-- by Chelsea Carson -- The summer solstice has passed and millions of us are heading out to nature, which is a wonderful thing. However, millions of us treading outside can make a huge negative impact on the wild lands and the living beings we are there to enjoy. From flowers reaching their lovely heads to the sun, their whole being focused on setting seed and perpetuating their species, to the animals we so want to see. Imagine if thousands of people came walking through your home during a weekend. You would want then to be thoughtful. Impacts are inevitable but consciously minimizing impacts is our choice. Nature is not a backdrop for human activities, though we may perceive it that...

-- by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. -- We often feel powerless in the face of all that is happening on the Earth, but it is surprising how doing one good deed can help us feel, and be, powerful.  Our action can grow in surprising ways once we have started along that way of thinking; begun that flow of energy. A sample suggestion: make a sanctuary or altar for yourself.  It can be any size, anywhere: a desk top, a window sill, a corner of a room, a place under a tree.  Make it a practice to go daily.  At that sanctuary you can connect with yourself first.  From there ideas for action can begin to form. On a more immediately practical level, make a sanctuary for an animal or a plant, be it...

— by Chelsea Carson — To understand how we, as individuals, can positively impact the Earth, we must first be aware of the impact of our own actions. We cannot change our behaviors if we don't understand the effect they have on the world around us. Beginning to question our daily actions, and making choices that promote positive change, rather than automatically following what others are doing; or purchasing what is available without questioning if we need it, is an excellent first step to becoming an active guardian of the Earth. * For example, when using a piece of paper, reflect on the journey this paper took, all the way back to the living community that...

Every evening I sit at my desk writing. For the past several months, out of the desk drawer, through a neatly chewed hole, pops a little nose, whiskers and bright black eyes. A mouse has moved into the drawer. Its not really good to have a mouse in a house. I set a live trap for her. Night after night, week after week, month after month she ignored it. Peanut butter; cheese, it mattered not. She had this cozy home in my drawer filled with papers. She stayed warm through the bitter winter. The drawer seemed to suit her just fine. Over time I sort of looked forward to her popping out, looking at me - then quick as a ghostly shadow she was across my desk on a journey to somewhere in the nether...

— by Dr. Ellis Jones — In each edition of The Better World Shopping Guide I compile a list of The Top Ten Things To Change. Number 1 on that list is (and has always been) to change your bank. I know, I know - this is not an easy decision. Most of us have limited options in our town or city. Its a part of our routine. Its asking a lot. Having said that, it makes a HUGE difference, particularly if you're at a big bank currently. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, and the like are some of the worst rated companies period, for their overall social and environmental impacts. Between bailouts, lobbyists, and financing political campaigns, big banks are at the top of the list of...

Each month we have will a suggestion for something we can do and invite your responses, ideas and actions. Ours will come from the basic principle of spiritual ecology, that all Life is sacred and our actions should reflect that principle. Thus we combine the spiritual and the practical into loving action for our Earth. Love always works well... — by Dr. Ellis Jones — Around ten years ago, I wrote The Better World Shopping Guide, part of my attempt to do something good in this world. Now in its 5th Edition, it represents the end result of a long-term research project to create a comprehensive, up-to-date, reliable account of the social and environmental responsibility of every...