Holistic Approach to Life Helps Save the Environment

Holistic Living There have been meat-eaters and there also have been those who vouch for vegetarianism. While the latter’s reasons may be religious, to ward off diseases or on humanitarian grounds, the former have tempted the latter with what they could be missing out on by depriving the latter’s taste-buds!

While it is futile convincing anyone to forsake their ideas, the world will be a better place for the future generations, if we adopt a holistic approach.

Saving the environment does not indicate that one should forsake meat alone; it means forsaking greed. Our eco-system is a well-balanced one, with the availability for every being’s needs, but not for every being’s greed! When we break this fragile eco-system thereby exploiting it, we are creating nothing but irreparable damage. If only the world’s builders mend their vandalizing ways, each time trees are cut down to make way for skyscrapers and hotels; if only seafarers are prudent to avoid oil-spillage; if only scientists realize the wreckage the discovery of nuclear weapons can create; if only you and I switch off the engine during a long wait; if only we during an excursion think before dirtying a pristine lake or hill, we would have managed to live a holistic life, safeguarding the world.

The herbivores depend on plants for food, the carnivores depend on herbivores and the dwindling population of either is absolutely dangerous for you and me.

Both developing as well as developed countries can do well to consider the imbalance staring at them and build a bridge to shorten the chasm. If you think population is the core culprit of developing countries, do think about the wastage of land and resources of developed countries! The United States alone has enough to feed the whole world.

Let’s start from home. Check on what is used in surplus and think of ways of curtailing this overuse. Think of ways of being a rolling potato instead of being a couch potato. A car-pool not only reduces pollution, but builds camaraderie too. Enjoy a walk with your companion rather than a drive. Ensure you consume very less electricity. A bored child can be taught the basics of gardening and made to sow seeds and tend to plants.

Find alternatives to substitute chemical pesticides. Sodium bicarbonate is an effective insect repellant when mixed with milk. Neem leaves and neem oil keep mosquitoes and even fungus at bay. Segregate organic and inorganic waste. While the former can be used as plant food, find if you can reuse inorganic waste in innovative ways. A simple man from India, Nek Chand did just that by creating a “Rock Garden” with waste like porcelain cups and saucers, electric bulbs, pens, bangles, et al!!

Make maximum use of the freely available resource such as sunlight, moonlight, the cool breeze, the rains, plants and trees etc. That’s what it means to living with nature harmoniously. Take initiative in learning about and implementing effective techniques like rainwater harvesting, vermiculture, solar homes, green energy products etc.

Say no to plastic and find substitutes for the same. Ask yourself if you certainly need a product, be it food or any product.

Time Flies

Time is said to be the only thing we can’t regenerate. If we waste it, it won’t come back to us. If we spend it, we don’t get to enjoy except in memories. And, if we save it, it will not be there when we go back for it.

And yet, it is the one thing we all want.

There is some truth to the passing of time, though. Wasted time can cause a loss of profits in businesses. Wasted time can also create regrets in the fabric of individual lives. Personally, I believe the second is the worst of wasted time’s results. The missed opportunities can haunt like no other ghost in the span our lives. Each day brings these regrets closer until it is possible for them to consume us.

Time spent working is valuable, but only if it is balanced by time spent with family, friends, loved ones, and activities we enjoy. When the balance is tipped one way or another, the same feelings of loss and regret remain in our memories as when time is wasted.

Saving time makes no sense other than to those who believe they have the power to control each moment. There are no guarantees in life and we don’t know how long we will be allowed to grace the planet. Saving time to spend with the things that are really important-family, friends, our interest-does not mean there will be time left in later years. It does, however, create hurt feelings from those for whom you had no time and regrets for you.

Instead of chasing a dollar, chase your life. Work will be a part of that, but you cannot live if you do not explore who you are and spend time on it. Living in the shadows of pure responsibility without getting close enough to really feel the passions in life isn’t really living. It is surviving.

I hope everyone learns to live, to follow dreams, and to experience life in a balance that leaves little regret. It is following our passions and dreams that make us human and make work a more productive and enjoyable experience for all

Earth Day All Year Long

Earth Day. Have you ever really thought about what it really means? If you’re like most people, you observe this day set aside for the conservation of our natural resources but you don’t really connect with it on most levels. In fact, it probably never crosses your mind at all.

Earth day is more than just conservation. It is a significant reminder of our impact on the earth. Of all the land on the earth, we have a direct impact on 83% of it. That leaves only 17% of the land unaffected and unharmed by our very existence. What’s worse is the fact that we begin to destroy the earth from the very first day we are born. Of course, in the first few years of life the choice isn’t exactly ours, but it is these early years that form the base of the justification of our treatment of the planet afterward.

Many of the items we carelessly throw away, including vacuums and other household goods, contain plastics. Plastics take a very long time to biodegrade (3-5 hundred years) because they contain crude oil-which is what gives them the waterproof property we desire. Even disposable infant diapers contain the crude oil so that our children don’t soil us. This leads to happy parents, but a huge demand on a natural resource that is commonly known for its role in the automotive industry.

Basically, Earth Day is meant for us to become aware of our footprints. It is supposed to inspire us to recycle, reuse, reduce, and be kind to the planet all year long. When you consider some of the statistics of what we use during our lifetime, it’s easy to see how we can make a difference.

Below are some ideas that we can use each and every day to preserve the resources our earth gives to us. They aren’t hard to do and only take a few minutes out of our day. But, best of all, these simple steps can make a difference in the quality of life we live and in the conservation of nature for both us and future generations.

1. Packaging is a major problem. Most packages use plastic. Purchase items with the least amount of packaging to reduce the amount of waste. (i.e. Buy socks that aren’t in a plastic package but are instead wrapped with only a small connecting tag for store display)

2. Purchase organic vegetables and produce items that are free of packaging from farmer’s markets. Not only are you saving the planet from wrapping waste, but organic foods don’t use chemical pesticides or preservatives. It’s a great way to eat healthier and to encourage more farmers to avoid the poisonous compounds that add to the pollution of our planet.

3. Recycle trash. This seems simple enough, but most of what finds its way into our dumps could be reused if it had been sorted. Paper, plastic, glass, and metal can all be remelted,molded, or reshaped into a new product that doesn’t require us to use more of our natural resources.

4. If you live two miles or closer to where you work, walk or take a bicycle. Both are excellent forms of exercise that improve your health and emissions are not secreted into the air. This reduces both health insurance and air pollution.

5. Instead of cleaners that rely heavily on chemicals, choose the ones with all natural ingredients. For example, find toilet bowl cleaners that use helpful micro-organisims to degrade waste in sewer systems. Vinegar and water are wonderful for cleaning windows. There’s even several commercial cleaners that are now environmentally safe if you prefer ready made cleaning solutions for your needs.

6. Instead of reading your newspaper on newsprint, which requires a lot of trees for production, try listening to the news on an audible recording or reading it on the Internet. Most stories in the daily news can be had this way and don’t use any trees to make. Two of the best newspapers to offer audible recordings of daily news are The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. (And, if you’re wondering why trees are so important: Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis. We breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants, such as trees, intake carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.)

7. When choosing how to diaper your baby, consider the use of cloth diapers. These are washable and reusable, made from natural fibers, and are better for your baby’s skin. By choosing a more natural method, our dumps can see a dramatic decrease in use as the average baby will need almost 3,000 diaper changes in the first two years of life. That’s a lot of waste not going into landfills.

8. Reuse plastic bottles! Instead of buying a cleaner in a plastic spray bottle every time you need a new supply of the cleaner, purchase a concentrated refill that can be mixed with water in the original bottle from the first purchase. The amount of waste is greatly reduced and the spray bottle doesn’t find its way into a landfill.

9. If you purchase milk in a plastic jug, it doesn’t have to be thrown away when the milk is gone. These make great banks for loose change and planters. I love to let the kids decorate the jugs with other items that would normally end up in the trash such as colorful wrappers from cookies and chips. They love the unique banks they make and it helps the planet. The plants serve to help clean up the air in my home and it doesn’t cost me much to reuse what I already have.

10. Clothes also litter the landfills. Consider donating the gently worn items to Good Will or another charity in your area. For those items not so gently worn, consider making them into something else. Old socks make great puppets and cleaning cloths. Old jeans work well as oil rags for working on your car or in the garage. Also, if there is a quilting guild or sewing group in your area, see if they would be interested in clothing not suitable for donation. Many times, these groups will use them as scraps and create beautiful products from what you believed worthless.

There are many other ways to help save our planet and to conserve the natural resources we’ve come to take for granted. Don’t be afraid to try them out. Not only will the amount of trash and pollution decrease, but you may find some enjoyment from creating and being inventive.

Just think what a truly wonderful world we would live in if everyone did their part to conserve the beauty all around us.