Did you know that today is Earth Day?
Have you gone out and bought something to celebrate? (I’m kidding of course. Please don’t.)
Earth Day was founded by Sen. Gaylord Nelson in response to the disastrous oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969.
If you know anything about Kombucha, you won’t be surprised to hear that drinking Kombucha is not only good for you, its good for the Earth – especially if you make it at home! (but even if you buy it instead.)
Here are 5 Ways in which Kombucha is Earth Friendly.
1. Improve Your (Internal) Energy Efficiency
With gas prices soaring & air conditioner season kicking in, everyone is focused on saving energy. I can’t think of anything we don’t spend time trying to optimize for energy efficiency. My question for you is why not your body as well?
What’s the easiest way to get more energy every day?
Answer: Improve inefficient digestion.
Surprised? Energy that gets diverted to break down food in your gut takes a toll. Bloating or sluggish digestion leads to feeling distracted and distressed.
Kombucha helps your engine run more smoothly and I feel it is the perfect nexus of 2 of our most important wise traditions, fermented foods and probiotics.
Improved digestion makes it possible to have more energy to spend on the difficult tasks you face every day.
2. Nature Heals Naturally
Antibiotics, which literally means “against life,” indiscriminately kill both harmful bacteria as well as healthful ones. In situations of extreme infection and illness, they can be an invaluable tool and have dramatically impacted human lives in a positive manner. I myself needed them just last year after a badly scraped foot became infected, so I understand their function and appreciate their existence.
Both through human waste and because they’ve been added to animal feed at America’s CAFOs, the harmful chemicals and hormones in these antibiotics have leeched into our waterways, wreaking havoc on fragile eco-systems.
Instead, Kombucha contains probiotics, defined as bacteria that “confer health benefits to their host.” When we ingest probiotics, a mutually beneficial relationship is created. The bacteria get a great place to live (your gut!) and you get a healthier, smoother running system.
The probiotics in Kombucha are easy for the body to assimilate because they are present in whole, living form. Here is an overview of how probiotics work with the body’s GI tract.
In plain English: Probiotics create a barrier that prevents harmful bacteria from finding a place to take root in the intestinal tract. They create that barrier in several ways including the formation of the mucus lining and the stimulation of the production of immune boosting “good guys” that protect the gut from inflammation.
Drink plenty of water when drinking Kombucha to flush the toxins released. You can add ice or water to dilute the flavor and get your water at the same time.
3. Shift from Consumer Cycle
Reduces Carbon Footprint
When I was growing up, the idea that something was “disposable” was supposed to be liberating. America revelled in single-serving glory, tossing her plastic cup in the garbage without a care. We’ve come a long way in Eco-Consciousness since then, yet our trash problem continues to grow, now literally choking our oceans.
The constant cycle of consumption and, consequently, waste is still a very large part of what fuels the American economy.
When you make the shift to brewing Kombucha at home, several steps of the consumer cycle are eliminated altogether.
- Packaging – Reuse the same glass bottles several times before recycling.
- Energy costs – Creating a product on a large scale consumes a lot of energy – not to mention the fuel and CO2 costs of shipping the product .
- Saves Money – Rather than becoming a financial drain or luxury, Kombucha becomes an inexpensive, healthy substitute for sugary and/or devitalized beverages.
There will always be a place for consumable goods (I buy a bottle of Kombucha when I’m travelling or out about town), but it seems silly to buy Kombucha by the case when you can make your own for pennies a glass.
However, if brewing your own Kombucha just isn’t for you, you may be lucky enough to have a local Kombucha company or health food store that offers refillable growlers or reuses their bottles, also a sustainable solution that allows you to support small businesses.
We throw away enough glass bottles a month to fill a skyscraper – those can be recycled or reused!
4. Infinite Abundance
Kombucha is one of many sustainable choices that can be made in the kitchen. Integrating more homemade foods into your routine also reduces waste and trash while saving money.
Even better, Kombucha cultures are always replicating, which means an infinite supply of Kombucha, provided it is properly cared for.
Once extra cultures are accumulated, they can be passed on to friends or used for home beauty products. Even over fermented Kombucha (too sour to drink) has a myriad of household uses including cleaning, pest control and wound care.
5. Return to Harmony with Nature
Earth Day was begun to remind people that our actions affect our environment and in turn, affect everything on the planet. Despite our human inventions to “control” or separate ourselves from nature – air conditioning, heating, lights – time and again we are reminded that in the blink of an eye, the earth moves and what took hundreds if not thousands of years to build is wiped out in one fell swoop.
I’m not saying that we ought to fear nature, but rather, to honor nature and remember every day – not just 1 day out of the year – that we are all connected through nature.
Kombucha, being of nature itself, is in tune with the same natural cycles that flow through our lives. In the winter, fermentation slows down as the culture semi-hibernates. In the summer, it speeds up. Many have remarked that the flavor of their Kombucha is influenced by the phases of the moon.
Moreover, when Kombucha is imbibed, there is an opportunity to consciously invite beneficial microorganisms into our internal ecosystem. So much of our daily reality is dictated by the airbrushed images presented in advertising and television. Our current culture is rife with falsity and trumped up drama designed to distract the viewer.
But there is an ancient wisdom, inherited through our DNA and thousands of years of evolution, that yearns to be utilized. Kombucha is a way to experience that connection through the subtle, yet palpable benefits received when the body returns to harmony with its true nature.
There is no separation and every day IS Earth Day because every single one of our actions has a direct effect on our eco-system. WE ARE NATURE!
Science is beginning to delve into these issues. For example, the Human Microbiome Project is something I have only just discovered but am extremely excited about, particularly because it’s primary purpose is reestablishing a healthy mental and physical relationship with bacteria, and coming back into balance with nature, one of the Kombucha Kamp mantras.
That is exactly what Dr. Julie Segre discusses in this AWESOME video (I’ve skipped you ahead to the good part. Enjoy!):
“No Longer Germ Warfare” An interview with Dr. Julie Segre, NIH Intramural Researcher, The NIH Common Fund’s Human Microbiome Project.
Also check out:
The Human Microbiome Project