As a child my family lived in a pretty rural area, so playing in our wooded property, walking forest trails and splashing in the river were just part of growing up. Although this part of me never left, as a now city-dweller, I have come to truly appreciate the time I get to spend in nature, and value the nature around me. I'm lucky to live in a beautiful city surrounded by the ocean, mountains and forests.
Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of attending Eoin Finn's "Yoga for the Ocean" workshop where not only did we get to experience an amazing fluid vinyasa practice, showcasing Eoin's signature superflow, but we also watched the eye-opening documentary, Chasing Coral. This was only my second time taking a class with Eoin, but if you have ever shared space with him, you know the energy and passion he brings into a room (or beach). If you haven't experienced it yet, I suggest you do at the soonest opportunity! They don't call it Blissology for nothing ;)
In watching the documentary, even as someone who is passionate about the environment, I was surprised to see the truth of what lies beneath the waves. As the film states, perhaps because the issue is not right in front of us, we don't really see it. But the fact of the matter is that over the last 30 years, we have lost 50% of the world's coral. And the only reason behind it is rising ocean temperatures and global warming. If that trend continues, most of the world's coral could be gone in another 30.
So why is that important? Because the Coral Reef Ecosystem is just that - an entire ecosystem all of it's own - just like the rainforests. Coral reefs protect us from hurricanes, tornadoes and floods, supply food for a billion people, and contribute billions of dollars to the global economy. The reefs are home to some of the most beautiful, magical creatures on earth and they are all important to the existence and survival of us all. Not to mention that 93% of the heat is our atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean.
So what can we do? You can start by watching this film so you can really see for yourself the beauty beneath the surface and just what we'd be missing if we let this continue. You can watch it right on Netflix! On the Chasing Coral website, you can download a fantastic "Quick Action Guide" with great tips like switching to clean energy, supporting coral reef preservation, spreading the word and committing to individual action. You can check out National Geographic's "14 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Own Carbon Footprint" here.
What do I do, you might ask? At home we use cold water wash and hang the majority of our clothing to dry. We are a single vehicle household, and we live in a very walkable city, so we walk most places and use transit too. We recycle and compost. We eat a plant based/vegetarian diet - over 2 years running! I always have a reusable cloth bag with me, and we try to reduce packaging and single use items.
I look to people like Eoin who inspire me to do better. On top of being an amazing yoga teacher, Eoin's other passion is the ocean - and through his organization EcoKarma, fosters a connection to nature all while leading retreats to rebuild coral reefs! One of my favourite eco-friendly items is my EcoKarma KeepCup for my weekend coffee treats! Just by using this alone I am keeping over 100 coffee cups out of our landfills every year. Not only that, but $5 from each purchase goes directly to restoring the reefs!
It really is the small changes and inspiration we can make within our sphere of influence that make the difference.
The power is in all of our hands! (If you want to put an EcoKarma cup in your hands, you can find it and other items here.)