(Theguardian) – Mindfulness helps us deal with the stress of climate trauma, and seek solutions. Make sure your kit’s sustainably sourced and exercise outside
Daily yoga sessions were the unexpected hit at the recent Cop23 climate talks in Bonn. Delegate demand was so high that the organisers (the Indian delegation) ran out of mats.
Yoga is an accessible route to mindfulness, and could be a crucial tool for those exposed to environmental emergency.
The American Psychological Association (APA), is just one organisation warning about the heavy psychological toll of climate change. Among those considered vulnerable to so-called climate trauma and stress are those who work directly with climate change data and policy.
Earlier this year the APA published Mental Health and Our Changing Climate. One of the strategies it recommends is developing mindfulness through yoga and meditation.
It’s not just about self-preservation. Research by professor of sustainability Christine Wamsler focuses on the potential of mindful practice, like yoga, to make us better equipped to come up with solutions to climate change. According to her, the benefits of improving cognitive flexibility (not just physical) include the innovative thinking critical to forming sustainable solutions to crises.
Unfortunately, even yoga succumbs to the forces of consumerism. Earlier this year Miami researchers found microfibres from washing yoga kits to be a contributor to ocean microplastic pollution. The green yoga movement reconnects yoga with its earth-friendly origins. Single-use water bottles are banned, mats and trousers are made of hemp and studios constructed from sustainable materials.
To amplify the benefits, dispense with the studio. Research shows that health and wellness are boosted by exercising outside. It’s time to take the mat into the great outdoors.
The big picture: reimagining climate change
Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is known for making the human impact on the planet visceral, with his large-format images of ravaged landscapes. Together with filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier he has also collaborated on two documentaries: Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark. Look out for the final work in the trilogy, Anthropocene, which launches in September 2018.
Well dressed: jewellery inspired by dinosaurs
Michelle Lowe-Holder studied at the Pratt Institute in New York and Central Saint Martins in London and has a sustainable approach to design. Her latest collection of jewellery completely avoids the use of traditional precious stones and materials.
In this case her chokers and ear cuffs are constructed from wood and leather scraps. The collection is called ‘Kulinda and Urvogel’, named after the dinosaur fossil discovered in 2014 in Siberia which boasted both feathers and scales. That discovery built a case for an age of feathered dinosaurs, and the designer goes to town with the idea of mixing the two.
Each piece is first sampled in paper and then digitally patterned. Made by hand in the UK, each section is layered and more than five coats of colour are then added to the wood.