The 3 Step Plastic Challenge

Amma has requested that her children take up the challenge of Source Reduction - preventing waste and pollution before it actually happens - to live a more sustainable life on our precious Mother Earth.

To honor Amma's request, the Plastic Challenge has been launched that asks everyone to take steps towards reducing their plastic footprint (plastic usage).

The results of this challenge were offered to Amma this summer during her US Tour 2018.

The Plastic Challenge Components

  • Learn about the impact of current behaviors and usage as well as alternatives
  • Calculate your plastic footprint and pledge to make a measurable change by visiting this form
    • Calculate your plastic footprint using the Calculator
    • Click "Next",and decide what you want to pledge to Amma by taking actions of your choice
    • Choose how you want your pledge to be shared. Optionally, an e-mail will be sent to you with your responses (be sure to check your Spam folder)

      It is recommended you read these Frequently asked Questions (FAQ) if you have questions while filling out the form

The 3 Step Plastic Challenge

    "A goal of the plastic challenge is to have significant results of plastic reduction by devotees and MA Centers and satsangs to show Amma that we really care when she arrives to North America this summer, a kind of show and tell...

    However, most significantly to Amma, the goal is to increase our awareness of how our choices contribute to this issue…and that, hopefully, we begin to make better choices in the long run, to align our lives to be more in harmony with all beings on our precious Mother Earth.

    As Amma says, 'Creator and creation are one and the same. May we awaken to this Truth through this process'.

    - Bri. Rema Devi, one of Amma’s Senior American Disciples


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Comments From Plastic Challenge Participants

Here is a sampling of comments we received from some of the participants in the Plastic Challenge:

  • "Seeing my first result was a wake up call. As well as seeing too many pictures of sea turtles swimming in plastic. It astounds me the amount of non-recyclable packaging there is in stores! I noticed my local Kroger had paper bags and have been using them since then. Thank you for opening my eyes to the amount of plastic in my life."

  • "Increased awareness and reminders helped to reduce the amount of plastic I used. Reminding myself that I don't use bags at Costco and Sams - so I can survive without using them at Walmart and Kroger. Now, I don't use plastic bags when I shop for vegetables and I remember to bring in my re-usable bags with me (I forgot the first couple of times) to put things in when I check out. And if I forget them in the car, then I just put them back directly into the cart and load them into bags when I get to my car - but I make it a point to not collect any new plastic bags."

  • "Shortly after Amma’s request, I came upon many short videos showing the plastic pollution problem. The pledge made me aware of the amount of grocery items etc. that come in plastic containers. Sharing ideas and information with friends and satsang members also helps to motivate and find solutions. Buying bulk to avoid plastic packaging and keeping reusable bags handy are 2 ways that are helping me to reduce at the source. Looking forward to finding more ways. Om Shanti"

  • "It made an impact at the end of the survey to see how much I was really using. This is a great guide to help bring more awareness in what we are really using and in new and different ways we can take steps to change what we use, and overall how we live. It was a pleasure to take part in this and I will keep mindful in keeping up with living more green and refusing what I don't need, and what is deeply hurting our mother earth and environment."

  • "The videos really helped bring home the issue for me. It was heartening to so much interest from satsang members especially those who might otherwise not give a second thought to the issue. Making the pledge to Amma really seals the deal...have to make the effort and remain vigilant. I realize I can only do the best I can which is better than not doing anything. Thank you for all the efforts."

  • Yes, I was able to keep my pledge. It was very helpful having a firm pledge to Amma; it kept me on track even though I was often “inconvenienced”. For instance, I had to shop at two grocery stores because Trader Joe’s does not sell kale and broccoli that isn’t wrapped in plastic. I either had to go to Whole Foods or a local produce market to get my fruits and veggies to avoid plastic packaging. I also remembered to take my reusable mug every time when going out to a cafe!
    Next time, I would like to focus on reducing my take-out consumption because so much waste is generated this way. I noticed this is one of my bigger weaknesses. This challenge raised so much awareness in my buying choices. Because of this challenge, I started some Source Reduction initiatives at work also. It feels really good to bring Amma’s teachings outside of the 'Amma-world'. Thank you so much, Amma."
Others Who Have Taken on the Plastic Challenge

Bringing Source Reduction to the Farmer's Market - extending source reduction awareness through a local farmer's market

Pacific Northwest Does Source Reduction in Amritapuri - the PNW keeps finding more ways to make an impact locally and abroad

5 Ways MA Center Atlanta is Implementing Source Reduction - MA Center Atlanta is addressing plastic source reduction in mulitple ways

Make Your Own Non-Plastic Wrap - An easy-to-use recipe for using beeswax and fabric to make an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic wrap

Small Things Matter - One Person's Response to Plastic Reduction - Small things matter, and they become large enough, the impact can be global

Pacific Northwest Tackles Plastic Source Reduction - The Northwest Region is organizing a statewide beach clean-up, focusing on plastic cleanup at Nye Beach in Newport,OR.

We've Got the Health of the World In Our Hands - MA Center's Amrita Bala Kendra group sings about reducing and replacing

Reusing Plastic Bags to Create Sleeping Mats for the Homeless - The mats are lightweight, provide protection from the cold and wind, do not attract bugs and are easily hosed off.

One Piece at a Time - Karuna details how folks in Seattle have dealt with the seeming indestructibility of plastic

Buying Less Plastic - Part 1 Dishwashing Soap by Vandita Smith, originally printed in the February 2016 Pacific Northwest GreenFriends Newsletter

Buying Less Plastic - Part 2 Multipurpose Cleaner by Vandita Smith, originally printed in the April 2016 Pacific Northwest GreenFriends Newsletter

Buying Less Plastic - Part 3 Laundry Detergent by Vandita Smith, originally printed in the May 2016 Pacific Northwest GreenFriends Newsletter

Buying Less Plastic - Part 4 Hand Sanitizer by Vandita Smith, originally printed in the November 2016 Pacific Northwest GreenFriends Newsletter

Beth Adler describes Discontinuing the Use of Plastic Bags

Do you have a personal story to tell about how you are working to address the problem with plastic? Send it in (preferrably with photos) to info@greenfriendsna.org


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