I have what you might consider an unlikely celebrity crush: 94-year-old British naturalist Sir David Attenborough. I fell in love with him and his BBC documentary series The Blue Planet and Planet Earth while living in London in the early aughts.
Attenborough’s programs, which chronicle the mysteries of our Earth and the creatures that live on it, allowed me to glimpse stunning locations and natural events that I will likely never see in person. But more importantly, they amplified devastating environmental threats to our world and drove me to live a more eco-friendly life.
After watching Sir David’s latest program—2020’s A Life on Our Planet—my family talked about ways to improve the health of Earth and its inhabitants, from recycling to eating a plant-based diet. I mentioned to my two young daughters that I use yoga to ground my commitment to these eco-friendly practices. Puzzled, they asked how unrolling my mat or sitting in meditation benefited anyone other than me. I realized it was time to teach them about other limbs of yoga, including the yamas, and in particular, ahimsa, or non-harming.
I know that printing and shipping a magazine impacts the climate, and goes against the ethical principle of ahimsa. That’s why I’m proud that for nearly a year, Yoga Journal has been carbon-neutral. Our partner, Cooler, uses software to calculate YJ‘s carbon footprint. Cooler purchases emissions permits that are otherwise bought by industrial polluters who use them to exceed mandated greenhouse gas limits.
Purchasing the permits prevents 1.2 million kilograms of carbon pollution from ever leaving a smokestack. In practical terms, this delivers the same climate-cooling benefit as 2.4 square miles of mature forest. Simple, but effective.