|* Change on the way. You feel that there is something wrong in the world, right? You feel that you should be able to have a better life, that it is important to preserve the environment, that quality is better than quantity, and all that good stuff, right? Well, guess what? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! The Cultural Creatives: How 50 million people are changing the world is a book that identified a growing subculture within mainstream society. All these people are just like you and me: they want to make a positive difference in this messed up world. So we can't say that positive change is impossible anymore, we can't complain that we are too few to make a difference, because now we know that there is a whole bunch of us! How cool is that?!! Anyway, the Cultural Creatives just put up a website. It is still pretty lame, but they have a pretty impressive webring so go check it out for yourself. Here is how they introduce themselves: 'if you hunger for a deep change in your life that moves you in the direction of less stress, more health, lower consumption, more spirituality, more respect for the earth and the diversity within and among the species that inhabit her, you are one of a growing number of people who want to see deep, integral change in the cultures that have evolved in industrialized nations.' Sounds interesting? Come join us at www.culturalcreatives.org!
* Practical steps. Now, it's all good to have ideals and make big plans to change the world, but when it comes down to practical issues it's not always obvious to know how to actually go about making positive changes and taking the appropriate steps. But don't you worry anymore, the Center for a New American Dream is a down-to-earth organization that is very knowledgeable about what can be done practically to have a better, simpler, more fulfilling existence by consumming less and respecting the environment. Their motto? 'More fun, less stuff' They are taking important steps to inform people about the true costs of our present lifestyle on the environment and thus on our lives, and are also very active in meeting with world and corporate leaders to encourage them to establish policies promoting responsible consumption and sustainable living. If you become a supporting member like me, you will receive a quarterly magazine as well as a monthly newsletter containing precious practical tips about how to have more fun with less stuff. Hey, they just got a $250,000 grant for doing such a good job already, so I think it's worth giving them a chance. Go check it out for yourself by clicking their banner!
* Preserving forests. Care about trees? Isn't it wonderful to be able to take a walk in the woods, filling your lungs with precious oxygen? On top of that, forests are one of the pillars of life on this planet. They host so many species that it would take a lifetime to list them all, they absorb carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen, they prevent erosion, they regulate the climate, etc. The problem is that narrow minded individuals don't seem to see all these wonderful things in trees. All they see is big bucks falling into their pockets. So you know what they do? They just go ahead and log the trees, just like that, without caring about the obvious negative consequences it will have on our ecosystem and thus our lives! In my opinion there are just two things we can do then: either watch them clear off entire areas while trying to breathe in the very last molecules of oxygen before we die, or stand up right now and tell them that we actually want to live happily and see our healthy children run around and grow up in an environment where caring is more important than money. Well, Heritage Forests Campaign allows you to do just that: if you ask them to put you on their mailing list they will send you an alert from time to time asking you to write to the president or your congressman, or whoever is in charge in order to prevent forests from disappearing. Have you read the news lately? 58.5 million acres of national forests were saved from logging. Guess who was behind it? Got it! Besides, it's a lot of fun to write to the president so don't miss an opportunity to be heard, join us by clicking the following banner!
* Food. Eating well is being well. However, in the society we live in money has the last word on everything, even food consumption. Thus, big corporations took control of food production and of our lives as well because we don't have the choice but to eat what is available to eat. Genetically engineered foods emerged as a way to control what we eat and make big bucks at the same time. The problem is that food that are genetically engineered are not as safe as these corporations would like us to believe. Indeed, many scientific studies (not the ones financed by food companies of course!) have shown that the process of introducing specific genes into the DNA sequences of food products is not as reliable as was first thought. This is because one of the main property of DNA is to mutate and recombine randomly, thus leading to unexpected and potentially dangerous new genes. We have evolved for millions of years eating organically grown foods, so our body is prepared to deal with all the bacterias and other bugs they contain. There is therefore no reason to freak out about it, even if food companies try to present this as a major threat to our health. However, gene splicing can create sudden changes in the properties of the foods we eat that we are not ready to face! This can, and already has, caused many problems to humans and the environment as well. The Center fo Food Safety is working really hard to protect us from companies that only care about making more money no matter the consequences. Please click on their icon and help us protect our foods, our health, our right to know, and our lives! (and check out this cool video!)
* Preserving wildlife. In our cultural mythology it is okay to kill animals, especially those that represent a danger to humans. After all, humans are above animals and if they disappeared it would not matter, right? WRONG! All species have slowly evolved in a complex environment where other animals were already present. It is very important to understand this idea, as it means that everytime a new species appears a new equilibrium has to be reached in the environment as room has to be made in the food chain to accomodate each species. Similarly, every time a new species disappears the balance in the eco-system is broken until a new equilibrium is reached. The point is that all the species in an eco-system are extremely interdependent, and we illustrate this by using the term 'web of life' to emphasize this interdependency. Humans have been killing many species to support their endless and destructive growth, assuming it did not matter because they belong to an eco-system above all others where the laws of nature do not work. Yeah right! Humans do belong to the same web of life as any other species, and every species that disappears puts the life of the other species in jeopardy, humans included. Thus, it is very important that humans stop kidding themselves and start respecting other creatures. Of course, people who make money out of destroying species do not understand these concept so we have to shout it in their ear for them to stop messing with OUR lives! Please go visit the Defenders of Wildlife by clicking their logo and see what you can do!
* News. It's hard to keep track of everything that is going on in this global age, and even harder to know what is true or what is benefit-driven propaganda. PlanetArk is an electronic news agency that focuses on environmental issues. Their articles are generally short and informative, which is as good as it gets in matter of news as far as I'm concerned. It may be a bit depressing to realize that the environment is being destroyed as fast as underpaid humans can work, but I think it is important to raise awareness on what the mainstream media (which plays a huge role in brainwashing individuals) does not usually show us. Besides, it may motivate you to finally take actions and let your voice be heard, which I decided to do myself not too long ago. You can go read the last environmental news by clicking the following icon, and you may even opt to receive these news directly in your email inbox every week if you so desire.
* Preservation of Taino indigenous culture and heritage. The Tainos were the first indigenous people met by Christopher Columbus. For the past 500 years, the Tainos have been fighting to preserve their sovereignty and traditonal ways of life. Today, Taino activists are trying to raise awareness about the Taino culture. Roger Atihuibancex is one of them and has a wonderful website where he offers free resources to institutions interested in learning more about the Tainos. He also is the editor of La Voz Del Pueblo Taino (The Voice of The Taino People), the official newsletter of the United Confederation of Taino People.
My personal research also led me to realize that the Tainos have a rich cultural heritage, as you can see on the Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation official tribal government site. Be warned, though; indigenous spirituality and culture is sacred and should NOT be exploited in any way by the wannabe Native Americans of the New Age Movement, or others. Please read what the Taino elders have to say about this issue. I think it is important to learn more about tribal cultures, and to help them preserve their traditional ways of life. Indeed, we have many things to learn from them as they represent both our past and future, being strong examples of sustainable communities and spiritual wholeness. Please spread awareness on these important issues. Bo matum (thank you) and Taino' ti (may the good spirit be with you). [Note:MoonShadowVisions has been nice enough to publish an alternate version of this blurb on their website; check it out!]
* Links related to ecovillages. We've seen the future; its name is ecovillage! Join us in our quest toward a sustainable society.
The Global Ecovillage Network
The Fellowship for Intentional Community
The Federation of Egalitarian Communities
The Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm
Some cool ecovillages I visited: Dancing Rabbit, SandHill Farm, TwinOaks
* Learn about the natural world and its wonders:
Wilderness Awareness School - Offers a year-long residential program in wilderness awareness, among other things.
Tracker School - Tom Brown was trained by a Native American and is one of the very best tracker you could find.
Hollowtop Outdoor Primitive School - Tom Elpel's site offers many useful resources; a must-see.
Teaching Drum Outdoor School - Offers a unique one-year Native Living experience.
Vermont Wilderness Awareness School - very similar to the Wilderness Awareness school with a 4-year program.
Earthwalk Northwest - Run by some old main instrutors at the Tracker School; offers a one-year internship program.
Ancient Pathways semester - For a more academic approach.
Virtual Mountain apprenticeship program -
Jackmountain Bushcraft Earthskills semester -
Hawk Circle Instructor Training program -
Earthways Academy - Spend one year in Hawaii to learn traditional shamanism.
Braintan.com - Learn how to brain tan deer hides to make your own clothing.
Four Seasons Prehistoric Projects - Lynx Vilden leads long-term primitive living experiments. Really cool stuff!!!
|Break free from the shackles of the present society!
Create a culture where happiness, respect, and freedom are not abstract concepts but realities!
It starts with each one of us, so please do your part. By joining forces and creating tribal identities and entities we will make a difference.