Is it possible to truly care about the planet and all of its creatures if we don’t really experience it in its glory?
As human beings we seem to be able to live way too much of our life inside of our own heads; living in ways that do not support our deep and inherent connection with all of nature.
In our western culture most of us spend literally hours a day sitting in front of a computer and then at night we sit in front of the television for a few more hours. Our kids are experts at playing on the computer, tweeting and texting each other but do they know how to play in nature?
What are we teaching our children?
Do we teach them by example of our own love and enjoyment of nature? Sharing with them the experience of searching the night sky for stars….and feeling in ourselves how small we really are compared to the Universe.
Do we find the time to explore with our children the forest, a city park, or even our own back yard for all the different creepy, crawly creatures sharing our spaces?
What are we supporting in ourselves?
Are we in touch with our own humanity? A humanity that does not make us feel seperate from the whole but instead humbles us before our connection with everything around us.
A connection that is almost impossible to feel when we're busy with the materialistic choices of our culture. A connection that is undeniable in those moments in the noisy silence of nature.
If we’re cut off from the nature around us and our connection to all of it are we very likely to really care about our impact on the planet?
It is important for us to not just work for the earth, but to deeply enjoy the outdoor experience in all its wonder and healing. Life is too short to get obsessed with what is wrong.
Get out there and experience how blessed we are to be a part of this glorious planet earth!
- Take a walk out in nature somewhere and just take a few moments to feel the effect of nature on you.
- When you feel relaxed notice what it feels like to literally “walk lightly on the earth”.
- Let each step be soft, gentle and yielding to the earth.
- Stop for a moment and see what you hear. Wait. Listen. At first it might seem there are no sounds of nature but if you slow down enough you'll be amazed what a chorus of sounds there is all around you.
- Let each step be relaxed, easy and as loving to yourself as to the earth.
Deep Sustainability is the path of living your soul purpose here on earth. This is more than the desire for personal success and more than the desire for environmental stewardship. It is a path that joins deep personal inner awareness/spiritual development in the context of love for humanity, animals, the planet.
Are you living your soul purpose? Do you live the life you long for? One of happiness, love, creativity, purposeful work, vitality, passion, presence, relationships and community? And does your life create growth, harmony, peace, and balance on the planet?
Most of us are not fully living the life we long for and have even forgotten about that part of us that longs for our deepest truths to be expressed in the world. It can be challenging to be present to our impact on the planet, to animals, and other humans if we are not fully in touch with ourselves and our sense of purpose here.
What would it take for you to live the life you want and not live according to ideas, conditioning, and “shoulds” passed down to you? What would it take to claim your life as your own and risk everything to trust your soul’s calling?
This is not a call to get some good therapy because therapy typically does not address the larger community. Deep Sustainability takes us into the kind of healing that is only possible when we go beyond our endless efforts for self-fulfillment and understand that it is only through ending our separation with all things that we can both heal the planet and ourselves. Deep Sustainability is:
- A call to look at every barrier you have to love – with yourself, others, animals, plants, the land, oceans, the air and all things.
- A call to see how we don’t want to feel the pain and that this leaves us less able to feel and act for animals, the environment, and others.
- A call to live our longing for connection with other people so we can share in our common existence and purpose on the planet. A call to reach out to another human being – to listen and hear, to work out conflict and ultimately to move out of our comfort zone in order to relate and be positively engaged with others.
We can all start to live our full human potential by looking at what stops us from taking the actions we know are the most personally and environmentally supportive. Looking at what stops us – like our habits, conveniences, busyness, resistance, and fears, is the first step to moving beyond those things.
Our complete purpose on earth can only be fulfilled by aligning ourselves with something bigger than our individual selves. Through making sure that our actions reflect our deepest values (no matter how inconvenient and against the mainstream) we can keep growing and evolving into our best selves. Try to do some things from that longing to make the world a better place and see if in fact you also feel better. Are you………
- Happier when you ride your bike vs. drive
- Healthier when you eat plant based food vs. factory farmed, cholesterol-laden meat, dairy, and eggs
- More Connected when you reach out and share your true self with others vs. isolating.
What is sustainable for the planet is also the right thing to bring you into balance. We can honor our needs fully without harming animals, the planet and others. Join us in these life-affirming choices on the path of deep sustainability!
PLASTIC BAG BANS:
There is a movement underway – yes, a groundswell of ordinary citizens like you and me who are demanding we stop our daily destruction to the planet and start changing the way we do things!
We are taking a stand to protect our oceans and the animals that make it their home.
In local communities and large cities across the country and world, we are creating an unprecedented and unified movement against plastic bags and for reusable bags. The movement is about so much more than bags though – these bag bans are about:
- Cleaning up our rivers and oceans
Protecting sea animals like birds, turtles, whales, fish, and more from death due to ingesting plastic bags (or other plastic pieces) or being strangled by plastic.
- The People vs. Corporate control and powers
Local living vs. unsustainable national and global trade
Being one with the environment vs. pushing that reality aside
- And taking steps towards real change–no matter how small they may seem at first.
The way things are going, the plastic bag could become almost obsolete within a decade – at least in supermarkets.
The science measuring the destruction of plastic in oceans and to animals, alongside the economic unfeasibility of recycling plastic bags, makes the case for bag bans one that is sweeping the world, one city at a time.
The first city to pass a bill banning plastic bags was San Francisco on March 27th, 2007.
Now 5.5 years later, many of the most prominent cities in the U.S. including L.A., the largest, and Washington D.C., our nation’s capital have banned or set fees for plastic bags.
“This has probably been one of the most interesting wildfires of common sense, and I'm delighted and proud that San Francisco was the first city in the United States to have kick-started this" said Ross Mirkarimi, the man who first submitted the bag ban bill that was passed in San Francisco.
The plastic and oil industry is feeling very threatened by our mass dawning of awareness and is becoming increasingly transparent in it’s corrupt desire and attempts to maintain control OVER it’s consumers. These industries are pouring over a million dollars in trying to sue cities taking measures to ban plastic bags.
A recent battle, won by a young activist – 12 years old, in Chicago Illinois is an incredible example of our uplifting progress! Abby Goldberg started a petition asking the governor of Illinois to veto a bill on his desk that would make it illegal for Illinois cities and towns to enact plastic bag bans. The legislation proposed by big plastic would have prevented local control over dealing with the issue of plastic bags and set a precedent for this across the nation. Abby collected 170,000 signatures on her petition on change.org and the governor did in fact veto the bill.
Before implementing bag bans and bag taxes, cities need to make sure to perform an environmental impact review (EIR) so that it is almost impossible for corporate plastic interests to sue and create lawsuits in their interest against pro-active citizen supported bag bans.
The more we continue to ban plastic bags, the more people will become aware of the destructive impact of plastic on the environment and take action in their lives to make a difference.
In the fall of 2012, city council members of our town of Boulder, CO voted to tax plastic and paper bags 10 cents each! The sidebar to the right is a list of the U.S. cities and other countries that have bag bans/taxes and below are other states considering it:
House Representatives in Arkansas have proposed legislation that would prohibit stores from providing single-use plastic bags to customers. ( AR HB 1043 – 2011)
State is doing Environmental studies before cities can implement bans
Indiana HB 1521 was introduced by Representative VanDenburgh and the first reading occurred on January 20, 2011. The preamble to the bill calls it a ‘fee’ on plastic bags.
A Colorado State Senate Committee passed a bill that would ban bags in large retail stores within three years. ( SB 156 – 2009)
BOSTON, Massachusetts, June 25, 2012 (ENS) – A committee of the Massachusetts Legislature has voted “yes” to a bill that would ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags state-wide.
Michigan House of Representatives is considering a proposal that would impose a $0.01 tax on plastic bags and would earmark these revenues for recycling, cleanup and environmental education. ( HB 4919 , 2011)
New Jersey state lawmakers are considering a statewide tax on both plastic and paper grocery bags. (2012)
Eugene: Eugene legislators are drafting an ordinance this summer that would ban plastic bags. (2012)
Pennsylvania is currently considering a tax on plastic bags. ( SB 590 – 2011)
Rhode Island legislators are currently debating bans and taxes on plastic grocery bags. (2012)
Washington State Legislators are considering a statewide ban on plastic bags. (2012)