Mindfulness isn’t just a meditation thing — bringing awareness to how our everyday decisions impact the environment is one of the most powerful ways we can celebrate Earth Day this year.
We take dozens of actions daily that affect our physical environment. By bringing our attention to them as they are happening, we have the opportunity to choose more sustainable, gentle options for our planet that match our values. Here are five ways to make a difference:
- Choose a Plant-based Diet
From “meatless Mondays” to a full-on vegan lifestyle, people are reducing their intake of animal products for good reason — food choices hugely affect the planet. American livestock create substantial amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and three times the waste of the entire human population annually. They’re fattened on soy and grains that require large amounts of fertilizer, fuel, pesticides, and water. All this adds up to a substantial carbon footprint.
Bringing awareness to and reducing animal consumption offers measurable results. For example, if a four-person family skips steak one day a week for a year, it’s like taking one car off the road for almost three months!
If you want to really up your plant consumption, grow your own garden, the ultimate experience in locally sourced, organic food.
- Replace Plastic with Glass
Plastics manufacturing uses 4.6 percent of the annual petroleum consumption in the U.S. Add to that fact the known chemicals in plastics — even BPA free — and glass looks like a better alternative.
But plastic is ubiquitous and it takes mindfulness to remember a Pyrex or Mason jar instead of a plastic tumbler when you want some iced chai. When you’re on the go, make the decision easy with beverages packaged in glass jars or aluminum instead of plastic. We care about our corporate responsibility, so you’ll only find Purpose Tea products in eco-friendly packaging.
- Let Technology Help
Smart home technology has the potential to be a green game changer. For example, the Nest Thermostat can be synced with your smartphone’s location services and programmed to change your thermostat several degrees when you’re away. Other smart home services allow you to control and program lights, fans, and sprinklers, which can dramatically reduce energy and water usage.
- Pay Attention to Packaging
Over packaging has reached epic heights, often resulting in a “package-within-a-package-within-a-package” situation. Too much! Many natural food grocers have bulk sections where you can buy things like grains, beans, even soap, in bulk and bring your own bags.
- Make Reusable Bags a Way of Life
Experts estimate around 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of ocean on earth. Not acceptable. Get yourself some reusable bags and always keep them in the car for all grocery and shopping trips. Mindfully shifting your routine can make a real impact.
 Plastics, Human Health and the Road Ahead
 United Nations Environment Programme