Mindfulness Mondays - Living through the Week with Intention:
"Mindful Waste Management"
by Rev. Helen Nelson
On this Earth Day, we could make significant strides toward reversing global warming by being mindful about waste management. First, let's all take a slow, deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, the let it out slowly and completely. That is an easy first step in practicing mindful waste management.
You just breathed in oxygen and whatever pollutants are in the air where you are. Then you breathed out carbon dioxide and other pollutants, which plants and trees use as nutrients. They store carbon and other pollutants in their stems, trunks, branches, leaves, and roots, converting some into oxygen through the process of photosynthesis, and sequestering the rest in the soil. However, with an increase in carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and a decrease in trees and plants due to deforestation, natural processes are out of balance. So, a second step in mindful waste management is to plant trees and native species and to compost yard and vegetative kitchen waste to prevent the excess carbon dioxide and methane from accumulating in the waste stream of Earth's atmosphere and causing global warming.
A third step in mindful waste management is to follow the principle of Reduce/Reuse/Recycle. That approach involves reducing our consumption as well as reducing packing and shipping materials. Even though it may be challenging, we can be intentional as we shop to purchase items with the least amount of packaging. Finding opportunities to creatively reuse packaging, damaged goods, or single-use items can be fun. Learning about, staying current, and adhering to your local recycling service policies is absolutely essential to the effectiveness of recycling programs. We need to be mindful to sort, rinse, dry, or otherwise manage what we intend to recycle so that these items are successfully diverted from landfills.
The key components of Mindful Waste Management are the same as of any other mindfulness activity:
• Setting intention
• Focusing attention
• Releasing judgement/Expressing compassion
This week, why not initiate or upscale whatever mindful waste management practices are best suited to your particular life situation?