Mindfulness can be interpreted in a number of ways. One way could be about being mindful about other people around you at all times during the day. Another way could be being mindful about yourself and about the way you live your life on a day to day basis. Or even mindfulness could be about the Earth. Every definition of mindfulness all comes to the conclusion and end result of the Earth and how every little thing we do in our daily lives affects the Earth in various ways, good and bad.
Being mindful about how we treat the Earth is key in our survival in later years. If we as human beings do not learn how to be mindful, we may not be able to survive as a species. Our actions impact everything in the world. That small piece of gum wrapper that was let go in the wind could get caught in an animal’s throat and they may die, or it could get blown into the ocean and never decompose. Driving diesel cars puts emissions into the atmosphere that causes those gaps that lets in more sunlight than our Earth can handle. Take the time out of your day to experience the environment around you, use all of your senses to do so, sight, touch, smell, sight, and taste. Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness. Being aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding things around us. When we practice mindfulness, the thoughts that we have become in tune with everything that we are sensing in the present time rather than rehearsing the past or daydreaming about the future. Living in the now and focusing on what is right in front of us is the whole idea of mindfulness.
In my degree, one of the biggest ecological issues that we sadly help grow, is the dumping of excess chemical dyes. Textile dyes are substances used to color fabrics. Today, more than 10,000 substances are classified as textile dyes and different kinds of textile dyes work better with different kinds of fabrics. Synthetic dyes are heavily relied on in the fashion industry, it makes our clothing colorful and inexpensive and lasts for a while, sadly the side effects of using synthetic dyes contribute to the destruction of our planet. Synthetic dyes use a lot of water and there are quite a few places that do not know how to properly clean the water before it goes back into the environment. Wastewater from these dyes is a heavy pollutant around the world. A lot of these dyes will never degrade in the water. The ones that do degrade will produce harmful substances as they decompose. Some of the additives that are used during the dyeing process include alkalis and acid. Many substances that are produced from these dyes will decrease photosynthesis, which is how plants get nutrients to grow and help the environment.
In conclusion, chemical dyes have a long long history of usage and there are so many more reasons as to why they are so harmful to the environment. The main take-away is how we can be mindful enough to not support big companies that don’t care about the side effects of using these dyes and their only concern is how they can make more money and produce more items. Being mindful takes a lot of things we love doing everyday out of the picture. It is hard work to realize what the difference in the environment will be when we decide between what is right and what is wrong and what is easy versus what is hard. Being mindful takes a long while to be perfected, but the easiest way to begin that journey is to start practicing the art of mindfulness.