The Swedenborgian Environment
SWEDENBORG AND THE ENVIRONMENT
[this page originally prepared by Susan Wood-Ashton]
Think about your home environment and see if there are things you can change that can make a difference. The the greatest thing that happens is that we all $AVE MONEY in addition to saving the enviroment.
What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start?
"Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For
many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day." Sen. Gaylord Nelson
Find out if the air quality in your community may be endangering the health of your children. There are many sources of information on air quality including federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, state and local air quality officials, the American Lung Association, and even local news sources, which often include reports on air quality as part of the daily weather report.
Contact your elected officials and ask them to strengthen clean air laws to reduce air pollution from coal-burning power plants. Your local Representative and your state’s Senators have the ability to pass laws that can push these dirty power plants to clean up their acts. Local elected officials like your mayor and city council can also put pressure on federal officials to pass stronger clean air laws.
Sponsor an asthma awareness event for your community. Possible resources for this type of event include local hospitals or clinics, your local chapter of the American Lung Association, or local public health agencies.
Find out where your elected officials stand on clean air issues by attending town hall meetings and writing them letters. You can also look for information from national and state groups that track the environmental voting records of elected officials such as the League of Conservation Voters or your state conservation voter league.
Register to vote and vote for the candidates that will protect your community’s air from pollution.
Recycling is the third R of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Recycling means taking a product or material at the end of its useful life and turning it into a usable raw material to make another product. This section provides information about how to recycle, why to recycle and what you can recycle. The Earth 911 green recycling locator box can also help you find where you can recycle by entering a product and your location.
RECYCLING FACTS AND FIGURES:
In 1999, recycling and composting activities prevented about 64 million tons of material from ending up in landfills and incinerators. Today, this country recycles 32.5 percent of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years.
While recycling has grown in general, recycling of specific materials has grown even more drastically: 52 percent of all paper, 31 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles, 45 percent of all aluminum beer and soft drink cans, 63 percent of all steel packaging, and 67 percent of all major appliances are now recycled.
Twenty years ago, only one curbside recycling program existed in the United States, which collected several materials at the curb. By 2006, about 8,660 curbside programs had sprouted up across the nation. As of 2005, about 500 materials recovery facilities had been established to process the collected materials.
Adapted from Coming Back to Life
Insights from systems theory transform our perceptions of our planet. James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis studied the chemical balances of our atmosphere and discovered that they are maintained within the narrow limits necessary for life, by self-regulating processes. These are the hallmark of a living system.
Thankfully, Lovelock did not call this hypothesis, soon to become a theory, the "hypothesis of self-regulative processes of the biosphere" or something which would have made it much more respectable to his fellow scientists. Instead he listened to his friend, novelist William Golding, who suggested he call it Gaia for the early Greek goddess of the earth, thereby catching people's poetic imagination. Like the Apollo photo of Earth from space, this image of Earth as a whole living being has transformed the way many of us now think of our planet home. No longer a dead rock we live upon, the Earth is a living process in which we participate. Earth, as a home for life, is a being that we can both harm and help to heal. Earth takes on a presence in our consciousness, not unlike the presence of gods and goddesses in the lives of our early ancestors.