One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.
—Crazy Horse, 1875
We dwell together as one great community. Our lives find meaning in relationships with each other and the natural world. To thrive, all species must cooperate. Let us bring curiosity and an open heart to our daily encounters.
1. Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz. Or use the Animated Global Footprint Calculator. How many planets does it take to support your lifestyle? Discover how you can minimize your impact.
2. Animal agriculture destroys the land, air, and water. A comprehensive 2009 report from the
Worldwatch Institute states that animal agriculture causes at least 51% of greenhouse gases. The combined total emissions from cars, buses, trains, boats, and planes around the entire planet
is about 11%. Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming. Every meal is an opportunity to fight global warming. When we choose from thousands of plant-based nutrient-dense foods instead of meat, dairy, and eggs, we are choosing one of the most significant individual actions we can take to protect our home the earth.
3. Check out these crash-course resources: a passionate talk by Australian philanthropist
Philip Wollen; Optimal Daily Nutrition; The 3 Basic Laws of Ecology; and the film
Peaceable Kingdom: the Journey Home.
4. Explore how to reduce, reuse, and recycle at Earth911. Want to get rid of “dirty” containers, used motor oil, glass, styrofoam peanuts, metal, and more? Easily locate one of the 100,000 recycling centers across the country. Also learn about the problem with e-waste shipped and dumped overseas in The Story of Electronics.
5. Food production technology, packaging, and transport stress out the environment and use 60% of the total energy produced in North America. This increases pollution throughout the entire continent. Support your local farmers’ market and natural foods store. The fewer steps between the time a plant is harvested and you eat it, the healthier it is for both you and the biosphere.
Food Co-op Directory
Farmers’ Market Directory
National Directory of Fruit Stands & Farmers’ Markets
6. Eliminate your household hazardous waste with inexpensive, non-toxic natural alternatives to commercial cleaning products.
7. Perhaps hundreds of uses for baking soda exist online. Here are 30 tips to get you started. Clean jewelry, unclog sink drains, make water stains on wooden floors disappear, brighten laundry, remove light rust, deodorize carpets, relieve the itch of insect bites, and whip up homemade mouthwash.
8. Freecycle is a fun way to give or to get freebies in your community. It keeps about 300 million pounds of disposed goods out of landfills each day.
9. Try a few of these ten simple things you can do to live in better harmony with the environment.
10. Did you know that 99% of everything the average American purchases is trashed in only six months? Train yourself to be a thinking citizen, not a mindless consumer. Buy less. If you’re renting storage space, most likely you have too much junk. Fix broken possessions. Avoid impulsive spending. Recognize slick advertisements that try to seduce you into buying things you really don’t need. Borrow and loan items with friends, especially hardware tools for short-term projects. Nurture the habit of using a variety of free resources at your local public library. Librarians are glad to help. Just ask.