A Culture of Earth Centeredness, Mother Earth Day, April 22, 2022

Nature For Justice’s mission (N4J) is to use nature to address the social justice needs of vulnerable populations confronting the climate crisis around the world.

This Earth Day we wanted to highlight, that for our mission to succeed, that we firmly believe and engage — as an organization and as individuals — in a culture of earth centeredness. We care for the earth as it is our home and without it we wouldn’t exist as humans. This earth centeredness is part of N4J’s cultural DNA.

As is well known, our recent human activity has had an enormous impact on the health of the planet. According to a recent study,  the world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things. Yet since the dawn of civilization, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of all plants.

We also know that the only thing that can halt or redirect this trajectory is by engaging proactively in how we do things, particularly with regards to carbon emissions, deforestation and land degradation, water and air pollution — all which are resulting in a massive biodiversity loss that is having a truly negative impact on nature and on us, too.

Economic Activity Amid the Pandemic

The way we live is currently based on a growth model of development that has no deep concern for the impacts of our actions. The more we develop, the less connected to our planet we apparently become. We spend less time in nature and more time in traffic and offices. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to consider the impact of what we eat, wear, and how we move and travel has on the world around us.

Sadly, economic growth seems to be tied directly to the destruction of natural spaces and as we grow economically — the more we spend and do — we show little concern about how much this is costing our planet, which ultimately is costing us humans now and in the future.

The pandemic has had one very positive and unexpected outcome. As we shut the world down for some months, one of the many things that became clear was that slowing down our human activity registered a real positive impact on the environment. Cities cleared of smog due to reduced industrial activity and traffic. Waterways and natural spaces saw the return of rare and wild animals who have been forced to hide or move due to human activity. Essentially, we unwittingly began to rewild ourselves.

What we also saw that was returning to nature and natural spaces gave us much support and peace amid a very confusing and stressful time. Without those spaces many people might not have found ways to deal with what was happening. What we learned is that we need our natural world and it needs us. And for there to be balance between us we need to cultivate a culture of caring for the earth.

A Few Ways To Support The Earth This Earth Day:

1. Practice Centeredness
Cultivating awareness of how each decision you make at practically every moment of your day has an impact on the planet. From the kinds of products you use in your household, to where your coffee comes from to how much you need or want to purchase in a day. Consider the value chain and choose what impact you want to have on the world around you.

2. Think About Your Consumption
Americans fill enough garbage trucks to stand back-to-back halfway to the moon each year, and a large portion of this lands up in the ocean. If you absolutely cannot avoid buying new things, particularly made or packaged in plastic, then be sure to recycle. Consider the source of the food you eat and its impact on you and the planet. Educate yourself on this matter as consumption does not have to equate to a planet drowning under plastic and mass land degeneration.

3. Plant Some Wisdom
Plant a tree to offset your carbon usage or cultivate a garden to attract insects back to your neighborhood. Try growing some of your own food. Invest and support those who do all this work on a larger scale as this work is ensuring your children’s future. Spend time in nature so that you and your families learn to reconnect to the magic of our planet so that we can find better balance.

Nature For Justice strives to address the social justice needs of vulnerable peoples confronting the climate crisis.  The approach includes land restoration, improved land management, and forest protection. It’s all about economic development in environmentally sustainable ways: people and nature working together for the benefit of both.

We want to encourage you to remember your roots in nature and join us in this endeavor!


  • Hank Cauley

    An engineer who later got a business degree to achieve social and environmental justice through existing economic structures. He’s started or built many organizations and projects. Hank lives in Falls Church, VA, with his wife and is an avid bee-keeper.

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