Image courtesy of Rebekah Radice
We all have the power to make change towards the future that we want to see. That change begins with being conscious consumers, especially in the current generation that has grown up with unprecedented consumerism and a “gimme more” mentality.
We, as a society, need to not only wake up to the reality that we are living in, but fight for a better, more sustainable future. We all have the power to make a difference with our words and our actions.
Finding Hope in Indigenous Struggles
Despite the plethora of social challenges and environmental problems we currently face as a society, hope should not be lost. With a focused effort to reshape the dream of the future we will begin to see changes for the better. The values and lifestyles of many indigenous peoples are a great source for ways to live more harmoniously with Mother Nature. But perhaps the most powerful example indigenous peoples offer those of us in modern world right now is how to join together and take a stand for the future we want.
For example, the Achuar people have successfully kept oil development and logging off of their land, fighting back to preserve the purity of their section of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Their neighbors, the Huaorani people are dying off due to destruction of their lands, and are fighting for legal title to their land to prevent further damage to it and to guarantee their right to survive.
The Sarayaku, another indigenous people (a Kichwa community) in the Ecuadorian Amazon, are fighting Chevron for retribution for degradation of their land and water by an oil pipeline built in the 1980s.
The Sarayaku case is a particular symbol of hope, as the Judicial Secretary of State of Ecuador recently stated that the government would discuss retribution for the damages inflicted on the community. In addition, the ruling could completely change the way indigenous communities are consulted and informed about development projects in their territories.
Turning Personal Change into Global Change
The time is now for all of us, as individuals and as communities to take a conscious effort to live a more sustainable lifestyle and advocate for a more sustainable society. Making change begins with all the little things that we can do as an individual to reduce our impact on the environment. Many of these steps are very familiar to us by now, like using public transportation or biking to work, eating locally grown foods, recycling and composting, and being a more conscious consumer overall.
However, as our indigenous allies are demonstrating, there’s a huge power in taking the next step to turn our individual actions into a collective stand for the future.
Looking specifically at the example of modes of transportation, we know that gasoline emissions are bad for the environment and that purchasing gasoline helps fuel the incredibly high national demand for petroleum. Furthermore, that demand leads to greater extraction of natural resources and a more rapid destruction of the surrounding environment. Breaking fossil fuel dependence begins with you, and will also help you save money as gas prices soar.
What Good Can Your Money Do?
What if the money you saved could benefit more than just your bank account? One way to do it is to consciously reallocate the money that you save on gas towards the future we all want, as a donation to further environmental advocacy efforts.
Not only would you be reducing your support of life-destroying activities, you would be building the life-affirming systems and structures that will replace the old paradigm!
Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is
Our work is all dedicated to furthering this mission and includes assisting the Achuar in preventing oil development on their territory and promoting Rights of Nature.
By reallocating $10 or $20 (or another amount of your choosing) each month to The Pachamama Alliance, you will become one of many socially-conscious Global Citizens. You can be happy and proud that you are using your money to bring forth a just, sustainable, and thriving world!