructible, this will help the present situation hugely. Not only is it aesthetically not pleasing, but the plastic that breaks down in the Oceans breaks into tiny tiny particles which attract toxins which get eaten by the fish, and guess who eats the fish? US. As Jo Says, these toxins have a huge affect on our health, causing cancers, auto-immune problems, developmental problems in children and in fertility.  I certainly don't want to increase my odds of getting any of these diseases, do you? Throwing plastic into the seas is a form of violence not only to the earth, but also ultimately to ourselves.

One HUGE help would be making sure we all dispose of plastic properly, and if you do see any floating plastic PLEASE, PLEASE pick it up & dispose of it properly, otherwise it will still be there in 500 years time.

Another thought is to be mindful about the amount of un-necessary plastic that we use. I recently invested in a water dispenser and now buy the large (12 or 19 litre) water bottles  from h2only- this small adjustment has made a HUGE difference to the amount of recycling I am collecting every week. I'm just getting started and have a LONG way to go, but I am becoming much more aware of what I use and throw. Although I still have plastic in my life, I am very aware of every piece of plastic I consume and try to avoid it where possible. For more tips on reducing your waste check out  this inspiring family and this inspiring New Yorker.

Please feel free to share this post & video & help raise awareness keeping our seas plastic free.

Happy Earth Day!