Tune in – folks everywhere are talking about plastic, and for many of us, it feels like about time! You’ve heard the big facts: a plastic water bottle can take up to 400 years to degrade, and that every bit of plastic ever created still exists on the planet, if not floating in pieces in the ocean gyres, then in tiny bits across the land and water, inconspicuously entering the food chain from the bottom to the top.

Erika Rodriguez of Same Sun Yoga

Erika is passionate about keeping New Zealand's amazing landscapes clean for future generations to enjoy.


There’s been a lot of talk this year on “single-use plastics,” and cutting down on them. You think initially of grocery bags, right – but think further, and there’s also product packaging, disposable utensils, food wrap, medical supplies, wet wipes, take-away containers, coffee capsules – the list goes on. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. How can I make a difference in this ocean of societal reliance on such a “convenient” material?


There is a beautiful concept in our lives called CHOICE. I absolutely love it – you can choose what you do, what you eat, what you say, what you buy, how you react, and this list truly is endless!

Choose less.

Contemplate what is enough.

When you set boundaries on what is acceptable for your consumption, you invite joy to pop in to your life in the form of an unwrapped cucumber. You are not at all helpless in this fight. My conscience is too heavy to allow me to choose bagged tomatoes over loose vine tomatoes. So yes, some of these choices come with a slightly higher price tag, but what price are you willing to pay to ensure a healthier life for you, and a beautiful and healthy world for the rest of the groovy humans and animals we share the planet with?

Erika Rodriguez practising yoga outdoors

Erika Rodriguez a.k.a Same Sun Yoga loves yoga out in the fresh air, she takes outdoor yoga classes weekly

Show some love for this little life-sustaining earth of ours, it is the only one we have!

Here’s a refresher on little choices we can make everyday to be kinder to ourselves and the planet:

1. Choose produce with less packaging

2. Keep a few sistemas in your car in case of dine-out leftovers!

3. Choose clothing made from natural fibres like cotton, wool, hemp, flax, linen, etc.

4. Skip the straw – don’t be a sucker!

5. Think beyond the water bottle – what other plastic drinking vessels are you touching and

tossing? Consider bringing a glass from home for your natural organic superfood dairy-free


6. Try toothbrushes made from natural materials

7. Support local when available

8. Carry your coffee mug in your bag or car, MAN -yes, it’s something more you have to remember, but do

you really feel like a good human when you drink out of a waxed-lined paper cup for 6 minutes and

dump it? Embarrassing! (And yes, many cups are now biodegradable, but how about we cut down on

waste in general?) My favorite tip to share with people is the standard I’ve set around take-away coffee: if

I don’t have time to drink my coffee in a mug in-house, and I haven’t brought along my reusable mug,

then I don’t deserve a coffee. Make this sacrifice once, and you won’t forget your mug again!

Erika Rodriguez enjoying the Mokoroa Falls

Erika loves to acknowledge that we all have a CHOICE. Choose to do more, and choose to use less.


As the holiday season approaches, remember your power of choice. Skip the new wrapping paper and re-use old magazines or newspapers to wrap your gifts. Re-gift items that have been special to you and can live a new life with someone else. My favorite Secret Santa gift is a reusable water bottle – and I happen to know some badass chickies who stock them. Thanks to ventures like the Dawny Adventure Club, there are more options than ever for shedding our reliance on plastic and simplifying our relationship with ourselves and the planet.

If you’re here, then you’re already a part of this collective of humans who care to be kind to the planet. Get jazzed and share the froth. When you step into your power of choice, you can become a superhero in your commitment to the planet. Choose to pull others aboard this ship. Do it with patience and kindness. Step up, do more, and use less: “The power is yours.” – Captain Planet (& Erika Rodriguez)

Erika Rodriguez is a close friend to the Dawny crew and an awesome teacher slash yogi passionate about making a positive impact on the planet. Originally from Chicago, she now lives in the North West area of Auckland, taking her own yoga classes and teaming up with the Hallertau Brewery to teach a fun and social beer yoga class monthly.

Catch her on Facebook: Same Sun Yoga and Instagram @samesunyoga