Green Friends "LIVING CONSCIOUSLY" Ten Step Guide

We are all intricately connected with and dependent on the ecosystems of this planet. We must remember that our relationship with Nature should not only be to take. It is a symbiotic relationship. We must give and replenish as much as we receive. We must live and consume consciously. Here are ten ways we can begin to live like responsible planetary citizens.

1. Develop reverence for Nature

2. Develop water awareness

3. Develop reverence for plants

4. Develop reverence for wildlife

5. Develop reverence for food

6. Grow your own food

7. Use sustainable technology

8. Take less from the earth

9. Be a responsible consumer

10. Inspire others

1. Develop Reverence for Nature

    Pray for Mother Earth Developing reverence, love and respect for the natural world is the most vital link to healing our planet. Through meditation in nature, offerings of prayer to the earth and gratitude for all we are given, we can reconnect and give back to that which sustains us. By accepting that we are not separate from Nature but part of a greater whole, and by recognizing that it is the very earth herself that gives us life, we reestablish an earth-based consciousness and lay the foundations for rebuilding a life in harmony with the natural world. This attitude needs to come from the core of our being and be reflected in all aspects of our daily life.

    Cultivating reverence and awareness will translate to each of your daily activities as you consciously choose to act in a way that benefits and enhances Nature. Developing this meaningful relationship with Nature will create a culture based on love and respect for all living beings.

2. Develop Water Awareness

    Water is the lifeblood for all living beings and sustains life on this planet. Water systems around the world are under threat due to human exploitation and pollution. We are taking from the oceans faster than they can rejuvenate; fisheries are on the verge of collapse. The earth's natural ecosystems have been altered to such an extent that many fresh water supplies are drying up. Drinking water in many areas is becoming scarce. The way we grow our food, our energy choices, and almost everything we do eventually impacts the world's water ways.

    We must develop practices that will repair and replenish our vital water systems.

    Water droplet
    • Reduce chemical spills from deep sea drilling by choosing renewable energy technologies.
    • Take the pressure off marine ecosystems by reducing intake of seafood, supporting sustainable fisheries, or by choosing a vegetarian diet.
    • Address water shortages by collecting rainwater, reducing water usage and recycling grey water.
    • Plant trees to help prevent erosion and salinity and help improve water quality in lakes, rivers and creeks.
    • Choose foods that are grown without the use of chemicals and use household products that are gentle on the environment.

    The threat to vital water systems is a global problem that needs attention on a global level, however; we can individually act upon this in all aspects of our lives.

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3. Develop Reverence for Plants

    Tree planting Through practical activities and education we can help others experience the joy and beauty that can be found in Nature and help develop respect and love for the natural world.

    As a global community we need to stop the destruction and preserve what is left of our Old Growth Forests. They have evolved complex ecosystems over thousands of years and cannot be replaced. These forests provide us with the air we breathe and support the balance of the resources we need to survive. As individuals we can make choices that help protect existing forests and promote indigenous flora and fauna.

      • Support sustainable forestry and eco friendly agricultural practices.
      • Use ecologically sound and recycled building materials to construct new buildings.
      • Regenerate urban and rural landscapes by planting indigenous trees, removing invasive plant species, and by protecting remnant bush land.

    4. Develop Reverence for Wildlife
      In all that we do we need to remember that we are only one of the many creatures living on this planet. The trees, the waterways, the soil are all habitats for millions of different species. Every day more species are becoming endangered and vanishing from the earth forever. There is a need to raise public awareness and respect for these creatures and provide safe places for them to live. There are many practical ways we can do this:
      • Plant indigenous trees and plant species in our own back yards
      • Create wildlife corridors that connect up with remnant bush land
      • Leave water out for wildlife in summer
      • Raise awareness of animal welfare issues within our own communities
      Foxes
      • Support animal welfare organizations working to protect endangered animals and their environments
      • Educate local communities and
      • Reestablish natural habitats

      Above all we need to live our lives with compassion and respect for all living beings, and through our actions we can hope to inspire others to do the same.

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    5. Develop Reverence for Food

      Thali Living consciously means eating consciously, with thought and feeling for all living things. What we put into our bodies has an impact not only on our physical health but also on our spiritual and mental wellbeing. Our food choices also have a huge impact on Nature.

      By being vegetarian, vegan or by reducing the consumption of animal products we can reduce the amount of land cleared for agriculture and address many significant ecological issues. It is a global issue that needs to be addressed if we are to sustain the world’s growing population. We can sustain more people on the earth by depending on plants as a protein source as opposed to livestock. Animal products including meat and dairy require more natural resources and land, and cause higher emissions than plant based alternatives.

      By consuming vegan foods you can omit the potential cruelty to animals and eliminate the moral issue of killing animals for food and other products. If animal products do form part of your diet you have the option to support more humane, healthier and sustainable agricultural practices including free range, organic and biodynamic farming, and sustainable fisheries.

      By buying your food from local sources that practice sustainable agriculture, you can support these Nature preserving practices.

    6. Grow Your Own Food

      Growing organic vegetables at home or in a community garden is not only healthier for you and your family, but is also a vital link to reconnecting with the land and a step towards living sustainably. By growing our own food (or buying from a local farmers market) you cut out many processes that use up natural resources such as fossil fuels and water.

      We can create a bounty of high energy, nutrient-rich organic fruit and vegetables in our own back yard or within our local community. The subtle essence of the food we eat has an effect on our mind and body. The more pure the food we eat the healthier we are. By growing our own food we can develop a closer connection to the land, develop useful agricultural practices, and give back to the earth at the same time.

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      Garden

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    7. Use Sustainable Technology

      Wind farm A major contributing factor to the earth’s ecological crisis is the over use and exploitation of fossil fuels. Now is the time to change our ways. New technology has been developed and is available. We simply have to make the change.
      • Take advantage of government grants and incentives to convert homes and businesses to renewable energy sources, such as solar
      • Find creative ways to reduce our carbon footprint in our daily life
      • Vote for people and legislation that are focused on developing and implementing the use of renewable energy technologies and reducing the relentless exploitation of the earth’s natural resources, and consequential pollution
      • Build an economy based on the development of new ‘green’ initiatives, renewable energy, ‘eco friendly’ technology and related jobs.
      With more support, the sustainable energy industry will grow and options will increase. We can aim to be as self-sufficient as possible with our domestic energy consumption factoring in the environmental and economic benefits. We don’t need wait for the world to change for us; we can each begin with our own lives and in time lasting beneficial change will follow.

    8. Take Less from the Earth

      By Reducing the waste we create, Reusing items several times instead of discarding them and Recycling raw materials we reduce our energy consumption and use of fossil fuels, save water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With the worlds population growing at a rapid rate we cannot afford to be producing as much waste as we do. Our waste can become a resource. Composting is one simple example. By recycling food scraps we reduce landfill waste and can produce a rich organic matter to add to our soils.

      We need to consider that the earth is for everyone (and all living beings) and to be shared with everyone. If one population or species consumes more than its share, others will suffer. We can find ways to feed the world if we focus on the global community, and in our daily lives take only what we really need.

      Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    9. Be a Responsible Consumer

      Certified Organic Never underestimate the power of being a consumer. By choosing to purchase certified organic and environmentally friendly products you can directly help prevent the depletion of natural resources, and the pollution and disruption of important ecological systems. Purchasing certified organic or biodynamic products supports diversity in fruit and vegetable varieties and the preservation of heirloom seed. In addition, you will be consuming food that is potentially higher in nutrients and free of toxic chemicals.

      As a consumer we can support companies that operate under fair-trade laws—thus helping to prevent third world exploitation, support sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and ethical investment. We are creating the future with every choice we make. Each of our actions will have an impact on the future of the planet.


    10. Inspire Others

      Everything we do can become an offering to Nature and serve as inspiration to others. We teach by living as an example of the change we want to see in the world. We can develop a relationship with Nature that is both enriching, productive and rewarding. We can then share this with others; with our children, our families and within our local community in creative and practical ways, in small ways and on a larger scale. We can work in our own backyards, initiate nature projects within our local area, and support international causes. Mostly we can endeavor to live a life that is simple and that strives to restore the balance between humanity and Nature. We then open the door for others to follow. We have a chance at providing future generations with a greener, cleaner, and more harmonious world in which to live. American Gothic by Grant Wood

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