Last Sunday, July 1st, YogaEarth hosted a community beach cleanup in partnership with our friends from Model Environment. An amazing group of people turned up for the event and within just a few hours we gathered an astounding amount of trash from the boardwalk, alleys, streets and stormdrains – making a big difference in the amount of waste that contaminates our beaches and water! As a team we are overjoyed per the success of this event and proud to be embodying our values for community participation and activism. Taking part in events like this one, and many more to come, is fundamental to the YogaEarth mission and emblematic of the community-built initiative and the yoga inspired consciousness we try to practice.
One of the most rewarding parts of the entire experience was the comments we got from other community members while we were out collecting trash. Many “thanks” and “we appreciate what you are doings” came from onlookers who were excited to see us out there cleaning up the areas we all frequent on a regular basis.
Christy Beck, founder of Model Environment, has worked hard to make her vision for the organization a reality. By empowering models to become ambassadors for change, Christy has made waves throughout the region. Her mission with ME is to “generate and reinforce environmentally friendly behavior to the masses by producing fun and accessible media,” and from our experience working with her last weekend she has certainly made that a reality! ME, she explains on their website, is a place where the marketable meeting of beauty, energy, and style is used for a greater good.”
For the YogaEarth team this was a perfect way, not just to spend a day, but to expend energy making a difference in our community. “With YogaEarth our vision is one of conscious capitalism and community involvement,” said YogaEarth’s James Arthur Smith, “thus the partnership with ME resonates on so many levels.”
“What I most got from the day was a great feeling of connecting with community,” Christy commented. “That feeling really feeds the spirit. Sunday was a shining example of people sharing their gifts to build community and do a little something to take care of Earth. The combination of service, fun, healthy delicious food, music, yoga, giving, and receiving was a balanced combination. It was special. I hope we can expand upon this energy and share it with many more people. The big hope is for us to inspire others to host a similar day in their community no matter where they live.”
To spice up the day and add a little competition to the event there were prizes for most trash collected, most unique item and most fierce photo in front of the trash you collected. The wonderful Jasmina Hdagha, a model for ME, took home the prize for most trash collected: a deluxe gift pack put together by YogaEarth that included a selection of our new organic superfood lineup including cashews, mulberries, hemp powder, chocolate goji berries, maca root and Purity coconut water, one of each flavor of Keen-Wah decadence Bars, a handmade travel journal, a BPA-free bamboo water bottle and sticks of our Vitality superfood powder!
David Haake, chairmen of the west LA branch of the Sierra Club, won the award for most unusual item collected. The winning item was a plastic bottle of Harmless Harvest organic coconut water – chosen for both the irony of the name and the product. Plastic bottles, no matter how “harmless” the its’ contents, are one of the worst offenders to our environment. Not only do plastic bottle require large amounts of energy to produce, when disposed of, or worse, littered throughout our communities, they take hundreds of years to break down and often make their way to our waterways. David Haake’s find was a fun accentuation of YogaEarth’s conscious values that we strive to apply towards our own product development, choosing instead to sell dehydrated coconut water in eco packs and single-serving sleeves that avoid the use of plastic packaging!
YogaEarth’s own, James Arthur Smith, took home the award for most fierce photo for his impressive “trash-stand,” laytex glove and all!
After the cleanup we enjoyed an amazing homemade mexican-inspired sprouted, organic, vegan lunch at the YogaEarth headquarters on Ozone Ave. Kai Brown, a friend of the YogaEarth family and talented musician, performed during lunch, rounding out the amazing meal.
To bring this blissful day to a close Jasmina Hdagha led us in a mindful and meditative yoga class in the park. These closing moments were a great way to give thanks for the events and the amazing individuals we encountered throughout the day, sharing a mutual appreciation for our community and environment with everyone.
We were honored to spend the day with Christy, the Model Environment team and all the other beautiful and spirited people who took part. The entire day, from gathering trash to gathering around good food and joining together for a gratitude focused yoga class to end the day, was an enormous and gratifying success. Walking home that evening along a noticeably cleaner boardwalk, left a lasting smile on our faces.
We look forward to future events and hope all of you will join us. For more information on ME, their mission and future events please visit their website at www.modelenvironment.org. Stay tuned to the YogaEarth facebook page for a schedule of future events like this one!