This Thanksgiving, as we are filled with gratitude for Pachamama’s bounty, and beauty, let’s remember the many ways we can fulfill our responsibilities as stewards of this planet.
It can be hard, sometimes, not to get discouraged by the overwhelming quantity of contaminants in our environment—and to think that, as individuals who work for a living, have families to raise, and lives to lead, we can only do so much.
Instead of stressing about the vast island of non-biodegradable junk that already floats in the ocean (and the local dump, for example), we commit to not add to it, to teach our children and community to do likewise, and, to make every effort to reduce the non-biodegradables we bring into our home, and reuse/recycle the rest.
We organize family or neighborhood excursions to our local beach, park, forest or playground to pick up whatever trash we come across.
We take shorter showers or shower with our partner, pets or small children.
We walk, bike, carpool or take public transportation whenever possible. If we must drive, we make sure our car is well-maintained and tires properly inflated. We drive smarter—60 mph instead of 70 mph saves gas in the long run, as does taking it easy on the brakes and gas pedal.
We compost and invite our neighbors to add their waste to our heap, then share the resulting fertilizer with them.
We support stores and companies who subscribe to our ethics, respect the environment and compensate their workers well.
We buy locally grown produce and take reusable bags whenever we shop.
We commit to eating more vegetables and fruit, and fewer animal products.
We adopt an animal (or two) and have them spayed or neutered immediately.
We plant trees—fruit, flower or shade, they require little upkeep, feed wildlife and help purify the air.
If we can, we keep a bee hive—it’s rewarding and makes a huge contribution to local bee colonies. Universities and bee keeping groups are excellent sources of information and support.
We volunteer or donate to groups that are making a difference on a small scale, or fighting for the planet and its animals on an international scale.
We vote wisely and write letters to the officeholders who represent us at the local, state and national levels, demanding that issues important to our planet be addressed responsibly.
We practice living consequently. We are fully conscious of the impact of each thought, intention, and action we take and we take care to make them positive and healing instead of selfish and destructive.
As shamans we have a solemn responsibility to our lineage, and to Pachamama. When we took Earthkeeper vows, we agreed to join in the creation of the kind of earth that we want our children’s children to inherit—a world where the rivers are clean, the air is pure, where we live in peace with each other, and where beauty and joy predominate; a planet where the experiment of life can continue in extraordinary and undreamt-of ways.