Shift your plastic consumption habits for the summer and beyond.
By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. This frightening statistic is cited by numerous advocacy groups such as the nonprofit Plastic Pollution Coalition. While this may seem years away, the plastic in our oceans today is having significant negative effects on wildlife and our planetary and personal health.
Our relationship with the planet is a spiritual practice. Isha Foundation Founder Sadhguru says, “Our lives are not separate from each other; our life is an integrated, connected life. How healthy the worms are today will determine how healthy we are tomorrow. Spirituality essentially means an all-inclusive experience.” The Isha Foundation is committed to sustainable environmental stewardship.
Isha Foundation actions to reduce plastic consumption.
All 250 centers worldwide have eliminated single-use disposables and have switched to stainless steel silverware.
Retail shops have replaced the sale of plastic bottles with stainless steel and copper water bottles.
Events and partnerships to increase awareness about plastic pollution.
Choose Products that are Part of the Plastic-Free Revolution
Spiritual teachers aren’t the only environmental stewards. Commerce can also be a conduit for positive change. For example, the personal care products company Natracare was founded in 1989 by Susie Hewson as a purpose-driven, campaigning brand in response to the growing danger to human health and the environment of dioxin pollution from chlorine bleaching of paper products. Natracare’s product line includes the world’s first certified organic cotton tampons and totally chlorine-free, plastic-free sanitary pads and panty liners. Susie says, “We want to give women the plastic-free option that won’t burden our planet. Our natural cycles should never amount to plastic waste.”
Natracare also collaborates with advocacy organizations including 5 Gyres. Haley Jain Haggerstone, the nonprofit’s Development and Partnerships Director says, “Single-use plastic wrappers and applicators cannot be recycled and conventional sanitary pads are roughly 90% plastic. This is why 5 Gyres is proud to partner with Natracare, a company that provides plastic-free femcare options.” Read more about 5 Gyres’ advice for plastic-free femcare. You can participate in a social media conversation with Natracare using the hashtag #PFJbyNatracare.
Natracare Partners with Advocate Organizations
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact of humans, waterways and oceans, and the environment.
The tagline of this So-Cal based nonprofit is “Science to Solutions.” Their research contributed to the US federal ban on plastic microbeads and their mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education, and adventure.
5 Gyres Action Items
City to Sea
Nonprofit running campaigns to print marine plastic pollution at source. By engaging communities, working with retailers and lobby manufacturers and government, City to Sea is reversing the trend for disposable items in order to safeguard our seas for the future.
Mission: “Raw Foundation helps to educate, engage, and empower young people to move toward sustainable consumption and production. Everything we do is systems-focused, solution-oriented, and change-driven.”
Four Weeks to Reducing Plastic Consumption
1. Swap out daily basics like plastic bags and plastic straws for reusable options. Actor, activist, and ambassador for United Nations World Environment Day Adrian Grenier is outspoken about the negative impact of plastic straws on oceans and marine life. In an interview with National Geographic he says, “I think the straw is not only symbolically a great first step, a gateway if you will, but also significant because it is the smaller plastics in particular that we want to prevent.” Purchase reusable and washable straws. (One of my favorites is: ecoatheart.com.)
2. Eat plastic-free. Purchase one reusable BPA-free bottle. BYO lunch in a reusable container. When dining out, bring a to-go container with you for your leftovers. For take-away or delivery, choose “No plastic utensils” and pack your own cutlery.
3. Choose Plastic-free body care. Look for options with reduced or plastic-free packaging. Learn about plastic found in your makeup wipes or feminine care products. Try out soap or shampoo bars. Look at the impact of products you use on a daily or monthly basis.
4. Become an advocate. Share statistics. Trade tips with friends. Call brands you use and make suggestions or offer feedback. Volunteer with nonprofits who are changing the footprint on plastic use.
Dana Jean Costantino is looking forward to continuing to grow within the Yoga communities of NYC and LA as a balance to her career in advertising. IG @danajeanyoga