Every year on June 5th, the United Nations and countries across the globe join together to celebrate World Environment Day. This day not only allows for continued outreach and education on topics relating to environmental health and sustainability but also allows us to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the important steps we need to take moving forward.
The theme for World Environment Day 2019 is “Beat Air Pollution.” This is one of the most pressing environmental concerns of our time, and we are all invited to consider “…how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce and thwart its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health” (United Nations). We all share this beautiful planet, and it is our responsibility to take care of it.
How can you make a difference in your everyday life to help the environment? What small changes can you make today that will change the world tomorrow?
We’ve been asking ourselves the same questions.
Environmental sustainability is a core value of the Himalayan Institute, and we incorporate it into all the work we do in Cameroon, the United States, and throughout the rest of the world.
At Himalayan Institute Cameroon, our grassroots community development work has been based on environmental sustainability since its inception in 2007. The herbs sold at our health centers across the Northwest region of the country are all locally grown, harvested, and processed. This fully contained, self-sustaining process allows for continuous production of health products for the people we serve – regardless of outside factors. This is sustainability and environmental protection in action. When ingredients are produced and transported locally, it reduces the number of products that need to be flown in from other parts of the world. This reduces the use of jet fuel, and in turn, reduces the amount of pollution we are putting into the air we breathe.
At the Himalayan Institute headquarters in Honesdale, PA, our community has taken up the challenge of “Zero Waste.” Overall, this means we consciously choose to consume less single-use plastic, meticulously sort all of our recyclables, and reduce our daily use of water and electricity when possible. We recently began a challenge to see how many residents at our Honesdale campus could fit an entire month’s worth of trash into a single mason jar (inspired by the young woman who fit two years of trash into a single mason jar). When a community of over 100 people consciously chooses to reduce consumption on a daily basis, those little changes add up and make a big difference.
So on this World Environment Day, make sure to reflect, learn, and make small but meaningful changes moving forward. Because we are all just human beings fighting to save the only home we have.
This is just the start of our efforts to promote sustainable development and combat climate change, because we know that when our planet is happy and healthy, so are we. When we treat the earth with love and respect, we can only get good things in return. This is truly what yoga in action looks like. Donate now to help us continue to provide safe and sustainable futures for people throughout the world!