I am a firm believer that spirituality and sustainability are connected.  In fact, I am most at peace when I am out enjoying the beautiful bounty that our Earth offers – from hiking, camping, or simply taking photographs, my soul is filled simply by spending time outdoors.  Each time, I come away with an appreciation and deep desire to do my part to protect the waters, flora and fauna.

We cannot take these gifts for granted.

Connecting spirituality with sustainability (image from kevindooley on Flickr)

Connecting spirituality with sustainability (image from kevindooley on Flickr)

Sustainability is the practice of living in a conscientious manner; of not taking more than you give.  Many people associate the idea with living simply, so that others may simply live (thank you Mahatma Ghandi for that inspiring quote).  The definitions of the term vary, depending on the source.  Compare the Environmental Protection Agency‘s view:

The U.S. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 declared as its goal a national policy to “create and maintain conditions under which [humans] and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.”

with this one from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

1 : capable of being sustained
2 a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture> b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>

While “sustainability” may be an over-used term these days, much like “green,” or “eco-friendly,” when it is connected to spirituality – a belief of a higher power – it can be infused with deeper meaning.

Onto which path will sustainability take you?

Onto which path will sustainability take you? (image from Samuel Mann on Flickr)

I was delighted to discover the works of best-selling author, Marianne Williamson.  This inspirational woman has connected spirituality with sustainability, and frequently publishes and lectures on the topic.  Are you part of the 11% that can make a difference by your sustainable actions?  Do you have the courage to look deep inside yourself and effect a change for the greater good?

We truly must believe that we can make a difference in preserving the Earth for future generations.  Each time you choose a reusable canvas shopping bag instead of plastic, and whenever you purchase products with minimal packaging or from fair trade organizations, you are connecting to something bigger than yourself.  Regardless of your religious views, spirituality is feeling your part in the oneness of humanity.  Sustainability is honoring the greater good, choosing to take less than you give.

How do you see spirituality and sustainability connected in your own life?  I’d love to read your tips and comments below.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Taking Responsibility for my Consciousness with Eckhart Tolle and Breathe and Meditate with Marcome, Improve your health with meditation, The sound of Silence, Ambient music therapy, Treat your body like a temple.