Pilgrimage of the Heart - Part 4

The greatest threat to our planet is belief that someone else will save it.

- Robert Swan

Photo by Jessi Simpson @bloompress

I don’t usually engage too much in political matters, I try and avoid that negativity, but travelling has allowed me to witness for myself the greater impact humans and the growing population have on this world and how much my choices impact this earth. A constant theme this month has been climate change, sustainability, ethical consumption and how we as individuals can do our part in healing Mother Earths wounds. For years I had the mindset that I couldn’t do anything that would be significant to the cause, so why bother at all. What I’ve realised is that if everyone has this mindset, then of course nothing changes, but if we all do our part, together we can undo the harm that together we have all at some point attributed to.

My voice creates impact. My energy creates impact. My actions create impact. It’s time I stop hiding and I start impacting.

Feeding Jokia at Elephant Nature Park

When I was volunteering with the elephants I was speaking to a girl from Switzerland over breakfast. She recently traveled to Madagascar and I asked her if it was dangerous as I've heard it is. She said no it’s not so dangerous but it’s nothing like what you expect it to be. It’s mostly faced deforestation, turning forest lands into farm land. There are small forests left for lemurs, but mostly, the incredible wildlife and natural habitat that once was has been destroyed, all to further human consumption and demand.

This is happening all over the world. Thailand, Brazil, Peru, Russia, Bolivia, Mexico, Indonesia, PNG, Nigeria, Sudan....Natural forests are being destroyed, turned into farm land, both animal agriculture and plant crops, for the production of palm oil, for wood resources, for infrastructure expansion and simply because of overpopulation. 15% of greenhouse gases are attributed to deforestation alone, not to mention the fact it destroys native flora, wild fauna and ecosystems that are vital for our planet to flourish.

Planting trees at Elephant Nature Park for Green Forest Day

Fast fashion is a huge contributor to humanities over consumption that I don’t think is talked about enough. The production and distribution of clothing produces 4% of the worlds waste each year, adding pollution to the environment, air and water, but it’s important to note that it’s not just the pollution side of our retail addiction that is affecting us. We can all laugh about how much we love a Kmart special and the ability to buy almost anything there, even on a tight budget, but the reality of shopping at stores like this is that humans in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia and China continue to be exploited and have little to no working rights, bringing the issue of unity into play. The divide between nations, races and cultures is still one of the strongest issues we face as a civilization. The privilege some people feel entitled too is beyond me.

There are so many issues at hand, I've only scratched the surface. It is overwhelming to think about and honestly, it does dampen the spirits, but if we all bring our awareness to our actions and the impact we're making and make choices that positively impact our planet then I do think we collectively have the ability to create the change we need for ourselves and Mother Earth to thrive.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my choices impact this world and the issues we’re facing. In the past few years I’ve reduced plastic, single use and throwaway items; products and packaging on skin and haircare; try to shop locally and support small businesses; where possible buy organic and ethically sourced/grown products; I compost, reuse and recycle what I can. Some might say this is good enough but I know I can do more, we can always make changes and improvements in all aspects of life. Little changes can go a long way and simply asking yourself questions like do I really need this or what is the greater impact of me buying this can help to reduce over consumption and unnecessary waste.

We vote with our dollar, it is perhaps the most influential hand we have. I invite you to really consider your personal impact on Earth and what you can do to change. One thing i can highly recommend is to get out in nature! Surround yourself with the beauty of Mother Earth and what she provides us. Connect with her, connect with the earth, the plants, the mountains, the oceans, offer her your love and gratitude, it is as important as anything else you do.

Stay tuned for more of my journey as I continue travelling, learning and growing.


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