“Therefore strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers.”—‘Abdu’l-Bahá
To help all of us incorporate into our lives actions that treat our physical surroundings with the respect they deserve, the Wilmette Institute has asked Christine Muller (faculty for its Climate Change and Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind courses) to give us monthly suggestions that will help each of us be more socially and environmentally responsible in our lives. We hope that, as we make these suggestions part of our habits, we will collectively be contributing to the elimination of climate change.—THE EDITORS
by Christine Muller
MARCH: Eat Less Beef! One benefit of the Bahá’í Fast (March 1–19, 2017) is that we more often think about people who suffer from hunger. Did you know that you can help reduce hunger all year long by eating less beef? Beef production requires about ten times more land area to feed a person than a plant based diet. In addition, it takes about 2,500 gallons of water to grow the grain for one pound of beef. Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions from cows are a very significant factor in global warming which causes erratic weather patterns, more severe droughts, floods, and storms. All these impacts on the climate are harmful to agriculture and, therefore, increase malnourishment. For more information, see: http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/at-a-glance-brochure/
FEBRUARY: Do a Home Energy Audit! An energy audit is the best first step to make your home more energy efficient. It usually includes checking your home for leakage, assessing its insulation and heating system, and evaluating your lighting and appliances for energy efficiency. In some states such as Florida and Rhode Island, the government or public utility companies offer attractive incentives for energy audits or for energy-saving home improvements. Of course, using less energy will save you money, but more important, it reduces environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and, therefore, lessens your contribution to global warming. As science tells us, climate change causes much human suffering. Thus, when you use less energy, you help reduce human suffering.
JANUARY: Search as Service! Instead of using Google to search for an answer to your question, use the search engine https://www.ecosia.org/. You will get the answer you need. But, more important, Ecosia will plant a tree for every search you make (using 80 percent of its revenue for the project). Forests are important for biodiversity and water security. They are also good for the climate (they absorb carbon dioxide) and make for happy people. In nine months, one Baha’i “planted” 507 trees and counting.