A new year often triggers us to make New Year’s resolutions. While these resolutions are often focused on our individual lives, making resolutions that include creating habits for bettering the planet can be easier than you think. Classic body and soul tips can be applied to the environment too, and the other way around. At the end, we are both living organisms that eat, breathe and grow in our own way.
Changing a habit may feel like a funny combination between excitement and discomfort. The trick is to split up your resolution into feasible steps, according to Gretchen Ruben (author of “Better than Before”). We all know the tips about separating your waste and taking the bicycle to work, but there are many more of these workable new habits to explore.
To get you started I arranged 3 holistically oriented resolutions for you that cover both self-care and planet-care, packaged into a few easy tips and tricks that make it easy for you to implement in your daily life. Hopefully they make your 2018 a happier and more sustainable year. And not to be forgotten: scroll down for the Yoga Awareness Retreats that we offer in 2018, each with a Sustainability Module!
1. Restore and Re-use
Environment: It takes less time to buy a new charger for your laptop, instead of getting it fixed. Getting it repaired however saves the resources needed for producing and transporting a new one. You might find it old-fashioned at first, but fixing or re-using a product can make you feel skill-full, and has a lower oe no impact on the environment. Take for instance your used chickpea glass jar, doesn’t your muesli or pasta fit in there nicely? Paint a label on it and it looks nice too!
Body & Soul: Nowadays being busy often seems easier and more socially accepted than taking time to recover, but a proper 20-minute nap can be all you need to feel more energised and productive instead of pushing yourself to chase that deadline nonstop. Your brain is like a motor that can overheat. A short period of cooling down can help to improve your mood, alertness and performance (Sleep Foundation). So take time to wind down and restore your energy for a healthier purpose.
2. Switch to Green
Environment: Your energy provider at home (or at work) generates energy from either a sustainable source like wind-energy, or from a less sustainable source such as a coal plant. Nowadays it takes just a phone call to switch to a sustainable provider. But green energy doesn’t mean the supply is unlimited, turning off half of your indoor lighting an hour before bedtime is a great way to save more energy and simultaneously allows your body to get ready for the night.
Body & Soul: I always like the comparison of your body to a plant or a baby. Would you consider giving them soft drinks instead of water? The same applies to you eating processed or non-organic food instead of fruits and vegetables. Eating greens enables your body to use your energy efficiently, instead of needing most of it for digesting unnatural constructions of the chemicals in processed food. You can check with your local bio-store if they provide weekly shopper-bags with organic fruit and vegetables that you can subscribe to, to ensure you have at least that amount of greens in your fridge every week.
3. Avoid Plastic
Environment: Next to bringing your own bag to the supermarket and separating your (plastic) litter, it is good to be aware of micro beads (tiny plastic particles). You can find out if there are microbeads in the products you buy, by checking the ingredients list for Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP. Most non-organic make-up and toothpaste contain these beads or ‘plastic dust’. Wastewater treatment is not designed to filter out this material that absorbs pollutants, therefore avoiding the use of them altogether is the best way to avoid toxic accumulation in our waterways.
Body & Soul: Avoiding plastic in your home environment can enhance your wellbeing. Feng Shui and Biophilic design promote the use of natural materials such as solid wood or clay for your furniture and decoration. Materials that our mind and body recognise from ancient times are known to relax us, so help yourself by getting for instance that vintage cast-iron watering can or a nice wooden candle-stand to brighten your living room.
Of course you can’t change overnight like your overnight-oats do, but soaking up these new tips and trying to turn them into sustainable habits in the next months is definitely a good start of your year!
Want to learn more?
This year we are offering you a brand new retreat concept: Yoga Awareness Retreats. Each retreat incorporates a Sustainability Module that offers you practices and tools to extend your yoga practice with environmental concerns. There are 3 pillars that we focus on: the ecosystem as a whole (deforestation, climate change), marine conservation (plastic pollution, loss of coral, overfishing) and cultural diversity and self-sufficiency (preservation of tribes and wisdom keepers, small farmers, and the ability of local communities to live independently). On Mallorca you will learn about Ahimsa, or non-violence, in connection to marine life preservation, and in Peru you will learn about the benefits that biodiversity brings us in their beautiful mountain jungle.
We aim to create yoga retreats that are sustainable, avoiding the use of plastic where possible, offering vegetarian and vegan meals and selecting retreats centres that share this vision as well as local initiatives that share their environmental knowledge with us. Are you ready to make Global Flow Retreats part of your New Year’s holistic resolutions?