Photo: Everyone is eco-friendly

Breathe deep, it's time to practice mindfulness. (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

Where do you buy your air?

Recently a co-worker described someone as "not into the environment" or "not eco-friendly".

I don't expect everyone to be like me. I suggest you already are!

June 4 is Clean Air Day. On my last Costco trip, I double-checked — they DO NOT sell air!

What does it mean NOT to be eco-friendly? Where do un-environmentally friendly people buy their air?

To breathe is to be "eco-friendly." Toronto Mayor Rob Ford needs it, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh needs it, and so do you.

Air is not a menu option, dietary restriction or religious observation. You already know this.

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In fact, it's been suggested we scrap the terms environmentalist and environment altogether. Why?

"Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the Earth are two separate entities, the Earth is only the environment. You are in the centre and you want to do something for the Earth in order for you to survive. That is a dualistic way of seeing," says Thich Nhat Hanh.

For Clean Air Day I could ask, "What will you do differently this week — bike to work, go scent-free, switch to a push mower or buy a peace lily?"

What if the answer is: breathe and practise mindfulness?

As Thich Nhat Hanh told the Guardian newspaper:

"So to breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it and realise you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the earth. Not to cut the tree not to pollute the water, that is not enough."

"The practice of mindfulness helps us to touch Mother Earth inside of the body and this practice can help heal people. So the healing of the people should go together with the healing of the Earth and this is the insight and it is possible for anyone to practice."

What are your thoughts?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

June 3, 2014

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