12 Things YOU Can Do

These are a combination of the 10 items posted in the Earth Day 2009 essay & some other items I’d put in another essay.

1. Start buying less “stuff.” Watch the 20-minute film ‘The Story of Stuff’ – it’s funny & very, very smart!

2. Watch less TV – better yet, none at all. But DO watch the documentary movie “The Corporation.” It’s very, very enlightening. (Your local library may have it…)

3.  Work at creating less garbage. Reduce – reuse – recycle – compost – refuse to buy over-packaged stuff (buy in bulk) and so on… Buy a reusable coffee mug & be done with those darn cups you use for two minutes, then trash. Visit here for more tips.

4. Find alternatives for toxic cleaners, cosmetics, etc. There are other very helpful resources in the footnote.(1)

5.  Practice organic lawn & garden care. Learn to chill out about the diversity in Nature, which never intended us to have boring lawns (great tips & info on this issue here)

6.  Learn how the way we eat affects the planet

7.  Reduce your carbon footprint. Lots of good advice here!

8.  Get back on your feet! Walk more. Ride a bike. Take a bus or train or subway. As you hang around outside more, you’ll get motivated to do more work to preserve and clean up our stunning, beautiful, amazing Earth. Whatever you do, don’t buy a gas guzzler!

9. Read & get educated on the issues, or even just one issue. Read books & articles & start making your way out of the dense mental fog most of us have lived inside most of our lives. “Recommended Reading” here, along with some good film titles. There are TONS of other good films to watch…

10. Join/support a group! Donate money to groups doing work you particularly value. Check here for Ontario groups you can join &/or support. Start an environmental film night in your neighbourhood/town/office…

11. Become politically active, so you can help turf out the nincompoops in the political world & bring in some decent human beings who “get it.” Vote. Work on behalf of politicians who really are our friends (there are some). Help them help us all…

12. Question everything. Question the political structures and systems we take for granted. Question capitalism. Question organized religion. And consumerism. And the corporatization of our world. Question what it is to be a human being and what it is that brings meaning and joy to our lives. Question everything. This is bound to bring you some unsettling insights and conclusions…but it’s a necessary part of the process!

Be sure to have fun!! Make new friends – & be sure to laugh – & look after the people you love – every single day. Some really, really smart writers & thinkers whose books I’ve read (Thomas Berry & Brian Swimme) say the Universe is really all about celebration. It’s supposed to be fun – & we’re supposed to appreciate it like crazy! When we begin to appreciate it more (I think I already said to get outside more, hmmm? Get back on your feet!), we will surely start treating it a whole lot better.

2 key points to bear in mind:

  1. Action is the very best possible antidote to despair.
  2. Activism is its own reward!