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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

October 2011 Letter from the Publisher

As I threw away the disposable dishware at a café in New York City when I was visiting The Big Apple this past summer, I was again struck by the thought of the immense challenge we all face in adapting our everyday activities and systems to live more sustainably. Standing there among the city’s 8 million inhabitants magnified my perception of the problem.

While wandering the city, I thought of Colin Beavan and his yearlong family project to go off the energy grid and attempt to live a zero-impact lifestyle in the heart of Manhattan. I looked at bike-riders closely while touring to see if I could spot him. For one year, this family of three lived without carbon-emitting transportation, electricity and consumer-type shopping. They subsisted on locally grown foods, while creating no trash. Beavan documented it all in a blog and video. Utlimately, he published No Impact Man in 2009 and followed up with an award-winning documentary of the same name.

Inspired by his actions, I attempted my own one-week carbon cleanse (available at NoImpactMan.com), only to come up short on commitment. It just seemed too inconvenient that week…in the meantime I have my worksheets and I’m taking baby steps with a lot more awareness.

The life work of actress and eco-activist Daryl Hannah also has inspired me. I Googled her latest life-statement in August, when she was arrested outside the White House during a sit-in protesting U.S. reliance on fossil fuels and the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project, stretching from Canada to the U.S.Gulf Coast.

It wasn’t easy to catch up with her for our Natural Awakenings interview, “Loving a Sustainable Life,”. Between taking action from coast to coast and tending to her off-the-grid organic farm in the Rocky Mountains, Hannah’s a busy lady. But like Beavan, she believes that “action is vital.”

Fortunately, so do other planet warriors, including the Southwest Floridians we interviewed for this Green Living on a Blue Planet issue. I am glad to see these pioneers leading the way, setting an example for us all.

Many eco-warriors discover that retreating from an overload of modern conveniences and other environmentally destructive behaviors serves up surprising benefits. They report an increased sense of personal fulfillment, health and happiness, along with more time with family and friends.

For even more inspiration, turn to Kathleen Dean Moore’s thought-provoking essay, “Individual Integrity: Embracing the Moral Imperative to Protect Earth.” When more than 80 writers, thinkers, leaders, visionaries and activists answered a single question: “Do we have a moral obligation to take action to protect the future of a planet in peril?” their responses cite individual, yet universal, reasons why we all care enough to do the right thing, however inconvenient it is.

Happy eco-living,

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

Note: For our interview with Colin Beavan, search “No Impact Man” at swfl.NaturalAwakeningsMag.com.

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