I remember being a young girl and coloring signs that said, 'reduce, reuse, recycle'. I remember when I was in high school and gave a presentation on saving the rainforest. I actually got made fun of for how much I cared. Bullying wasn't really a thing then, so I took it like a champ and kept on. Other kids were so disconnected from the problem and thought that our actions didn't amount to anything worthwhile. I remember experimenting with tofu recipes in college after reading, Your Heart Your Planet, because I was committed to both my health and taking actions toward environmental responsibility. And at my first internship, I started an office paper recycling program, coordinating all of the new bins (reused paper boxes of course), the new behaviors, the trash collector to pick up an extra task, and arranging the city to conveniently pick it all up. I was a 'new earth' CEO in the making indeed, with compassionate delegation efforts and heart felt enthusiasm for rallying behind a cause!
To this day, I care deeply about the lungs of our planet, the wildlife and indigenous villages that depend on it, and all the life it supports. When I went to Peru, I saw firsthand how people lived with the land, not on it or for it, but with it. There was a flow of knowing how to work with it, how to support themselves by using its resources wisely. When I went to India, I saw so much devotion to Mother Ganga, the sacred Ganges River that plays a universal role of mother, accepting all and forgiving all. To many, there was a deep understanding of how she and the rest of the earth support life, despite her slowly dying from careless pollution.
Generally speaking, we are so disconnected from the results of our actions. Our habits are finely tailored around convenience and carelessness is normalized by mass consciousness. In full disclosure, my actions are far from perfect. I waste energy. I forget to recycle certain items. I occasionally drink from plastic bottles. But in my heart, I care so much. And I do make an effort.
As a small business, it can feel daunting to give to charitable organizations, but I think it's so important for businesses to operate this way. The world runs on commerce and capitalism, and as merchants, we have so much influence. Giving back creates an opportunity for others to indirectly give while getting something they want. It creates new pathways for charitable support. And as a buyer, YOU have a lot of influence in how you spend your dollar. Commerce is an energetic exchange that trades currency for value. If part of that currency can be channeled towards goodwill, together we benefit. The world benefits. This is the way of the new paradigm, the new earth.
My Align with Love program is designed to create these opportunities to have a positive impact. I recently changed the program from rotating the causes I support to supporting one flagship cause. It's a cause that I've cared about my whole life, the earth and more specifically, the rainforest.
The Rainforest Foundation US has a mission to protect the rainforests of Central and South America by working with the indigenous communities that call them home. They work on-the-ground to secure land rights or indigenous people. They strengthen indigenous land security and train indigenous communities to use technology to protect their forests. By investing directly in indigenous communities, they connect people who are deeply motivated to conserve their ancestral lands with the tools, training, and resources necessary to protect their rainforests.
Why it matters - excerpt from the Rainforest Foundation website:
Human life depends on our rainforests. They are vital to the stability of our climate. Rainforests are carbon sinks that surpass our most sophistocated technology; they absorb 30% of the world's CO2 emissions each year.
Rainforests are also home to more than half of the world's animal and plant species. They are a constant source of life-saving medicines. Millions of indigenous peoples depend on the forest for their survival, including our planet's last uncontacted cultures. Your actions matter.
Through your purchase, you help support this cause. By hosting a pop-up shop or becoming a brand ambassador, you help us reach even more people and have an even bigger impact! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more involved. Let's be the change.