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An Introduction Letter to Tour Coordinators from the New North America Tour Greening Advisor, Diya Heal

Aum Amriteswaryai Namah!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Amma,

My name is Diya, your new Tour Greening Advisor. I look forward to collaborating and supporting each department in bringing Amma’s request to reduce waste and single-use plastics into fruition.

We are in a global recycling crisis. There is no viable market at this time for most lower-quality plastics (#3-#7). Many used plastics in the US are currently being landfilled, incinerated or shipped to third-world countries for recycling. Many recycling facilities in those countries are operating illegally processing the plastic with no regard for human safety or the environment. In addition, 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. We must also realize when we collect and remanufacture plastic, we are only delaying its disposal. The final destination for all plastic is either a landfill, where it doesn’t decompose, or an incinerator, where it releases harmful chemicals when burned, or the environment in some form of pollution. We need to focus on reduction as the solution now, rather than recycling.

At the end of Amma’s 2019 New Year’s message, one of the questions she posed to each of us was; “Am I able to contribute and play my part in protecting the environment?” She is also asking us specifically to find ways to reduce at the source.


Our food and product choices can also negatively impact the environment. There are several pertinent areas where we can play our part as individuals and departmentally to make a positive impact on the environment.

1. Make mindful choices when purchasing food, drinks and supplies for the tour:

  • If the item comes in single-use plastic, ask ourselves; Is this item a want or a need? Is there a better alternative? Can this be bought in bulk?
  • As far as possible, purchase sustainable products for the tour avoiding single-use plastic items. I will be happy to help in finding alternatives.
  • Purchase organic food when possible. Toxic pesticides are used in many non-organic products which harm the environment, humans, animals and insects (especially honeybees).
  • Read ingredients; if it contains palm oil and it does not say “sustainably sourced,” please try to find another option. Palm oil is decimating the rain forest and bringing Orangutans and other species to the brink of extinction.

2. Let your choices be guided by the following key principles:

  • REFUSE what we don’t need
  • REDUCE single-use and unsustainable items
  • REUSE or REPURPOSE what we already have *however NO single-use plastic & NO styrofoam!
  • REPAIR rather than throw away, as there is no “away”
  • RECYCLE what can be recycled
  • ROT compost food when possible

Amma is challenging us to become more aware of our purchases and how our actions serve as role models for others. I am here to provide support and will be communicating with individual departments offering suggestions and resources to help reduce plastic and waste. In the meantime, may we all consider the question in Amma’s New Year message; “Am I able to contribute and play my part in protecting the environment?

Amma is counting on us to exemplify her teachings as we strive to serve her by serving those who come for her blessings.

Ever in Amma’s Service,

Diya Heal Tour Greening Advisor


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