Dear Yoga Teachers, Yoga Students, and All Human Beings On Planet Earth,
It’s 2019: ARE YOU STILL USING SINGLE-USE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES?
I’m not here to judge or shame you about the use of plastic. I’m just here to bring your attention to something that we should all consider, myself included.
Can we please lead by example?
What would it look like if every single yoga teacher and practitioner in the world vowed to, for just one month, stop drinking water out of single-use plastic water bottles?
What if we set the example for our students, our children, and everyone around us to take ownership over our actions and be environmentally responsible?
You guys. We have ALL seen those incredibly sad images with once beautiful beaches covered in plastic, and innocent animals stomachs’ full of it. We live in a world where there is too much single-use plastic being produced, and the reality is that very little of it ends up being recycled and reused.
Did You Know:
Did you know that once plastic is in the landfill it does not naturally deteriorate? Instead, it absorbs other toxic chemicals, breaks down into tiny pieces, and creates widespread pollution or enters the marine food chain through ingestion by wildlife.
There are millions of tons of plastic found in our oceans each year, so much so that it is now a widely known fact that plastic particles are present in the sea salt that we eat. It’s present in our drinking water. It’s present in our freaking beer!
Why Is This Part of Our Yogic Responsibility?
I’m not saying that us yoga teachers or yoga practioners are responsible for stopping the use of plastic, but I am saying is that we could at least minimize our contribution to the problem.
Can we try to apply here one of the most foundational principles of yoga, the first yama – AHIMSA: y’all, non-harming is the core of our practice.
If we are truly practicing ahisma, doesn’t that mean that we should be doing everything in our power to cause the least amount of harm to all living beings, and to our planet?
And isn’t choosing whether or not we use plastic completely within our power?
Doesn’t that mean we need to be more ethically and environmentally responsible for our actions? Guys, it’s not hard. It’s just a choice we have to make.
I see it when I’m practicing. I see it when I’m teaching. I see it because yoga studios sell plastic water bottles. And I get it. There’s a bottom line, and I’m sure selling water helps that bottom line. But as studio owners, maybe stop and think about if selling water comes at the expense of something much larger than making a little extra money each month.
And I fully understand that people need to drink water. Which is why we can offer them a water cooler and either encourage them to bring their own bottles, or offer paper cups that they can refill from.
We say in yoga all the time: “how do you want to show up in this world?” So maybe we should all take a closer look at how we are actually showing up in this world.
So Here’s My Challenge To You:
For the next 30 days, drink your water out of a reusable water bottle.
Don’t buy single-use plastic.
Tell people what you’re doing and ask them to join you.
If we all do this for 30 days, perhaps it’s a habit that will end up sticking.
Buy a damn reusable water bottle and stop polluting the planet.
You don’t get any prize. There’s no special giveaway.
You can post about it on social media if that’s something you want to do. We’ll be using the hashtag #DYplasticfree
Otherwise, just do it for yourself.
Do it for your planet.
Do it because as yoga teachers and fitness professionals we have a responsibility to show up and be leaders in our communities.
How To Get Involved & Spread the Word
If you want more information about the impact of plastic on our planet and our oceans, there’s tons of information online. Greenpeace is a great resource and environmental activist group with real, accessible steps we can all take to help do our part in reducing our carbon and plastic footprint.
Thank you for reading.