Have you thought about how you get from A to B and back again?
If Instagram teaches us anything it’s that stylish people generally move around a lot. They fly from place to place snapping the most beautiful and lust-worthy photos that make us green with travel envy. While adventures are fun, it’s important to keep in mind that every time we choose to change our geographical location we have the opportunity to select a mindful way of moving. Let’s break it down below with some stats and an exercise.
Carbon mindful movement
In the recent months I came across a sweet little book called ‘The Environmental Equation’ by Alex Shimo-Barry with Christopher J Maron. The book is a simple and accessible read that shows 100 factors that you can add or subtract from your total carbon footprint. Can you guess what one of the most carbon intensive things you can do is? If you guessed fly by plane you are right!
Jetting two long haul flights per year could add 1635 CO2 to your carbon footprint! For many of us two long-haul flights or more per year is a reality. If you are keen to analyse some of the numbers let’s have a look at how you can add or subtract from your commute carbon footprint. All measurements are annual:
- Live in the City -2800 kg : While the rural idyll has romantic merits the truth is that high density living is more carbon friendly than living in isolation (unless you commute by donkey or foot). The reason behind this is that most high density areas have amenities in close proximity. Less driving and having things close at hand generally mean less pollution and energy use.
- Get on your bike -5250 kg: Bikes are people powered and result in zero emissions (not accepting for the manufacturing process) and according to this book for trips under 5km they are said to be the fastest mode of city transport.
- Ditching your car -4730 kg: If you can swap owning a car for renting by the hour you can redeem your flights for the year twice over and then some.
- Drive aggressively + 1250 kg: Accelerating and breaking quickly wears on your engine and wastes more fuel. No-one likes a nanna-driver but letting up on the led foot a little will help with your eco kudos.
- Public transport -910 kg: Choosing to catch the train or bus will dramatically reduce your carbon emissions. It also allows you time to catch up on reading, insta messages or some sleep. None of which are possible while driving!
A Mindful Movement Exercise
While this post has been focused on carbon emissions and moving your stylish self between geographical locations there is a lot to be said for just examining how you move your body mindfully through the day. This yoga asana based mindfulness practice will help you get grounded in your body and thoughtful about the way that your body moves.
- Stand upright with your feet planted firmly on the floor.
- Feel into the the four corners of your feet, imagine they are like tyres on a car. You want all four corners to have equal traction on the floor.
- Start to walk slowly around the room, feeling each of the four points on the floor.
- As you walk mindfully breathe in and feel the air enter your lungs.
- Step foot by foot feeling thinking of nothing but your feet on the floor and the air in your lungs.
- Continue this movement as long as you desire (even take it outside if you like), every time your mind bounces to something other than your feet on the floor and your breath congratulate yourself on a mindful moment. Awareness of this ‘mind chatter’ is mindfulness in action.