Would you believe me if I told you that my inspiration for working on the environment came en route to living a beautiful life à la Martha Stewart (my former boss), Julia Child, Emily Post, and Alexandra Stoddard - domestic doyennes? To me, living a beautiful life is actually about respect - for oneself, for others and I maintain, for the environment. Taking the time to notice what's beautiful and to savor it, and when necessary, to protect it.
The fact is, we all are visitors on this precious Earth - fortunate to wake every single day to the wonder and resources that surround us. Here's an idea to consider based on personal study of yoga and the environment. "Namaste" loosely translated means, "I bow to you." I've taken this translation one step further to encompass honoring all of life and planet Earth. Consider that you can practice "Namaste" outside of yoga through these simply sustainable steps:
Every little thing you do is magic
Never underestimate the power of one. One little step after another consistently results in big impact. The more we each act this way and pass it along, the more we change the world one person at a time. Don't give away your power.
Bring your intention and mindfulness to all you do
Imagine your wise action as a gift for your health and the environment and the universe will respond favorably. Here's an example I love doing - see trash sorting for recycling and compost as mindfulness practice - you can actually calm yourself and focus while helping the environment.
Only buy and consume what you really need. Invest in quality, not quantity. Hold out for the right thing. Resist marketing messages that don't serve and result in unnecessary stress and strife.
Create your own health and environmental challenge
See how you can move your body from A to B without fossil fuels - walk, hike, roll, ride, sail, paddle, snowshoe, ski - make it fun!
Realize personal satisfaction
Bring your own shopping bags to all markets, and recycle single use bags for produce. Use glass or tin containers for food storage - avoid plastic containers, bottles, bags and wrap. Put water bottles in places you frequent. Enjoy the contribution you're making with this simple intention.
Find ways to be an easy environmentalist
We all forget (to sort trash, bring our bags), get lazy (it's too much trouble), and are usually busy (@$*!) - but we can actively decide to switch this up - one by one. It is worth doing. With a bit of advanced planning, it is easy to switch to a new environmentally friendly practice that quickly becomes a healthy habit.