Laughing Gorilla

Travel well on your quest to live true with Earth

How to Begin Your Journey

One does not sell the Earth upon which the people walk.
—Crazy Horse, 1875

We dwell together as one great community. Our lives create 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. Use the Animated Global Footprint Calculator. How many planets does it take to support your lifestyle?

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 climate change. Every meal is an opportunity to fight climate change. 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 short film 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

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 600 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. Watch the 21-minute film The Story of Stuff. 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.

story of stuff

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