environment

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.

Why put one pepper or a bunch of broccoli in a separate bag, just to put that bag in another grocery bag?  We can save thousands and thousands of plastic bags by keeping our vegetables loose and not bagging each separately.  You’re going to go home and wash them anyway right?  If you’re buying 2 lbs of mushrooms though, you might have to bend the rules… unless you remember to bring your used ones back…

We all have to buy stuff from time to time. So, we mind as well shop with the knowledge that everything we do buy is on a slow (or fast) road to the landfill. Basically, we’re actually buying future garbage. This awareness can help us to slow down and consider what we really need… which will save money too. And then it can motivate us to look for the products that consume the fewest and most sustainable resources from manufacturing to shipping to the products that will break down and contribute the least to pollution.

A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion… is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison.

Organic foods are good for many reasons and here are just a few. They contain less pesticides and nitrates, which have been linked to a range of health problems including diabetes and Alzheimer’s, organic plant products are more nutrient dense, have higher levels of minerals, contain more antioxidants, and organic animal products contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids. Plus, they have much less of a negative effect on the land and water supply.

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In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

Using a filter for your drinking water has many benefits beyond the money you can save from buying bottled water. Here are just a few: 1) No petroleum necessary to ship those heavy bottles of water from the source to your glass 2) Very low carbon footprint 3) Your water hasn’t been sitting in a petroleum based plastic bottle sucking up all of those extra chemicals 4) No extra energy to recycle the bottle 5) Or worse, they get thrown in the landfill (that contributes hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic per year that doesn’t fully decompose) 5) You always have fresh drinking water on hand

Even though we understand who we are, we have to see what we are. Are we separate from the grasses, trees, or birds? No, we are grasses and trees, snowstorms and fine days. So we have to learn what the storm is, what winter is, what spring is. We have to understand everything in our whole life. So accept that life is just a continuation of learning. Day after day, life after life, we just have to learn constantly. That’s enough.

Switch over to rechargeable batteries. Not only will you save money and time, you’ll also save the earth and water from some of the worst toxins on the mass market. Plus, in some states it’s illegal to throw your batteries away. If you have non-rechargeable batteries that are dead, find a local battery recycling center to drop them off at. Libraries, electronic stores, and hazardous waste facilities are usually a good bet.

Put your computer to sleep instead of using the screen saver. Running your monitor takes a significant amount of energy, which adds up even more over time. And if you just can’t bear the time it takes to wake up (then you’re probably using a windows ;), seriously though, have the computer set to just turn off the monitor instead of sleep or screen saver. This leads to less energy consumption and money savings. Imagine how it would add up if it were required by just one semi-large company.

When you’re in a public restroom, take a look at how many paper towels get used. When we aren’t paying attention, we tend to pull out a few extra when we don’t really need to. Most of paper in that big clump stays dry. See if you can get away with just using one (or even none, if you’re feeling it). You can save hundreds and even thousands a year just by making this simple shift. Imagine the numbers if thousands of people did the same. It all adds up…. and that leaves more trees creating fresh air for us.

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Universal Forces

All life is the play of universal forces. The individual gives a personal form to these universal forces. But he can choose whether he shall respond or not to the action of a particular force. Only most people do not really choose - they indulge the play of the forces. Your illness, depressions etc. are the repeated play of such forces. It is only when you can make oneself free of them that one can be the true person and have a true life - but one can be free only by living in the Divine.

- Sri Aurobindo

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