How To Care For The Earth While It Cares For You
You would be hard-pressed to find a naturopathic doctor that does not also identify as an environmentalist on some level. The reason for this stretches well-beyond the tired notion of “tree hugging hippie doctors.” Instead, naturopaths are well aware of two very important things:
- Nature is an integral part of the healing process. If you have never heard of the term shinrin-yoku, I’m pleased to introduce you. Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese word for “forest bathing.” It is very common in Japan to leave the doctors office with a prescription that simply says “spend more time outside.” We are often unaware of how our bodies become unaligned and truly frazzled by living in a world that does not appreciate the healing capacity of nature. Whether it be dew-walking, moon-gazing, gardening, jumping into a cold lake, taking a deep breath in a forest…this is one of the easiest ways to regulate a nervous system. Also, check out this very interesting research on the impact of nature on community health. Fascinating!
- Without mother nature, we no longer have botanical medicine and many of our nutraceuticals are also moot (i.e. fish oils). To put it bluntly, without mother nature, we are empty-handed.
When we consider the state of the natural world, it is incredibly easy to become overwhelmed and hopeless. However, this blog post serves to remind you that small acts and big acts are all radical in the end. If you can simply change one habit and/or one product a month, you could lessen your impact on this earth drastically in a single year. I have compiled a list of some easy places to start as well as some of the best places in the city to stock up on bulk products and green alternatives.
- Keep your cloth bags in your car; that way, you’ll never be caught off guard on a grocery run.
- Swap out plastic with glass or stainless steel.
- Keep track of the food that you purchase in netting and wrapped in plastics that are not recycled in our city. If you’re unpleasantly surprised by the amount of waste that you accumulate, make it a goal to seek out plastic-free, netting-free alternatives instead.
- Save the extra plastic and refill your shampoo and conditioner at The Alternative
- Invest in a re-usable razor.
- Is your toilet paper wrapped in plastic? Consider investing in TP that is wrapped in recyclable paper instead.
- Consider a compost bin to recycle yard clippings, food waste and papers.
- Invest in a rain barrel and then do a little rain dance for our province!
- Leave the dandelions (yes, those dandelions, all of them – the bees need them to recover after a long winter and, as we know, bees are integral to our food systems.)
ON THE GO
- Pack your own utensils.
- A handkerchief makes a mighty fine napkin.
- Get your to-go cup ready for a post-pandemic coffee.
- Recycle all of your printer cartridges and old pens. This can be done for free at Staples.
- Reduce paper waste where possible.
- Start a challenge to see who can produce the least amount of waste in a week.
- Consider cloth diapers. You can find some great options at Groovy Mama.
- Swap out plastic toys for wooden toys.
- Invest in reusable hemp wipes.
As Robin Wall Kimmerer says, “When we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.” The health of your body is intricately connected to the health of the earth and vice versa. So as we engage in the work to heal our bodies, we should also consider the ways in which we can do our part to heal the earth. From the botanical supplement that helps you sleep, to the fish oil that supports your healthy skin, to the walking path that grounds you every morning; none of this is possible without earth stewardship.
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