Several years ago I gave a talk on Spirituality and Sustainability at a United Nations NGO conference in New York. I realized that what humanity needs now is a set of environmental values that informs our actions. These values will help us manifest a future that sustains humans as well as our fellow creatures. Without these values, we know not what we do.
- I recognize the interconnectedness of all life and acknowledge the consequences of my actions on other species and humans in locations near and distant.
- I realize that human well-being is derived from the well-being of the earth and its elements – soil, trees, food, water, air, weather patterns and biodiversity of species.
- As I coexist with other species, I have a responsibility to protect their habitat and survival. In considering the welfare and survival of other species and how my actions impact them, I protect our collective future.
- I practice conservation and take only what I need of the earth’s finite resources in a sustainable way, keeping in mind the needs and rights of other humans and species.
- I recognize the need for population control, which is dependent upon the education and opportunities available to women and men, as well as the availability of safe birth control methods.
- I actively promote peaceful cooperation among neighbours, cities, regions and countries to maintain the earth’s well-being and resources as our common goal and sacred duty.
- I choose raw materials that are natural, non-toxic, recyclable, renewable and biodegradable. I take responsibility for the waste I generate, and encourage individuals, industries, municipalities, and nations to do the same. I promote the use of waste as food for another product or living process.
- I choose food that is organically grown, not genetically modified, and adopt a primarily vegetarian diet. I support local farmers and food producers to decrease carbon emissions caused by deforestation from animal grazing and transportation of goods.
- I help to preserve our forests and urban trees, recognizing their value as the lungs of the earth. I plant trees and support others in their efforts to preserve forests globally. I commit to consuming fewer tree products.
- I practice energy conservation and support renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal) to minimize global warming.
- I protect the integrity and health of the earth’s rivers, lakes, groundwater, forests, land masses, natural geography, ecosystems and inhabitants.
- I believe the ultimate goal of individuals and nations is to have basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, health and education met, so that attention can be paid to right livelihood, spiritual practices, self-realization, inner joy and peace, cooperation, sharing, equality and service.
- I believe that progress is measured by the well-being of the earth and all its inhabitants as a whole, not simply by the well-being of humans to the detriment of other species.
- I uphold the Precautionary Principle: when an activity raises threat of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, not the public, should bear the burden of proof.
- I live simply.
Thank you Mother Earth, for all you give us.
Sat Dharam Kaur ND 2016 satdharamkaur.com