Category Archives: environment

Stop. Breathe. Repeat.

You know what we don’t get enough of? Air. We often forget to breathe. We run around all day like wind-up dolls and it takes great effort to bring awareness to what is essential: breathing.

Today I literally stopped what I was doing about every hour to deepen my breath. All day long I was feeling suffocated, like my lungs were not getting enough oxygen. New York, the capital of changing weather 24/7, is in the middle of another topsy-turvy climate – the humid/cold/rainy weather probably had something to do with my condition.

Every time you feel anxious, nervous, or hyper-stimulated, try to bring your awareness back to the breath. Focus on the here and now, breathe all that tension out. Fill your lungs with air by inhaling, slowly and deeply, through the nose and low into the belly. Try to feel your breath moving, and follow it diffusing through the lungs and into the blood, until it reaches all the cells of your body, down to the fingers and toes.

There are breathing techniques that are used for different effects on the body. For example, breathing through your left nostril calms you down, which can be useful during stress or before an exam. Breathing through the right nostril, on the other hand, wakes you up and gives your energy, so you can use this on a long car ride (especially useful for the driver).

We really don’t give enough credit to the power of the breath. But if you think about it, each breath is essential for maintaining our life force, until the next breath. We can go days without water and weeks without food, but we can only survive minutes without oxygen. So oxygen is the number one nutrient to nourish your body; water is the second; and food takes third place. Honor the breath and bring awareness to it periodically to get the full benefit of it.

Waste not, want not

Zero-to-Hero

You know what nobody likes to talk about? Waste. And I’m not just talking fecal matter, I mean any kind of waste. We humans leave behind waste everywhere we go, without a second thought, as if there’s nothin’ to it.
Maybe it’s because I am an immigrant, or maybe because my parents taught to me to value things, but my heart breaks from America’s wasteful attitude. Nowadays, things are not built to last, which explains why they often need to be disposed of after minimal wear ‘n’ tear. But when you grow up saving and reusing stuff, it just becomes second nature. Think of all the containers that are wasted in the food making/takeout industry. All those plastic containers can be saved and reused for home lunches! Instead, they wind up in the trash, and eventually litter the streets…

Sure, there are some loose guidelines about recycling, for example in NY. But who really enforces them? My family can recycle all they want (and we do try), but our recycling is not even a drop in the bucket compared to industrial waste, or even waste from small businesses. How hard is it to separate paper and plastic/metal/glass from everything else?
Then there are those that postulate that even if they separate recyclables, garbage collectors throw everything in one bin. Following that logic, why bother at all?

All I know is, if things keep going at this rate, there will be more waste on this planet than anything else! What are we going to do with all this garbage – there is physically no space for it anymore! Instead of making grand plans to send it up to space or bury it, perhaps we should steer our attention to conserving our resources. We should make things out of natural, durable materials, that can be reused and eventually recycled/biodegraded. And if science does allow for this, the much harder part will be to change the attitudes of people. Cherishing our environment and planet should be a priority for everyone, instilled in us from childhood! It should not be our instinct to waste and spit on our planet that gave rise to so much life and beauty….

See recycling ideas at earth911.com.