There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
The flight into Rangiroa was stunning and unlike anything my companions had ever seen, of course I was also amazed because nature NEVER ceases to amaze me but I had seen similar views from the float plane when I visited Fiji, so though I WAS snapping photos like crazy and was VERY excited, I was even more thrilled to see the looks on my baby girl and friends faces and feel their excitement! Especially Jolee, she was absolutely BLOWN AWAY and said she wished she could jump out of the plane and into the water. She felt like she couldn’t get to the water fast enough! My heart was beaming to see and FEEL her excitement.
After a glorious show from the air, we landed and could hardly wait to get settled in.
We met our accommodation host who was waiting with a sign and told us he was going to drop off another family first who had already picked up their luggage. This gave us time to retrieve our luggage, which was very quick because we were literally the only flight and it was a small plane. The hotel was literally located about 4 minutes down the road from the airport so he returned fairly quickly, it was then that I realized he was barefoot, reminding me that we are not in America anymore. During the drive, I also quickly noticed that the shades of green in Rangiroa were unlike any green I had previously seen in my travels. The greens here weren’t the deep, dark greens I am used to, rather all different shades of lime green. I was so intrigued. The island was very small and we would end up riding bikes to get around everywhere the whole week. In my opinion, this is the best way to get around a place like this, with the sun shining down on you and the wind blowing in your face. DREAMY!!!
When we arrived to our cute boutique hotel, our host jumped out of the car and scrambled to quickly grab a bamboo tray, sitting at the base of tree that was holding coconuts for all of us to drink. This was THE MOST DELICIOUS coconut I have ever had ANYWHERE, in ALL of my travels. Even prepared with eco friendly straws, which mad my heart smile.
He then guided us to our home for the next 5 days which was even better than I expected. I knew I had booked us the biggest place on the site but I had no idea I had simultaneously booked us the only LITERAL beach front place on the property. I mean they are all technically beach front but ours was literally up front. What a blessing and fun surprise! So grateful! We quickly picked our beds and immediately changed to hop into the water we had just been oogling from the plane.
Jolee wasted no time and completely ditched me, which was actually HUGE since she has severe separation anxiety and rarely ever leaves my side. I was SOOOOO excited that she felt comfortable, safe and at ease enough to leave me.
Nature, particularly the water has that affect on her. She loves the ocean more than ANY other human I have known in my ENTIRE life and feels so comfortable in it. She is a real mermaid, ask ANYONE who has ever been to the ocean with her, I am NOT exaggerating. Even Strangers at our hotel took notice of her affinity to the water and would comment to me how beautiful it was that she spent every waking moment in awe of and exploring the big blue! She seriously only got out to eat and sleep, no joke.
After I changed and pulled out my snorkel gear, I headed to the beach and met up with my little mermaid. Get ready for picture overload. We swam . . .
After HOURS in the water with Jo(lee), I chose to get out to “take it all in” from the beach. I was still in shock that we were actually there! I wanted to remember every sight, every smell, every sound, EVERYTHING!
It was such sweetness to my soul too, to sit on the beach and feel the warmth of the sun warm me on the outside while the joy of watching Jo play her little heart out in the water, searching for fish, trying to keep up with them and looking for shells in the sand, warmed me on the inside. This was a true moment of bliss in my life, a moment I will never forget. My heart is full.
Jolee stayed in the water and swam until I told her it was time to clean up for dinner.
Truth be told, those rice cakes were awful, they tasted so stale. Maybe they were? Or maybe it was just the humidity that zapped the crispness out of them. Who knows, regardless, I was grateful for a healthy vegan meal.
After dinner, we all headed to the waters edge, our friend Rachael spotted some fish from the table that appeared to be playing, so we went to investigate. Turns out, those fish were actually black tip sharks! It was so fun to watch them “do their thing’ from the sand. At times, we thought the smallest ones might actually beach themselves as they played in the tiny waves, so we stood by, half expecting to have to them back into the water! They ranged from tiny babies that we wondered might be newborns to juvenile sized ones we felt were kind of the babysitters. They appeared to be exercising or learning to hunt, still unsure exactly what we were watching but it was absolutely FASCINATING! It was like watching a nature show in real life! Without the commentary as our friend Marina noted. ha ha
We headed to bed with full bellies and full hearts, excited for what the next day had in store. Check back soon for day 3 of French Polynesia. 💙
This will be an 9 part journal series (maybe more). Check back every 2 weeks or so for new French Polynesia journal entries. I can’t believe I am ACTUALLY going to French Polynesia. To be honest, I had kinda placed French Polynesia on my list…
Why is it important to reduce our carbon footprint? Where do I even begin?
First, I will start with the fact that research shows that reducing greenhouse gas emissions could help prevent 300,000 – 700,000 premature deaths cause by air pollution by the year 2030. If that’s not enough, we need to slow our roll on the resources we use because they are not limitless.
Look up “Earth overshoot day”, it is the day each year that we as humans, use up more resources than our planet can renew in the entire year. Through overfishing, deforestation, and carbon dioxide emissions. Simply put, we can NOT sustain this level of consumption and expect there to be a planet left for future generations. That means, our children , grandchildren, etc. . .
Jane Goodall said it best “ We are not borrowing the planet from our children. When we borrow something, we give it back. We are STEALING from them”. This statement affects me in such a powerful way.
So how can we do our part? I wrote another article on earth day with some tips to help us lessen our carbon footprints but wanted to expand on it further with this one. These are all things that are not out of our reach to do . . . or not do.
Every little bit counts. I saw a meme once which read “‘it’s just one straw.’ said 1,000,000 people”. TOGETHER, we can make a difference. Do we want it to be a positive one or a negative one? 💛
We don’t even need to make drastic changes to start. Baby steps are always the easiest and most attainable. Here are a few things you can do (or not do) that will make a REAL difference in the world. Even if you just start with one or two thing on the list, it helps.
Reducing our ecological footprint:
* Eat organic and locally sourced foods. It is estimated that 13% of U.S. greenhouse emissions result from the production and transport of food.
* Change your driving style. Speeding and unnecessary acceleration waste gas, money & increase your carbon footprint. Use cruise control.
* Fly economy class to spread out the the flights carbon emission over more people. You can also carbon offset your flight. To calculate the carbon footprint of your flight AND/OR to offset an upcoming flight, click —-> HERE
* Buy energy efficient appliances. You can actually also offset your home AND your commute too! * Same link as above * * Ditch the Q-tips if possible but if you insist on using them, don’t buy the plastic ones and PROPERLY dispose of them. They are NOT to be flushed down the toilet. When they get flushed, they end up in our waterways and oceans, harming wildlife. Rather compost your cardboard (or similar material) ear swabs, where they will get broken down by microorganisms and bacteria just like everything else.
* Turn off the lights when you are not using them. In fact, you can buy LED lightbulbs to use less energy AND save money on your bill too.
* Cut out beef and dairy. It takes a lot of resources to raise cows. Especially if you are eating beef form tropical locations. Many of those cows are being raised on tropical land that was cleared for agricultural use, contributing to deforestation. Deforestation is a top contributor to carbon emissions. Maybe adopt the “Meatless Monday” philosophy, or any day(s) of the week that works for you. 🙂
* Watch your water intake. Turn water off when brushing teeth, take shorter showers, etc.
* Be mindful of the furniture you purchase and where the wood came from. You can also donate or sell old furniture if it’s still usable, rather than throwing it out. This is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle! Logging (including illegal logging, which has other ethical issues of its own) is another major contributor to deforestation. Supply and demand. If we don’t demand more wood based products, loggers won’t tear down forests to supply them!
* Car pool. Not only is this the sustainable option but it is also a way to connect with people and build relationships. Which is so good for emotional health and well being. Of course, covid makes this tough right now but one day . . .
* Ride a bike or walk when possible. IT good for your health AND the environment!
* Say no to single use plastic. Straws, eating utensils, plastic grocery bags, ziplock bags, water/drink bottles, shampoo/conditioner bottles, etc. Not only do many plastics contain toxins that are harmful to humans, creating plastic also generate green house emissions which negatively impact the environment. Not to mention that MOST of this plastic is not even recyclable and even if it was, the energy used to recycle it causes problems of its own. In reality, most of this plastic eventually ends up in the ocean. Harming and killing our wildlife, in turn effecting the delicate balance of our ocean ecosystem which is responsible for 2/3’s of the air we breathe. You can purchase your own bamboo straws, dinnerware & reusable water bottles —> HERE, for fairly inexpensive. * In the covid world we are currently living in, I also thought I would share a biodegradable, plant based glove I like to use to keep me safe when I am pumping gas, grocery shopping, at the bank or traveling (yes, it can be done safely). Click —–> HERE, The code “WORLDWORTHWANDERING” will get you 10% OFF too! These are a great alternative for those of us who are trying to navigate covid safely without impacting the environment further. Latex gloves take 5 years to biodegrade and Nitrile gloves take even longer! Not to mention where they can end up or who they can end up in between now and then . . .
* Bring your own reusable grocery bags. Plastic bags can take up to a year to decompose. Keep them your car if you have to. I know I used to forget mine at home all the time when I first made the switch, they do me no good at my house.
* Skip the paper towels and napkins. Norwex cloths are a great alternative. They don’t hold bacteria like traditional towels so you can use them for longer without washing! Saves on water too! * Plant a garden or a tree OR buy a plant (or 50 in my case)! NASA research into the power of indoor plants found that there are over 50 houseplant types that remove pollutants and gases out of the environment.
* Avoid vampire power. The department of energy states that “standby power” accounts for 5-10% of residential energy use. Unplug appliances or buy power strips with on/off switches.
* Go paperless for bills, magazine subscriptions, etc. Many companies will also give you small discount if you go paperless, so ask! 🙂
* Go to the library. Over 30 million trees are cut down each year to produce paper that makes books read in the United States ALONE! Not to mention, you get to read those books for FREE this way!
* Wash your clothes in cold water when possible. 90% of the energy used by the washing machine is used to heat the water.
* Use a planet friendly toothbrush. Every plastic toothbrush impacts the environment. One billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States, creating 50 million pounds of waste PER YEAR!
* If you eat fish, Buy sustainable seafood. Download the app seafood watch to know which seafood to buy.
* Use your consumer power. Do not buy food or goods produced in an unsustainable way, instead choose products that have environmentally friendly practices.
* Say no to palm oil. Palm oil is responsible for 8% of ALL global emissions. In order for palm plantations to be cultivated, producers have to clear trees in tropical rainforests, destroying the natural and necessary environment. This deforestation releases carbon into the atmosphere, causing global warming. Not to mention, palm oil is not good for your health. Soy is also another very unsustainable crop, so double check that your soy is sourced sustainably when shopping. Forests produce 1/3 of the air we breathe, therefore, we NEED them to survive.
* Try plastic-less beauty products (as briefly mentioned above) like bar shampoo, bar conditioner, body wash, face wash and lotions. Most are also very natural so its a win/win. These non liquid items also travel way better through TSA than liquid in plastic containers and won’t explode on your belonging during pressure changes. Think about making the switch to eco minded make up lines too! There are a few out on the market now.
* Use reef safe sunblock. Say no to the stuff that is not only toxic to YOU but ALSO to our oceans. My favorite is Stream 2 Sea. You can use the code “hilda” on their website for a discount! Not only do they have safe products, they also have safe, eco minded(recycled) packaging and large liter options to continually refill the smaller bottles rather than frequently buying the smaller sizes. My favorite is their tinted sunblock for my face. Since I don’t wear makeup, it acts as a BB cream or foundation to help make my skin look smoother and more even, while giving me AMAZING sun protection. Winning!
* Buy ethically made clothing. Many athletic and swimwear brands use recycled bottles to make their products these days. Try second hand stores or sites like Poshmark and the Goodwill or borrow something from a friend for that “special event” rather than buying something new to wear only once or twice. Lastly, you can get creative and use what you have to make something completely new! Not only are all of these options eco friendly, they are cost efficient too! A few of my favorite sustainable brands are Wolven (workout/yoga apparel & swimwear – Code “HOLISTICHILDA” for 20% OFF), Yoga Democracy (workout/yoga apparel – Code “WORLDWORTHWANDERING” for 20% OFF), Koleha (swimwear & boho chic clothing), Waterlust (swimwear – Use clickable link for $10 OFF), Pact (sustainable fashion – Use clickable link for 20% OFF).
* Don’t forget about your pets. There are so many eco friendly products for them too! Bar versus plastic bottle soaps, nose salves in metal tins versus plastic bottles, etc.
So let’s encourage each other to do our parts in conserving our BEAUTIFUL planet. Using carpooling as an opportunity to also connect with people, skipping the beef as an opportunity to also spare a life, riding a bike or walking as an opportunity to also better our health, avoiding standby power as a way to also save hard earned money.
WE CAN DO THIS!!! Alone we are one drop, together we are an ocean.🌊