By Joshua Sandstrom
Sat Nam and Happy International Mother Earth Day
Mother Earth has been alive for over four billion years. Only recently have certain ideal conditions developed to support human life. Estimates on how long humans have existed on Earth range from 200,000 to 1 million years.
When people talk about helping the environment, or reversing global warming, let’s keep in mind that it’s not just a plea for the Earth, it is a prayer and a call to save the ideal environmental conditions that support a happy, healthy, holy human life. Majestic forests, clean watersheds, and abundant biodiversity are all parts of the balance we call life.
The Earth will continue on for a long time, she is just getting started in her evolutionary path; but how will humans survive in a world where our very ecosystem is disappearing before our eyes? 70-90% of all people used to be farmers, or were involved in agriculture in some way. This kept the food local, and the community strong. Nowadays only 10-15% of the world population cultivates food from the soil. The tractors and chemical fertilizers have temporarily taken away our need to create our own sustenance with our hands, or so it seems.
It is easy to miss the humanitarian/environmental catastrophe slowly taking place on Earth at this time, and even pretend it isn’t real, especially if you live in a city and can afford modern conveniences. There is bottled water on the shelves, convenient packaged and prepared food at every corner, and electricity flowing freely from every outlet. Yet it was only one generation ago that people would think it crazy to be buying bottled water in a store, or to be getting most food ingredients from a boat from China.
Where does all this luxury come from? Who’s hands prepare it? What resources are consumed to live this quality of life? The answers to these questions, and the desire to find a better way are what will decide the fate of humanity in the times to come.
Did you know that the average household in the United States consumes 5-10 times the amount of resources as does a household in Asia or South America? What this means is that there are 5-10 families somewhere in the world going without, so that one family here can have more than it needs.
This year, this month on Earth Day, make a commitment to yourself, to our human family, and to the planet we call home. Recognize that really big changes take time. Ask yourself, what little things can I do that would make a difference over time for myself, my family, and for the greater good of all.
• Is your home and business taking part in a recycling program?
• Do you use recycled paper products wherever possible?
• Are you composting your kitchen scraps and creating topsoil with them?
• Do you dispose of electronics, batteries, and light bulbs in the most responsible way?
• Have you called your power company and switched over to wind power?
• Do you buy organic food whenever possible?
• Do you seek out Fair Trade products?
• Are you purchasing natural fiber clothing and household items?
• Is it possible to drive less, turn off your engine more, and walk or ride a bike?
• Have you donated time and energy to your local community lately?
• Could you grow some food on your balcony or patio, or in your yard this year?
These are all simple daily things. If we all did them, life would be that much cleaner and enjoyable for times to come. Do you envision a thing called a landfill in the Aquarian Age? How about a gigantic trash pile two times the size of Texas and one mile deep floating in the ocean? Because that is what is going on right now in the oceans and on the land—big huge messes with way too many excuses as to why they are there and who should pay for cleaning them up.
Let’s all do our part to make whatever little changes we can fit into our daily lives. If anyone has any questions or would like to contact me further about how to implement any of this into your home, business or ashram, please feel free to contact me.
Joshua Sandstrom co-founded the Green Team at Summer Solstice in New Mexico and has 8 years of experience working in Fair Trade with his business Circle of the Sun. Contact him at [email protected]