Being More Mindful

I just returned from my annual retreat to Costa Rica.  It’s the perfect place to fully detach from the chaos of life, whilst also being able to focus on personal health and wellness.  

I took several families away for a fully organised trip so that we could connect with each other and participate in active adventures to push through our fears, try new things and be in nature.

While we were there, we were immersed in Costa Rican culture and it was interesting to see their views on the environment - did you know that Costa Rica is making straws illegal?

That’s how aware they are on the pollution issues.  

Have you heard or seen the mass of trash in the Pacific Ocean, they say it’s twice as large as Texas!  That’s ridiculous.

I came home from my trip and had more trash from my family in two days than what we had in Costa with a group of 23 for a week.  I need to try harder. I realized that just using a zip lock bag for my kids sandwiches, 39 school weeks in a year, 5 days a week for 2 children uses roughly 390 zip lock baggies a year - just for sandwiches!!  

If we are lucky only 20% of zip lock baggies can even be recycled.  So all of those baggies are going to the landfill. However, I can go to Target and buy a $3 sandwich container which is reusable, costs less and has much less impact on the environment. It’s these little things -  trying to be more mindful - that makes a difference.

I realize that our lives are busy. We can’t go fishing in the morning to catch our dinner or pull some fruit from the trees for breakfast.  This is what we experienced in Costa Rica and just one of the reasons why it would be amazing to live in a place like this. However, we must make do with the circumstance that surround us.  

Baltimore lacks some of the healthy advantages of Costa Rica, so I need to plan my meals for the week, go grocery shopping, buy foods that require packaging to stay fresh long enough for me to feed my family.  

We ship our food in from other countries or across the states and that requires preservation.  But somewhere along the way people stopped being mindful of all our waste. ‘Just recycle it’ is the phrase, there are more cans everywhere labeling mindful recycling.  But what would be so much better, is to use less plastic.

It’s not hard, it may be a little inconvenient, but recycling it is the best we can do at the moment.  Using less plastic, zip lock baggies, straws, waste; is what we need to aim for.

I challenge you to pick one thing this week and be mindful of the impact it can have on our environment. The easy thing to do is order some sandwich containers on Amazon, but then we get a huge box with air-filled plastic baggie packaging to prevent this little sandwich container from breaking... we can drive to the store, use gas, which contaminates our environment...  or just not worry about it, pretend to not care.

We have to do something, or our children’s children will have a trash can for an ocean.  It’s gross! There is an entire world, we know little about under the sea, and they deserve better.  

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* Featured photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash