Conscious Content: plastic pollution

A Conscious Life with Slackliner Andy Lewis

By Conscious Adventurist Admin

A Conscious Life with Slackliner Andy Lewis

What got you into slacklining?

A love for adventure, travel, problem-solving and a need for an artistic outlet led me to slackline. It was such an easy idea, an easy concept; rig a line and walk across. What slacklining involved into was something I could have never imagined.


Do you recall a defining moment when you knew this is what you’d do for the rest of your life?

There were many moments I recalled that I would probably slackline for the rest of my life. From not being able to go anywhere without a slackline for years, to seeing people of 70 - 80 years of age with the ability to learn slackline, to teaching kids and receiving almost more joy from their joy than my own personal accomplishments. All these small moments led me many times to thinking I would slackline forever. However, there was one day on February 11th that I got a "SLACKLIFE," tattoo, and that moment definitely committed me to a life of balance, teaching, travels and adventure.


What do your parents think of your lifestyle?

My parents, like my friends, and sister, all were very uncertain of my lifestyle at first. I started up with sports fast and just kept going harder and harder and harder, and many many people were just "waiting for me to die."


For instance when I free solo a highline––walking a slackline high off the ground with no safety––the people around me will always go silent, not wanting to think or say anything at the risk of it breaking my focus and killing me. Their hearts pound, their hands sweat, and many will come up to me after and tell me personally they really didn't like how it made them feel. And it’s funny that all that happened while I was in my happy place.  


What did your childhood look like?

My childhood was amazing. It was very cozy with a mom, a dad and a sister. We all hung out all the time, went hiking, biking, to the beach and were taught to have open minds and follow our hearts from a young age. My parents were semi-religious but also very philosophical and even more into the arts. My childhood was immersed in literature, music, art, adventure and exploration. I definitely have to thank my dad and mom for raising me in a way I hope to one day raise my own children.


What goes through your head when you’re highlining?

When I am doing it right it is a meditation that wipes clean all thought except the beauty of the moment being embraced as a whole for then and there. The complete now. Sometimes though I have to give interviews, do tricks, try lines I can't walk, and during those times thoughts are so fast and spontaneous it’s hard to list them all. Tons and tons of things machine gun through your head, and the beauty of conquering that stream of thought into full relaxation and acceptance is part of the beauty of the sport.


How do you practice mindfulness?

I do a lot to practice mindfulness. I have become interested in the idea that the first step to changing the world is to change your world first. When you want to start seeing better food, recycling, protection of the environment, the first step is to manipulate your life around you to see how to do it in a microscale. Once you see the complications that come in your day to day life it is easier to help other people transition to being more mindful too.


What’s coming up next for you?

Next is the month of November which brings on the most beautiful time to have a huge team of people come to Moab, Utah to do the biggest and coolest projects ever seen by man! So needless to say I am super excited. We are hosting some trash bag challenges for Conscious Adventurist, we are hosting a fundraiser for the local police, Bureau of Land Management and state and we are having the largest extreme sports festival meeting in the U.S. and rigging a bunch of highlines. Hopefully I will break my current personal record of 230 meters.

 

 

 

Anja Semanco

Creative Writer & Journalist

@ansemanco

 

Anja Semanco

Anja is a professional freelance writer living in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and appears in such places as Terrain.org and Zoomorphic magazine. Keep up with her at anjasemanco.com.

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5 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste

By Conscious Adventurist Admin

5 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste

Photo by Kevin Krejci

Plastics are a problem. Due to their design, plastics cannot truly ever biodegrade. In fact, about 97 percent of all plastics ever made are still in existence today (the other three percent were incinerated). Although plastics make up some of the hardiest products, roughly 33 percent of plastic products are used only once, then thrown away. Of the 30 million tons of plastic thrown away every year by Americans, only eight percent get recycled. Plastic waste also makes up 90 percent of all ocean pollution and more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed each year because of plastic ingestion.

These are just a few of the facts about plastics. More than 90 percent of Americans were found to have plastic toxins in their urine, with kids and women having some of the highest concentrations of BPA in their bodies.

If plastics are bad for our bodies and for our environment, it seems obvious that we should begin removing them from our lives.

Here are a few tips to reduce plastic waste that can be accomplished on the busiest days:

1. Rethink plastic wrap - The problem with plastics is simply how convenient they are. What’s easier than making a sandwich, quickly sealing it in plastic wrap, then heading off to work? Bee's wrap sustainable food storage has created a reusable alternative to plastic wrap made from beeswax, organic cotton, organic jojoba oil and tree resin.

Their sandwich wrap, in particular, is perfect for replacing that daily disposable piece of plastic saran wrap. It’s reusable and easy to wash. Their company places a heavy focus on sustainability initiatives meaning you’re doing more than keeping plastic from the landfill when you use their products.

2. Reusable produce bags - We all know by now that bringing your reusable grocery bags to the store is a must. But chances are, if you’re buying a lot of loose produce, you still need those thin plastic bags to hold your peppers or bunches of beets. Instead of reaching for the roll of plastic bags, try carrying a few muslin cloth produce bags.

ECOBAGS makes some fantastic, affordable cloth bags that are perfect for bulk food, produce or just carrying your lunch. These bags are easy to wash and easily pack into reusable shopping bags, so you’ll never need plastic at the grocery store again.

3. Carry a reusable bottle for cold and hot beverages - The average plastic water bottle takes 450 years to decompose, with some taking as long as 1,000 years. Buying disposable bottles doesn’t make any sense when we have so many reusable options. And although adoption of reusable bottles has grown in the last decade, when it comes to hot beverages like coffee and tea, disposable cups are still in high use.

To completely cut your disposable beverage holder habit, opt for a water bottle that can hold cold and hot beverages. The standard Hydro Flask hydration bottles are particularly well-suited for this purpose because their cap always seals and never leaks. They are perfectly designed to keep your drink super cold or super hot. If you’re already carrying one of these for water, it’s even easier to rinse it out and fill it up with coffee from your local coffee shop.

4. Use a wooden toothbrush - One billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away each year in the U.S., creating 50 million pounds of plastic waste. Instead of participating in this mass plastic disposal, try switching to a wooden or bamboo toothbrush.

Bamboo toothbrushes from Living Zero are a great alternative to the plastic already lurking in your bathroom.

5. Use non-plastic shower curtains and liners - Many people think that plastic shower curtains and liners are the only products that can keep water from spilling out of the shower. However, many companies have found that sturdy cloth curtains made from materials like hemp do just as good a job. Hemp is naturally mold resistant and these curtains can be easily washed.




Anja Semanco

Writer & Explorer

@ansemanco

 

Anja is a professional freelance writer living in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and appears in such places as Terrain.org and Zoomorphic magazine. She is passionate about the environment and getting women outdoors. 

Anja Semanco

Read more