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Gardening Resources What You Can Do Embracing The Trees
New England Devotees Take Amma’s Message to Heart
Seeds from select heirloom vegetables for sale from Srimayi's garden
Seeds from select heirloom vegetables for sale from Srimayi's garden

"What is needed today is that we begin to value Mother Nature as much as we value our own mother who gave birth to us." - Amma

On a daily basis, as part of the White Flower meditation, Amma asks us to pray for Mother Nature, for the mountains, forests, rivers, oceans and all creatures of creation. Amma has also regularly requested everyone to grow their own food.

Despite Mother Nature's boundless and unrequited generosity, humanity's actions often lack love and kindness. Over the past two decades, the use of disposable goods has grown exponentially and recycling is limited or not available in many parts of the world. Mother Earth continues to give tirelessly, asking nothing in return, yet we, as a species, have fallen short of extending the same selflessness towards her wellbeing.

Consider these staggering numbers related to the use of disposable items for meals in the US, their contribution to depleting the Earth’s precious resources and their toll on birds, animals and marine life:

  • Each year 40,000,000,000 plastic forks, spoons, and knives are used and thrown away and each year 100,000 marine animals and over 1 million seabirds die from ingesting plastic.

  • Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles per month for every person in the U.S. 90% of these items end up in landfills as recycling rates are quite low.

  • In the United States, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year. To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed. To meet this demand for paper towels and napkins, approximately 98 million trees are cut and over a 100 billion gallons of water are used! If every household in the United States replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins (250 count) with 100% recycled or reusable ones, we could save 1 million trees.

  • The world use some 500 billion plastic cups every year. Americans alone throw away around 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups and 50 billion paper cups each year. Production of this many paper cups requires cutting down over 30 million trees and 26 billion gallons of water!

"Many people talk a lot about environmental preservation, but true greatness lies in putting these principles into practice and actually doing something about it." - Amma

Amma’s New England children are making efforts to honor Amma’s wishes and help Mother Nature.

During Swami Dayamritananda’s recent Mother’s Day retreat, held at the Best Western in Marlborough, MA, many attendees made the conscious choice to bring their own reusable cutlery, napkins, cups, water bottles and dishes. This collective effort resulted in preventing at least 50 single-use items from ending up in the landfill. While this is a small start, we hope that these actions will inspire more members of the Amma community to adopt eco-friendly habits, like using reusable dinnerware at future events.

Examples of sustainable actions to replace single-use items
Examples of sustainable actions to replace single-use items


Additional steps taken by Amma’s local children include:

  • Carrying a napkin and cutlery in their backpack or bag for use when dining out, in order to avoid disposable utensils.

  • Bringing reusable take-out containers to bring leftovers home when dining out

  • Carrying reusable water bottles and travel mugs to avoid single-use cups

  • Using dish towels instead of paper napkins as much as possible

  • Expressly requesting that no disposable cutlery, napkins, or plates be included when placing take-out orders, either by noting it in the online order or directly asking the restaurant

To honor Amma's vision for sustainable, self-reliant gardening, a devotee, Srimayi, held a plant sale featuring entirely organic vegetable seedlings she personally grew. In addition, Sujata nurtured and donated curry leaf plants, while Victoria generously provided geraniums from her own garden. Furthermore, Srimayi meticulously gathered seeds from select heirloom vegetables in her garden the previous year, offering them for sale to continue the cycle of homegrown produce.

Many attendees at the retreat availed of the opportunity to buy organic seedlings started with love and care. We wish them a wonderful growing season and harvest.

Bring your own dishes
Srimayi's seedlings
"Even if we only have a tiny plot of land, we should try to grow a few vegetables, using organic fertilizers. Spending some time with our plants, we should talk to them and kiss them. This relationship will give us a new vitality." - Amma

Read an exerpt from Amma's C20 Presidency acceptance speech in the Q4 2022 Newsletter >>


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