— by Hope McKenzie — The movement to end our love affair with plastic took a promising step forward last month. Ekoplaza, a Dutch supermarket chain, opened a first-of-its-kind, plastic-free aisle in its Amsterdam branch, dedicating the space to over 700 plastic-free items. The aisle will be a testing ground for new compostable bio-materials, as well as traditional packaging such as glass, metal and cardboard. Currently, the grocer industry accounts for more than 40% of all plastic packaging, which means the majority of our food is being stored in a product not only created from petroleum, but also one with a lifetime that stretches far beyond our own. Plastic pollution is now so...

— by Hope McKenzie — We are feeding our fleece to the fish. Microfibers have been found along shorelines from the poles to the equator. Oceans, shorelines, riverbanks, streambeds and lakes; none have escaped our penchant for inexpensive, synthetic clothing. The small, plastic fibers are shed primarily by synthetic polyester, which is the world’s dominant synthetic fiber, with more than 34 million tons produced annually. Synthetic polyester is created using a chemical reaction known as polymerization, which involves coal, petroleum, air and water. The polymers are extruded while hot into long fibers and then spun and drawn into thread, which allows them to be made into a wide...

— by Richard Landry — By taking three quick moments for self-reflection every day, we can cultivate greater joy, resilience, and effectiveness in our work for Life. There’s an old Buddhist proverb: “Good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end.” This somewhat enigmatic phrase provides a powerful clue about how to live a life of joy and resilience in the face of very difficult odds, which is the place where we, as activists in the service of Life, find ourselves. Working to save animals and habitat might feel at times like soul-draining work, given how little those in power seem to care about these matters, which affect us all and generations to come. In...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — As we enter the New Year, we are supported by the energy of all the people making resolutions. Surveys say half don’t keep them – but half do! This is a fine time to examine deeply how we want to live our lives and how we want to help our Earth. The first step is to take a personal inventory. To the extent we are disconnected from ourselves or nature we cannot be of lasting help, because nature works in deep energetic flows which require unblocked connections, within us, and outside of us; from breathing freely and deeply to unblocked streams and wildlife corridors, the principle is the same. In the book Savage Grace, authors Andrew Harvey and...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — In the book Savage Grace, authors Andrew Harvey and Carolyn Baker suggest dedicating one day to taking a personal inventory of ways in which we are disconnected from ourselves, others, and the Earth. I like this. The focus on our disconnections, which we all have and even more so in these rushed, stressed, complicated times, is really important. We can’t make good personal or environmental decisions from a disconnected state. Or even enjoy life to its fullest. Then what is the next step? I get dozens of self-help offers on-line on a regular basis from multiple different experts but that is not where help lies. Help lies within ourselves. Yet most...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Many religions ask that supporters tithe 10% of their income to support their good works, but from the Earth, which supports us and all Life, we often take and do not give back. It would make sense to give back to the living systems that support us and all life. Everything we have, everything, comes from the Earth. There is an initiative called 1% for the Planet. This is good. But it is not enough given the size of the crises, and given what we receive. A ten percent tithe seems a reasonable balance.     Taking without returning also costs us in other ways. Generosity and appreciation are qualities that dramatically increase our quality of life, from...