Mindfulness and Care for the Planet

by | Oct 11, 2022 | Mindfulness & Meditation | 2 comments

mindfulness and care for the planet

Are you aware of everything and everyone that you share this planet with? You’ve surely heard the frequently-used term “sustainability” by now. Perhaps you’ve even heard about a concept called the “circular economy.”

It’s no surprise these concepts have entered the language of business and everyday life. We’re on the verge of a grand enlightenment, one in which we begin to understand the “oneness” of everything, the connectedness of the fabric of life.

How am I related to another? Whether it’s the chair that I sit on, my sibling, my partner, or a sister suffering in another country from gender inequality or war. When we say we are all one, it’s not just a mysterious spiritual idea. We are truly one big interconnected collective organism: one inhales what the other exhales. “Circular Economy” is the concept which corresponds to our communal and energetic connection on the material and scientific level. 

As living inhabitants of the planet, we are circular by nature. We’re oriented toward efficiency. There is no “garbage” in nature. The disposal of one process is the input for another. When the leaves fall, the soil gains nutrition; when an animal dies, the others make use of its expired body.

This cycle of formation and destruction happens over the course of seasons, years, lunar cycles, and eras. It’s the cycle of life and death.

When did we forget that we are an inseparable part of this magnificent intelligent system which gives birth to itself over and over?

If we consume linearly, meaning any good is produced, consumed or used and then disposed of, we end up with an accumulation of unusable garbage, all while depleting the earth’s resources. If we tweak the system in such a way that the disposals feed the resources back as a loop, then waste accumulation is prevented. Linear becomes circular and sustainability is achieved.

The circular economy is governed by 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. These are the pillars for maintaining the eco-friendly approach for every type of production line and consumer habits whether it’s the food industry, construction, or textiles.

Even so, throwing your plastic packaging to the recycle bin after you consume your food is not the answer. Every output produced in each step must be an input for another loop and recycling should be the last resort. The optimal approach is to prevent waste production and avoid the addition of new handling loops into the system.

So if you keep buying new clothes, you create new products to be handled throughout their lifecycle. Do you consider whether the item can be up-cycled or passed on for second-hand use? Is it going to be repurposed or recycled after it is worn enough? If you can’t answer those questions, it is better to not buy that and not to create the additional demand in the beginning. This is why REDUCE is the first step of an eco-friendly life.

We are accustomed to intensive consumption, to single-use plastics and other conveniences. We assume that “someone” is going to handle the problems which ensue, thereby avoiding personal responsibility. Without thinking, we’ve become animals who move, produce, consume, and develop survival strategies which depend on this level of convenience. Do we really want to exist as mindless consumers?

Yes, taking personal responsibility for what we consume and produce – and the way our actions weigh upon the societal systems we depend on (waste disposal or even the sidewalks cluttered with trash) requires a change in lifestyle.

For example, when you buy a package of food. After consuming the food, you eliminate the food from your body as solid organic waste. If you reuse the package of the food as a kitchen container you ensure the circularity, because nothing has gone out of the loop as garbage. This is what the “zero-waste” movement is all about.

The action comes from a feeling of responsibility. The positive impulse arises when you become aware. You are responsible for everything you touch, everything you take into your system, up to its final destination. You owe it to the ones you share the planet with. 

Act, consume and give back with care. To be mindful of our impact on the planet and our interconnected existence upon it is an act of love. Let’s begin changing our behaviors, not tomorrow but today.

What is this, if not mindfulness? I can assure you that the benefits of this kind of mindfulness extend even to our own internal well-being.

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2 Comments

  1. Tad

    Yes this is true mindfulness, the opposite of willful ignorance. Thank you for putting these concepts together so we can take action.

    Reply
  2. Michael

    Wow, this is practicing mindfulness! You not only need to be mindful but I need to educate myself more about my uses so I can be more mindful of where to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I am too often ignorant of my actions and there consequences and thus my karma. Thank you.

    Reply

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