Wisdom//

A Handbook for a Happier Planet

Actionable tips for anyone wanting to begin a journey toward living in better balance with our planet.

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Imagine It! by Laurie David and Heather Reisman is a handbook for anyone wanting to begin or advance a journey toward living in better balance with our planet. The book is meant to inspire you, support you, and make it easy for you to replace old, planet-hurting habits with new and healthy ones – that is to say, to make your personal contribution to reversing our global warming crisis and enhancing your own health and well-being. And this week, you can enter for a chance to win a copy! (Find more details on the giveaway here, and see official rules here.)

Our harmful impact on the planet happened as we became more and more dependent on fossil fuels and embraced all that modern-day life had to offer. Without conscious intention but having grown up with all that the 20th century brought to us, we have become people who buy, use, and do things that are wasteful and damaging to our environment and often to our own health. 

Making matters worse and unjust, for decades BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities the world over have disproportionately shouldered the repercussions of our fossil fuel-based lifestyle and the resulting climate change. 

It is now time, in fact past time, that we fully and boldly engage, and course correct. 

Imagine It! is one small contribution to shifting our understanding and behaviors. It is about developing new mindsets and then making personal and collective change that will lead to a healthier planet and a healthier us. 

We highlight the need to change some of our food, clothing, and transportation habits, and meaningfully lower our use of plastic, paper, water, and harmful chemicals. 

We call the changes in these areas lifestyle shifts; and there is a chapter devoted to each one of them. Each chapter begins with a short story on the shift being explored, and then provides clear steps for replacing old habits with new ones. 

This book also highlights the role each person can play to influence necessary changes in business practices and in government regulation. We as consumers and citizens have so much power to effect change. Our voices on social media can create multiplier effect momentum. Manufacturers and retailers, as well as those hoping to be elected to office, are keenly connected to what we are saying, what we are doing, and how we spend our hard-earned dollars. Many people making individual changes ultimately leads to a collective will and inevitably business and government action. And this is exactly what we need! 

Underpinning everything in Imagine It! are these beliefs: 

  • Being an environmentalist is as basic as wanting to drink clean water and breathe clean air. 
  • Becoming an environmentally thoughtful and engaged person is a journey. It is about growing more aware of our various “footprints” and then, at as significant a pace as possible, taking steps to reduce those footprints. The key is to learn, act, and stay on the journey. 
  • Being an environmentalist is not about being “perfect” all the time, because no one ever is. It’s about being open to a learning curve and making determined progress. 
  • Making small everyday changes helps develop our overall mindset and ultimately results in shifting our attitudes on the big issues, i.e., who we vote for and what we expect of our companies and representatives.  
  • Our votes matter. We need to use our voices and our votes to elect leaders who are fully committed to implementing regulation to reverse global warming.

So, imagine a world where clean, green, and healthy are our default settings. 

Imagine a global culture that nurtures respect for our limited resources and rejects dependence on fossil fuels. 

Imagine a world in which we live in balance with our life-sustaining forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

Imagine a world where regenerative farms are the norm and most of our food is organic, affordable, and available to everyone. 

Imagine a world where our oceans are healthy and our corals and marine life breathe with ease.

Imagine a world where clean drinking water is abundant and available for all. 

Imagine a collective outcry so bold, so determined, and so sustained that governments and businesses have no choice but to take real action to reverse our climate crisis. 

Close your eyes and imagine it. 

Now, let us help you make the shift to what we just envisioned. 

Excerpt from IMAGINE IT!; A Handbook for a Happier Planet. Copyright © 2020 by Laurie David and Heather Reisman. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
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