Tools for Conscious Living

Our every action impacts the interconnected web of life on Earth. Daily decisions regarding what we do, what we consume, where we buy, how we choose to live, and the values that we hold and promote, affect this world we live in.

Actions to Take


Consumption


  • Consume less, desire less, want less – consumption directly impacts the planet’s environment (everything we consume comes from the resources on this planet), and uses up precious resources needed for basic necessities of food, water, housing, health, sanitation etc., for billions of people on this planet.
  • Simplify your life, spend more time on creating quality of life rather then material wealth.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost. Reduce your consumption, reuse what you can and recycle what you can’t.
  • Redefine your economic outlook to value social and environmental costs in every day decisions and make your consumer choices based on the actual social and environmental costs of the goods you buy.
  • Support locally owned businesses and services instead of externally owned big corporations. It builds community and money spend on local businesses stays within the community as opposed to going out of the community.

Food


  • Buy locally grown, seasonal and organic produce. Most of the food grown now is grown by in big industrial farms using intensive inputs of pesticides, fertilizers and energy without consideration for the land, air, water & the environment. Land, water and air are getting increasingly polluted & poisoned. Industrial food also travels an average of 1500 miles to make it to your plate, using up fossil fuels, resources and polluting the environment.
  • Support local farmers. Buy from farmers markets and/or join a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - where you get a box of locally grown, fresh organic produce delivered to you every week.
  • Buy fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas – fair trade ensures that farmers producing the commodities are paid fair wages for their work.
  • Eat low on the food chain. 10 lbs of grains are needed to produce 1lb of meat, excluding other resources like water. Cattle are also one of the biggest producers of methane, a very potent global warming gas. Currently in the US 70-80% of the corn and soybeans are grown to produce meat.
  • Do not eat shrimp. Shrimp are caught using bottom-trawling, which devastates the ocean floors, stripping them clear, like a forest clear-cut.
  • Reduce consumption of seafood and shellfish. If you do eat seafood, find out which fish species and seafood products are likely produced in a sustainable manner and those, which are not.

Other Products


  • Buy products, which are manufactured sustainably – with respect to the environment and the people producing it.
  • Buy organic clothing – cotton has the most pesticide use of any crop.
  • Buy sweat-free and fair-trade products – products made by giving fair wages to workers. Most of the products we buy today are made in sweat-shop and in inhuman working conditions, by big corporations without regards to the environmental and labor laws.
  • Buy 100% recycled, chlorine free copy paper & toilet paper – saves trees and creates a demand for recycled paper.
  • Buy wood products, furniture etc., which is FSC certified. FSC certification ensures that the wood comes from sustainable forestry practices.

Energy


  • Drive less and travel less - use public transportation, bike and walk more. Fossil Fuel exhausts from automobiles are one of the leading causes of global warming together with increased pollution and health effects like asthma.
  • Support renewable energy. If you can afford it, install solar panels on your house. If you live in Palo Alto, join Palo Alto Green, where 100% of your energy comes from renewable resources like wind and solar farms.

Money


  • Use local credit unions and community banks instead of big international banks. Local banks support and fund local community projects and businesses, keeping money within the community. Money in big international banks is invested in developmental projects favorable to big businesses and detrimental to the environment and the poor.
  • Invest money only in socially responsible and community projects funds.

Community


  • Make time for your own interests and the people you cherish. This may mean working less, or even changing professions. When supporting your life overtakes life itself, what good is the money you make?
  • Volunteer/support non-profit organizations, community groups working on social, political, environmental, peace and justice issues.
  • Create community any way you can by creating service exchange, tool exchange, goods exchange etc. within your community and neighborhood.
  • Live simply – leaving the cycle of stress, overwork, debt and exhaustion can free up time better spent pursuing hobbies and relationships with family, friends, and the greater community.

Activism


  • Make your vote count, vote only for politicians who recognize the social and environmental impacts of business and trade.
  • Write letters and demonstrate against the corporate domination of the IMF, WTO, and World Bank.
  • Work to introduce an element of accountability in the decisions of transnational corporations – write, demonstrate, become a shareholder.
  • Participate in boycotts as organized by various organizations and community groups.
  • Listen to alternative press sources to get different viewpoints on the global economy – most mainstream press sources have significant interests in large corporations – publicly supported media like 94.1 KPFA allow a more balanced look at global capital.
  • Consider tax-resistance – 50% of the US budget goes to support militarism.

What Can I Do?


Every choice we make reveals how much we care for our world. Today, the divergent paths are clear. Will our actions forge a world with collapsing natural ecosystems, mass scale species extinctions, growing pollution and waste, increasing social and economic disparity, and a lack of basic services to billions on the planet? Or will they contribute to healthy ecosystems, social and economic equality, thriving habitats and a better quality of life for all?




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“A better world is possible and it is up to us to make it happen.”
Aseem Das, World Centric, Founder