Watching the news can be a disheartening and overwhelming experience in this day and age. But there’s plenty each and every one of us can do to turn the tide and start moving in the right direction. Here, we share nine ways in which you, too, can start saving the Earth.
If we wish to have a positive impact on the world, it’s essential we take some deliberate action.
Maybe you already took some action on Earth Day, on April 22nd. But if not, don’t think it’s too late today. Essentially, every day is Earth Day.
This article is meant to help you foster the belief that your actions matter – as they do – and to remind you that despite the fact that the environmental and humanitarian problems may seem overwhelming, you and I can have a significant positive impact.
And we can start today.
Earth Day: End Plastic Pollution
This year’s Earth Day campaign called for action to help end plastic pollution. And for good reason.
Earlier this month, another alarming news item was heavily shared amongst its readers: A sperm whale was found dead on the southern coast of Spain, killed by the 29 kilos of plastic in its stomach, authorities say. During an autopsy on the 10-metre long marine mammal, experts found plastic bags, fragments of nets and ropes and a jerry can. And unfortunately, this whale is just exemplary of the detrimental effects plastic has on our environment.
Amount of plastic in the world’s oceans set to triple
A recent report for the UK government concluded the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans is set to triple within a decade.
The authors of the report suggested efforts to reduce plastic pollution should focus on preventing it from entering the sea, introducing new biodegradable plastics, and public awareness campaigns about marine protection.
“We would need 4.5 planets to sustain the human race if we keep living like this,” says Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley. Vishen, who was already highly aware of the negative effects of plastic, recently found himself even more appalled by our habitual and unnecessary usage of the artificial substance, during his stay in a hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. “Every day they would leave a plastic bottle even though I wouldn’t consume it. The tap water in Phoenix is perfectly drinkable. I did not need the bottled water.”
Automatically we consume plastic bottled water, without even the need for it.
And this points to something that’s at root of most (if not all) of the problems that our environment faces today: unconscious behavior of individuals like you and me, and corporations and governments alike.
But instead of pointing fingers at each other, which happens in many debates surrounding ecological issues and often leads to very little positive individual action, we present you with nine practical ideas.
These ideas can help you bring more consciousness to your actions and subsequently, raise the level of consciousness of others. They serve to remind you of your personal power to make a significant difference: by raising awareness, taking physical action, and raising consciousness.
9 Effective Ways to Start Saving the Earth – Today
3 ways to start raising awareness
1. Get clear on the one cause you resonate most deeply with
In order for you and me to change anything, we should first have thoughts about it. Everything that exists in the world as we know it today, once originated from a simple thought, like the co-founder of Google X, Tom Chi, reminded us during A-fest Mexico in 2016. (You can watch his full talk on how we’re all connected here).
The chair you’re sitting on, the screen you’re reading this article on, the internet that makes this information accessible for you. All of it actualized because of ideas in the minds of people that are here today, or were here before us.
So why would you and I believe that our thoughts or ideas to make the world a better place could not be materialized?
The only thing that stops us from solving the problems the Earth and humanity faces today, is the belief that we can’t.
Ask yourself: What’s the one thing that I feel most strongly about regarding the state of the Earth that I would love to change for the better?
What’s the one thing that makes your heart sink just thinking about it – seeing, knowing, how much hurt and pain this one thing is causing you, me, or any other sentient beings?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the drama and catastrophes around us. But who are we helping by feeling down and out after watching the news?
Emily Fletcher’s talk about media-induced stress really helped me personally change the way I consume the news, and become more mindful of the information I allow to enter my mind. Because let’s be honest: does the feeling of unease we get when we see the results of war, poverty, violence, and pollution lead us to take positive daily action? In most cases, it doesn’t.
Here, we propose to take a moment to decide which cause you could contribute to, by giving it more thought, opening up your mind to potential solutions, and taking action.
2. Keep learning
Reading this article right now already shows that you’re actively looking for ways to learn how you can make a difference. Keep at it.
Once you know which cause you stand for, educate yourself. Study what you can do on a daily basis to make a positive contribution.
Most people in the world today know a little about a lot. What if you would focus on a specific ecological or humanitarian cause and became a specialist on the topic?
Be on the frontier. Feed your mind. Explore new ideas and methods.
Everybody has his or her own unique gifts and talents. It is our responsibility to discover our own and bring forth whatever it is that we have to offer, big or small.
You’ve only got it to give it. You only get to keep what you give away.– Reverend Michael Beckwith
The more knowledge and skills you acquire, the more opportunities you will find to serve your cause.
So if you haven’t already, schedule some dedicated time for learning each day right now – it can be as much as 2 hours or as little as 15 minutes. What matters most is how frequently you work on it. Make it habitual.
3. Spread the word
Today, and every day moving forward. Dare to take a stand and talk about that number one cause you’d like to see resolved in the world.
Share your knowledge on social media. Share it with your friends, your colleagues, and whoever else you meet. Let the world know what you stand for and why.
Become that person who is known for caring about something. Find your voice if you need to, and speak up.
One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.– Malala Yousafzai
3 Ways to Start Taking Physical Action
1. Stop the plastic craze: there is no throwing “away”
Sometimes I throw something “away” and then I realize “oh right, there IS no AWAY! There is just THE EARTH AND THE OCEAN!— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) 25 February 2015
Our constant busyness and search for happiness outside of ourselves seems to lead to many unconscious decisions. Especially when it comes to food and its packaging.
Americans alone use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
And it’s important for each and everyone of us to understand that no effort to diminish the usage of plastic is too trivial.
That’s why Vishen Lakhiani decided to start a 7 day journey today, to eliminate plastic from his life as much as possible. And I am making this conscious effort myself now too.
This is not an easy endeavour though – I have already come to realize. Even when I decided to change my habit of taking food to go, and eat in instead to avoid the unnecessary waste, I was served my buns on a plastic disposable plate in a coffee shop. Not much of a win there.
Vishen: “I am making a conscious log of every instance of plastic I use and of what we use as a family and I intend to do this every day of my life from now on.”
“I invite the community to join me for the upcoming 7 days. We do not have to be this irresponsible,” he says.
Together, we can push humanity forward in the right direction.
2. Shop with the environment in mind – buy less
This one is huge for the obvious reason; corporations may not listen to our complaints, but they do listen to our wallets.
The main priority of corporations is to make a profit. Their success is not judged by the quality of their product but based on how profitable they are. So if you don’t agree with how they operate, the waste they produce, or how environmentally irresponsible they are, simply don’t buy their product.
Explore the concept of minimalism even if it were only to bring more consciousness to your own patterns of consumption.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who help millions of people make less and better buying decisions with The Minimalists, pose six questions worth asking before spending money on anything:
- Who am I buying this for?
- Will this add value to my life?
- Can I afford it?
- Is this the best use of this money?
- What’s the actual cost?
- Would the best version of me buy this?
Especially question number 6 is likely to help you make buying decisions that are more environmentally friendly and not focused on your own personal benefit alone.
And don’t accept plastic bags to pack your groceries, new clothes or goodies. Why would you? Bring your own bag and buy less stuff you don’t need and are likely to throw “away” again.
3. Organize a local clean-up session
Ready to take your physical action to the next level? Team up with other people who care about the planet we inhabit and organize an event for you local community.
Last year, during Mindvalley U, the Mindvalley event that transforms a city into a global campus for one whole month, the participants collectively cleared up the city of Barcelona by picking up trash from the street.
And if you want some help organizing a session like this: on September 15, 2018, is it World Cleanup Day. Visit the site to see how you can join their movement. Or download the World Cleanup Day app and start mapping illegal waste.
All the data collected by users worldwide will be visualized on a global trash map to initiate worldwide clean-up events on September 15.
And if it sounds like too much work to organize such an event yourself, consider picking up the trash that other people leave on the street either way. Or on the beach. Or in the park.
You don’t even have to lecture anyone. Just live by example.
3 Ways to Start Raising Consciousness
To make a significant positive contribution to the world we live in, tuning in with the agenda’s of our souls is the fastest way to start. Meditation brings forth peace, connection, and clarity on the actions that are most needed to better our own lives and that of others.
So if you only have time to take one of the actions presented in this article, choose this one.
Trying to find happiness in a place outside of ourselves does not work. And meditation is a means to get clear on that and then make better, more conscious decisions in the world.
Emily Fletcher, one of the world’s leading experts in meditation, explained how meditation will help us save the world in a recent Mindvalley Podcast episode. She explained how reaching outside of ourselves to find happiness in any form is an addiction. And our need to consume disposable things that are wrapped in plastic stem from that.
“We’re all so busy trying to make money that we grab a plastic to go container. We’re all so busy achieving that we’re getting our coffee in a plastic to go cup. And then we’re so caffeinated that we can’t sleep. So we oversleep our alarm and we don’t pack our food. So we consume, and throw away. We consume, and throw away.”
Meditation is the doorway to a much needed change in the level of consciousness of the people on our planet.
And the way we consume is not the only reason why we need meditation now more than ever. As Tom Chi puts it, “if we don’t advance consciousness faster than we advance technology, we are done.”
Tom Chi explained during a talk he gave at Mindvalley’s HQ last year how technology is getting more and more powerful while the level of consciousness is far behind. He gave the example of the advancement in tactile missiles: in the past you would’ve needed a $2.5M asset to build one, but right now you can buy an industrial drone for $1000, buy explosives for another $4000, fly directly above your target and destroy it.
“It’s about the level of consciousness. If you can use drones to replace a $2.5M tactical missile then you can also use drones for reforestation and to turn back climate change.”
If the power of technology keeps on doubling continuously and in the same period of time-consciousness only gets 20% better, we are done.– Tom Chi
2. Live with purpose
Living your quest is finding your voice, finding the song only you can sing, off-key or not.– Lisa Nichols
Another way to raise consciousness is by living your life with purpose.
So many of us in the world today are in search of their quest and purpose. And that is beautiful. Because this is a sign that people are waking up from a state in which they mainly adapt to society as it is, and move into a state in which they question what’s imposed upon them and start contributing to forming and shaping that society for the better.
When you live with purpose, you live consciously, and you’re clear on what is the best way in which you, with your own unique talents and abilities, can best serve humanity and the planet.
And when you live with purpose, you automatically give others permission to do the same, we learn from the people like Lisa Nichols, one of the world’s top speaking coaches and founder and CEO of Motivating the Masses.
What can you do with your life, so that your life becomes infectious to someone else?, Lisa asks in her A-Fest talk on what it means to live your quest. If you live your purpose, you give what you have to give in full glory and authenticity. And this will inspire others to do the same.
And the one purpose of life we all share, says Neale Donald Walsch, author of the best-selling book series Conversations With God, is “to recreate ourselves anew in the highest version of the grandest vision we ever had about ourselves.”
If we live our lives in line with that purpose, we can’t do anything other but contribute to the best of our ability to our society and environment.
3. Love all beings – we’re all connected
An awakened species sees the unity of all life and lives into it. Humans in an unawakened state often deny it or ignore it.– Lisa Nichols
“I was told that the world’s problems would go away overnight if we simply embrace the truth: that all things are one,” says Neale in our latest interview with him about his mission to Awaken The Species.
We are invited to love all beings unconditionally. When we move into understanding people, regardless of how they show up in the world, and rid ourselves of the judgements we hold over them, we can love without limitation.
It is important for us to understand that “not a single one of us is more special than another,” says Neale.
The opposite way of thinking – that there are some people “more special” than others – is, in fact, what has caused humanity many problems since the dawn of time. It has caused people to believe that some are more deserving than others, that some have more rights than others, and that there is reason for discriminative or seclusive behavior. Even reason for violence and war. And – of course – none of that is true.
When we asked Neale what he considered the most urgent crises we’re facing on the Earth today, he said without hesitation that it’s our false sense of separation.
The idea of separation is the biggest crisis facing humanity today, because it produces all the other crises.
And the very fact that we are not separate makes every little thing we do to save the Earth significantly.
So let’s install some new habits to raise awareness, raise consciousness and take physical action. Today, and every day.
How will you start saving the Earth and make a significant difference?
About Earth Day
On the first Earth Day, 48 years ago in the US, millions of people took to the streets to protest against the negative ecological impact of 150 years of industrial development. Since then, Earth Day is a global event that takes place annually and brings environmental groups and the general public together to raise issues, increase public awareness and take action.
It’s become the largest civic-focused day of action in the world, now reaching and engaging more than 1 billion people in 192 countries.