Self Care for Complex Times

- By: Joshua Onysko

Climate change, it’s real. And we’re not going to lie: this election counts. How we vote matters because the outcome affects (among other things) environmental policies and corporate regulations as they pertain to polluting our air, water, and soil.

To say we are in a state of collective crisis is a bit obvious. For the past week, our beloved hometown, Boulder, has been the latest in a series of locations across the American West to be affected by devastating wildfires. We are facing a global pandemic. Life-sustaining coral reefs and rainforests are being destroyed with alarming rapidity. Extreme weather events are the norm.

It’s enough to make one want to hide under the covers with a glass of (organic) wine and a transporting beach read.

Taking personal responsibility for affecting positive outcomes where possible has never been more important. It’s clear to most climate scientists that climate change is mostly due to human behavior. Which means, to a large degree, we ordinary humans have agency over what happens next in ways that transcend who gets inaugurated in January.

Our sibling company, Alpine Provisions went plastic-free recently. We have the same plans for ourselves, and the rest of our family of brands next year. As industry leaders, we desire to set the gold standard for packaging design. Single use plastics are one of the biggest contributors to climate change. You might not know this, but plastic cannot be recycled; it can only be downcycled.  And, of the 150 million tons of single use plastic that is produced each year, only 7% gets downcycled. That means approximately 139,500,000 tons of plastic go into our oceans and landfills.

We don’t know about you, but to us this is unacceptable. In our individual lives, we can choose practices to mitigate climate change. Here are five simple, every day things that feel like self-care and lessen our personal carbon footprint:

- Get your organic oat milk Matcha latte to go in a reusable cup. Paper disposables cannot be recycled and usually come with a lid made from single use plastic, both of which will end up in a landfill or the ocean. Plastic disposables are not actually recyclable (and the so-called “compostable” plastics are only compostable if they end up as the correct facility). With a reusable cup, getting your daily dose of antioxidants has never been more responsible

- Eat local, organic, seasonal food. Because, carbon footprint. Also, it tastes so. much. better. And, according to most holistic-minded doctors, eating seasonally is optimal for health, mood, and weight management

- Growing your own food is sexy, plus you get to commune with the soil, which is great for your immune system. Also, the mental health benefits of getting outside and working with plants are formidable — and who couldn’t use a little extra serotonin these days?

- Reduce meat consumption. If the rest of the world ate as much meat as Americans do, we would literally run out of water because of the amount it takes to grow alfalfa hay for livestock. You don’t have to go completely plant-based to make a difference. Taking meat out of your diet several times a week has a major impact

- Take a walk. Rather than driving, walk to your next errand. The environmental benefits are well-known, and walking exposes you to sunshine (vitamin D), promotes connection with others, and helps offset the soul-depleting effects of the 10 millionth Zoom meeting you just had

- Go non-toxic with your cleaning products. Conventional cleaning products are petroleum-based, contain carcinogenic fragrances, and contribute to high levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Instead try this, all-purpose household cleaner recipe made with organic Essential Oils and Castile Body Wash:

Gather:

- ½ cup Alpine Provisions Lavender + Juniper Castile Body Wash 

- ½ cup organic white vinegar

- 1 cup filtered water

- 20  drops Pangea Thyme Essential Oil

- 20  drops Pangea Lemon Essential Oil

- 15  drops Pangea Lavender Essential Oil

- 15  drops Pangea Tee Tree Essential Oil

Mix ingredients in a reusable spray bottle. Shake well. Use frequently.

Things are strange right now, to be sure. Let’s remember that we have more power to shape our world than it seems. Be kind. Remember to breathe. Remember your reusable cup. You were born for these times. You are destined for excellence. You’ve got this.