Eco-Rewards for Greenest Ecocity World Summit Attendees

Bring your own to-go ware and get a free Chico Bag for living lighter on the planet, taking care of yourself, while attending The EcoCity World Summit.

Pack and show your plate and utensils at the Green Mary/Chico Bag Booth in the Exhibition Hall and get a very handy, compact but expandable nylon Chico Bag as a THANK YOU!
Everyone is asked to bring their own reusable cloth napkins as we stride together to save trees with our simple actions. Even flying in from around the world, this doesn’t add much to the plane’s weight or your carry-on bag!
Always pack your own water bottle and at EcoCity, there are water refill stations throughout the venues. Thinking globally, filtering locally, no plastic water bottles are distributed at the event. BYOB!!

A very convenient green truth

Great news – you can do MORE each and every day to save the earth by really simple daily acts than buying a hybrid car or building a green home will ever achieve. We can ALL do a lot every day to reduce greenhouse gases as our smallest gestures have tremendous rippling effects. Take, for example, preparing to leave the house every day, whether to go to work or on a bike ride, attend a concert or a green conference, we can prepare as though we have the planet at heart, foremost in our thoughts.

At home, most people reading this are really earth conscious. We recycle, use real dishware, our garbage cans are small, and we collectively move away from bottled water so that most of us are filtering at home and carrying our own refillable water bottles with us everywhere. Yeah!! But we leave home and our most sustainable habits stay there as well. Our take-out food comes in styrofoam containers, the plastic utensils we utilize existed for an average of three minutes of use, coffee cups are used and tossed, and the earth’s resources are gobbled up at five times the rate as if we had stayed at home.

This is an easy one to fix. We ALL have the tools and skill sets necessary to take care of our feeding and hydration at the office, in the park, out at public events. We bring for ourselves everything we would use at home and use that out in the world. Napkin, coffee mug, utensils or chop sticks, plate or bowl, water bottle, all in our ever-present canvas bag, with a washable plastic liner. It becomes habit so quickly you won’t believe it.

Green game time.

Choose one area, belief or practice to which you are really committed. Determine this by asking yourself: What do I NEVER (do, want, eat, abide)?

Or: What do I ALWAYS (support, do, believe in, practice)?

If you are honest in your assessment, you will discover that the list of your core principles is brief and solid. One of mine, for example, is I only drink beverages out of my own containers. This means I do not buy or consume bottled, canned or cupped liquids. I drink filtered water, shade grown coffee in my own cup or to-go mug and make juice from concentrate, very, very rarely consume juice or soda from a bottle or can. Being sober makes the beer/wine/alcohol thing a non-issue, and, frankly, easier to practice this commitment! I just say to myself, “I have my water,” and I am really happy with that.
In many other areas, I am wildly non-committal to hypocritical, but I feel good having at least this low-consumption touchstone.

Then make this touchstone one of your primary eco-filters. When we act from enlightened self-interest, protecting what we love, the action is automatic, not deprivational. It can even be that you are an avid bird watcher and so take to belling cats in your neighborhood or drinking only shade grown coffee for the native ecosystems eco-coffee preserve in South America.

In exercising our free will, we think before we buy, eat, or do. Why do I need this, want to do that? What are the ramifications: A) for me B) for other beings and C) for the planet? It is one of the simplest areas to begin to assess our values and our commitment to the environment. And can lead to doing and consuming nothing, which in and of itself is a revolutionary and earth-saving act.

We get to put our want in perspective, see it as a part of us over which we have some say; we may still choose to act on it, but it is with full knowing. Thich Nhat Hanh says, “I know I am throwing away a plastic bag.” Then we have choices and we are not operating under the shadow of cognitive dissonance, which allows us to hold two seemingly disparate truths. I am not all good all the time, AND I recognize and consider the repercussions of my actions. Change happens slowly but surely.

Starting tomorrow, as you prepare for the day, think of your basic, very predictable needs: “Thirsty, hungry, clean my face, dry my hands. How do I take care of myself so the planet doesn’t pay too dearly?” Hang your cloth napkin on your bedroom doorknob as a reminder! Bring your own everything, radical in returning to the root.


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