Ever since I was a child I have felt the power of a sense of place in influencing well-being. I can remember detailed information about the natural environment I experienced as a child and, more importantly, the feelings that the natural world inspired in me.
When I came across the concept of Ecopsychology it immediately felt right for me. Ecopsychology is a term coined by writer Theodore Roszak and it studies the relationship between human beings and the natural world through ecological and psychological principles. It emphasizes the emotional connection between individuals and the natural world thereby creating greater spiritual and emotional health and remedying alienation from nature and each other.
Ecopsychology has links with therapies and lifestyles based in an appreciation of the grandeur, order and power of Nature.
As we become more and more cocooned in the built environment, in our houses and offices and in cyberspace, we lose an appreciation for the natural world. That separation can be psychologically harmful. Seeing Nature merely as a backdrop or as resource limits and impoverishes us.
Appreciating Nature not only calls us to preserve wild places, it also asks us to consider how the natural world can be a part of urban and suburban spaces and how sustainable lifestyles can be an alternative to agro business.
Check out my blog article on Labyrinths where I explore my feelings about the sacred in Nature, or these poems I wrote about the Golf Club where my grandfather was steward, and where I lived as a young child, and the village of Rudry near my home town of Cardiff, Wales.
“We acknowledge that the Earth and every form of life is sacred”
My Personal Earth Care Covenant
I commit myself to honor and protect our Earth home by doing some or all of the following 18 points:
- Celebrate creation in prayer/meditation time, and spend time with nature
- Eliminate littering, pick up and clean up when I can
- Purchase as many locally grown, organic, and seasonal products as possible. Grow my own and/or participate in a food co-op if feasible
- Buy only what I really need, buy from a second-hand or thrift stores, and/or think of ways to use what I already have to meet the current need
- Buy as many items as possible that contain recycled products
- Avoid products that do not biodegrade
- Avoid excessive packaging and take advantage of reusable shopping bags
- Recycle, donate, compost, and otherwise reuse as many items as possible
- Monitor energy consumption. Weatherize home, adjust the thermostat, and use energy-saving light bulbs and appliances, when feasible, to save energy
- Use a source of clean/renewable electricity for my home electric consumption
- Monitor and reduce water consumption; re-use if possible (ex: cistern)
- Keep my car maintained and tires properly inflated
- Reduce driving by carpooling, planning efficient trips and using mass transit when possible
- Reduce or eliminate use of small gasoline engines such as mowers and blowers
- Choose paints, household and personal care products that are environmentally friendly, containing no or very low levels of ozone-forming Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) wherever possible
- Dispose of toxic materials properly by taking them to approved drop off sites
- Use native plants and organic materials in my yard
- Support our congregation in all attempts to go green by employing energy efficient and renewable energies in its programs and building operations, and by minimizing the use of items such as water bottles, disposable cups, plates, etc
I realize that every little thing I do, every small choice I make each day, adds up and makes a difference. I am grateful for this opportunity to be a steward of our earth home!