“When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.” ~ David Orr
Living ecologically means living from the heart, close to Mother Earth.
Over the years, I’ve become more and more conscious of the impact of my lifestyle on the planet.
Many of us have, yet we hear of the devastation of climate change, see the images of melting ice caps and dead whales with plastic-filled stomachs and are forced to wonder.
Will our efforts be enough?
Here in Guatemala, the environmental situation can seem dire. Many people litter on the streets, because they never learned that littering is harmful to nature. Deforestation is rampant. This small country has amazing biodiversity but more and more animal and plant species are endangered or extinct.
My friend Alfredo Maul is a Guatemalan architect and eco-activist. His non-profit promotes environmental education and motivation. He walks his talk, living, breathing and teaching sustainability every day. One of his organization’s awareness-raising campaigns points out the ways in which we live and consume illogically.
He uses simple, bold images in his campaign to illustrate how we can shift into making smarter, more ecological choices.
- Be Energy Efficient
Use solar, wind and other renewable energies. Cook with efficient ovens. Minimize your need for electrical machines and electronic devices.
2. Be Responsible for the Waste You Produce
Create less trash by doing more reusing, recycling and upcycling. Compost your organics —vegetable peels, leftovers, tea bags. Reduce the amount of packaged goods you buy and consume.
3. Consume Well
Put good-quality food into your body, mind and heart. Eat fresh, healthy, natural food. Learn about what fascinates you. Cut back the amount of “junk food” you put into your brain in the form of mass media, obsessively following the news, violent images and films, etc.
4. Travel Consciously
How do you get around? Is there a way you can use less gas and get more exercise? Can your life be arranged in such a way that walking, biking and/or taking public transportation is your primary way of getting places?
This image is from another of Alfredo’s campaigns, biciudad, which is a movement to promote the culture and safety of cycling in Guatemala City.
5. Cherish the Water
Pure, fresh, potable water is a gift. Minimize your purchases of plastic, disposable water containers. Collect rainwater. Express love and gratitude for the access to fresh, quality water for drinking, bathing, cleaning and growing gardens.
Living ecologically means shifting from the old story of us versus them into a new paradigm of it’s just us. One human family. Let’s clean up our home, planet Earth, both individually and collectively.
Pass it on!
Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus
Images: G-22.org (via the author, used with permission)
Apprentice Editor: Tess Estandarte/ Editor: Renée Picard