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Reflect On Yesterday's Mission

Before moving on to Mission #5, take a moment to reflect on yesterday's mission. What was it like to be mindful of how we use energy every day in ways that often go unnoticed? Were you surprised? Do you feel inspired to reduce your carbon footprint and implement green energies in your home? How might you help your community transition to clean, renewable energy that goes beyond coal and oil? Report and share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map!

Our fifth mission, Agents, is to live wisely by reducing our consumption and dramatically lightening our impact on planet Earth.

“Each of us in the U.S. is targeted with over 3,000 advertisements a day. We see more advertisements in one year than people 50 years ago saw in a lifetime. And if you think about it, what’s the point of an ad except to make us unhappy with what we have? So 3,000 times a day we are told our hair is wrong, our skin is wrong, our clothes are wrong, our furniture is wrong, our cars are wrong - we are wrong - but it can all be made right if we just go shopping.”
-Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff

In the Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard explains how our material economy has come to be what it is today, and the disastrous consequences it has had on our environment and lives. Since about the 1950s, the national happiness of the United States has steadily been going down as rates of consumption and house size have been increasing. Could there be a connection here?

Today’s mission is really about going from being considered a consumer back to our natural birthrights as brilliant and valued human beings!

When we recognize that we are already whole, just the way we are, we don’t need the latest products to give us an external sense of worth. By recognizing this, we buy less, have a lighter footprint on the planet, and focus on the things that truly make us happy... Things like friends and family, learning new skills, giving back to the world, and appreciating meaningful experiences.

Here are some ways to reduce our waste while increasing our connection with others:

  • Join a gifting community for free like “Buy Nothing”, NextDoor, or Freecycle to begin sharing things you no longer need with others instead of throwing them away!
  • Instead of buying something new, see if you can buy it used! Gifting communities are often great places to ask for something, and often times, you will be given what you need for free.
  • Start a community “tool library” where members contribute the tools they have so that together everyone has what they need. (It makes little sense for every house to have a shovel when you only need it once every 3 years!)
  • Recycle and compost whenever you can! Encourage your family and friends to do the same! Relabel your garbage can with a sign that says “landfill” as a reminder that nothing can really be thrown “away”.
  • If you don’t have a compost bin, start one! Or, if your community picks up yard waste make certain you use it for food and yard waste.
  • When you go to the grocery store, bring reusable bags to avoid one more plastic or paper bag from going home with you. (If everybody did this, think of how many bags would be saved!)
  • Use a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles that leach toxins into the water.
  • Recycle old electronics (“e-waste”) responsibly by giving them to e-waste facilities.
  • Transition from paper billing to online billing!
Invite your friends and family to join with you. And Agents, remember... As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map! Your report inspires others, amplifying the power of your compassion and generosity!

Going Deeper:

Mission #5 was inspired by "The Story of Stuff" with Annie Leonard, an amazingly insightful, fascinating, and accessible short-story for people of all ages.

Story Description: "From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."
with Dr. Jane Goodall and Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr.!
Join Dr. Jane Goodall, Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., and other luminaries for a free web conference to “Ignite Engagement for Earth Stewardship Across Generations” on Earth Day, which is
Friday, April 22nd at 9am PST.
Copyright © 2016 Compassion Games International, All rights reserved.

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