Earth Citizens: Celebrating Earth Hour and Raise Environmental Awareness

Reducing humanity's carbon footprint is a growing concern as climate change becomes more evident each year. The emission of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide and methane, eats away at the atmosphere and leads to global warming, drastically upsetting the natural balance that makes this planet livable for human beings.

With climate change looming closely overhead, now is the time to take real, tangible action to save Mother Earth. As Ilchi Lee teaches, recognizing your role as an Earth Citizen is key, as is spreading the word to raise awareness among others. That's precisely what the Earth Hour movement strives to do.

Earth Hour is a worldwide event that asks all people to turn off their lights for the same span of 60 minutes. It began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, though today it is based in Singapore and is backed by the World Wildlife Federation. In the past eight years, has grown to reach 138 countries and territories around the globe. The aim is not to make a massive reduction in the amount of energy used within that one hour (though a massive amount is saved), but rather to raise awareness and, in effect, make a much larger, long-term environmental impact.

In 2015, Earth Hour will take place March 28 at 8:30 p.m. local time. Join the millions of others who flip their light switches off to demonstrate their commitment to the planet.

Earth Hour, by helping teach others about the drastic effects of energy consumption and waste, aligns with Ilchi Lee's teachings. People must put Mother Earth at the core of their personal value systems, as Lee explains in "Earth Citizen: Recovering Our Humanity."

"Human beings need to acknowledge that their greatest allegiance should belong not to a human-designed government but to the power on which their very existence depends," explained Lee. "People must identify themselves as Earth Citizens before any other designation of identity. Through this simple, painless shift in thinking about ourselves and one another, I believe we can make great changes in the world and its destiny."

With awareness, effort and a shift in our set of values, humans can help maintain the world's valuable resources and keep Mother Earth alive and well for future generations.

3 Simple Tips for Sustainable Living

As Ilchi Lee emphasizes in his teachings, all citizens of the planet must live with Mother Earth in mind. However, with the modern world's focus on electronics, consumerism and comforts, it can be difficult to follow a lifestyle focused on sustainability. As Ilchi Lee explains in his book, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," finding a natural sense of balance is key.

"Continuous external growth, like continuous inhaling, is not sustainable," Lee wrote. "But because we have been inhaling for so long, consuming for so long, even though we see that it can't go on this way, we don't know how to alter the pattern. We have to recover our natural sense of balance . . . only when we exhale can we inhale again, and that's how life continues."

With that in mind, consider these simple ways you can make everyday living more environmentally sustainable:

Opt Out of Junk Mail
Many people simply throw away the onslaught of flyers and other unwanted letters they receive in the mail. Even recycling these products is not enough – get yourself removed from these mailing lists altogether to reduce the volume of junk mail and, in turn, the number of trees and other resources wasted on these materials. Certain sites such as Catalog Choice allow you to opt out of several mailing lists at once.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Using eco-friendly cleaning supplies is a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint. However, the cost of such products can add up fast. Earth Easy recommends making your own non-toxic all-purpose cleaner using basic household ingredients: Mix a 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/2 gallon water for a cleaner that can be used on bathroom, kitchen and other surfaces throughout the home.

Shut Down at Night
You've probably heard it countless times from your parents: Turn off the lights when you're not using them. The same applies for all aspects of everyday living. Make sure to shut down your computer every night or when you will be away for an extended period. You should do the same for your monitor, printer, speakers, television and all other electronics. Additionally, select appliances and electronics developed for optimal energy efficiency.

What other small changes can you make in everyday life to increase sustainability?

Volunteering in your local community

It is your responsibility as a citizen of the world to make your community a better place to live. Volunteering your time, energy and wisdom to help improve the lives of those around you is extraordinarily beneficial. Committing to a cause is good for others as well as your own well being. Know how you can use your skills to fulfill your duty and positively impact your community.

Volunteer for others
Find out what is important to your community and commit your time and resources to those particular causes. If hunger and homelessness are prevalent issues in your area, volunteer your time at a shelter or prepare and serve meals at a local soup kitchen.

Also, consider the skills you can offer. For example, if you are a health care professional, think about offering services and medical opinions to those in need, or if you are a teacher, volunteer at an after school program and give lessons. Utilizing your abilities is a great way to connect with your community, help out and offer your expertise.

Another option to consider is volunteering to clean up trash and other debris along a highway or in a local park. You can help improve your environment, contribute to a more green world and do your part to help the earth.

Reach out and ask where your services might be helpful, or browse the Internet for opportunities available in your community.

Volunteer for yourself
According to World Volunteer Web, dedicating your time to others has number of advantages. You can grow alongside other volunteers, learn new skills and help establish a sense of solidarity and teamwork.

In addition, Idealist noted that those who volunteer feel more fulfilled. Working toward a goal or cause gives you the chance to take a break from every day stresses and it can help you feel valued by your community.

The Corporation for National & Community Service also noted that dedicating your time and energy to help others can benefit your overall well-being. You can live a healthier life by volunteering and finding unique ways to contribute to society.

Promoting a more sustainable and peaceful world is important to Ilchi Lee. Taking time out of your day to help improve the community and make the world a better place. How can you reach out and provide your time and services to contribute to a better world?

Embracing green living in your home

As citizens of the world, it is our responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint. By tweaking your lifestyle, you can make your home greener and contribute to a more sustainable world. You can easily make a few changes to the way that you operate your home and become more earth friendly.

Improvements for your bathroom and kitchen
Each room in your home may be responsible for contributing waste and contaminants to the environment. Evaluate each area of your residence and make a few simple changes to help improve your environmental impact.

Your kitchen is a integral part of your daily life. There may be a great deal of waste that occurs in this space. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, you actually may be wasting more water by washing your dishes by hand. If you do not have a dishwasher, invest in an energy-efficient unit. This can help you save water.

In addition, your garbage may have a number of recyclable items inside. Always break down any cardboard, paper products, cans or glass and recycle these items. You can also start a compost pile for a garden or any landscaping around your home. Use food scraps, tea bags or egg shells to help add nitrogen and carbon to your soil, according to Eartheasy.com.

Your bathroom is another room that may be behind a great deal of water consumption. According to the EPA, approximately 30 percent of a home's water use occurs in this area of the house. Toilets are often the culprit behind this. Consider investing in a composting toilet or a WaterSense bowl. You can save on your water bill and help contribute to a greener world.

Cleaning products
Some of the harsh chemicals in cleaning products may be dangerous and harmful to the environment. Consider a natural alternative that still keeps your home sparkling and beautiful. Eco Cycle recommended using baking soda to deodorize, and when added to warm water, it serves as an effective cleaning element.

White vinegar or lemon juice are great cleaning alternatives in the kitchen. They both cut through stubborn kitchen grease, and lemon has a pleasant scent.

To create a general household cleaner from safe ingredients, mix baking soda, borax, vinegar and water. Borax is a disinfectant, and you can find it near laundry soaps at the store.

Ilchi Lee is a proud advocate of a peaceful, sustainable world. Improving the world around us is crucial to that vision. Living a greener life at home can help enhance our lives. How can you make changes to live a green lifestyle?

Gardening may improve your wellness and relationship with nature

The approach of spring brings another opportunity to improve your life and the world around you. Gardening gives you an opportunity to grow healthy food, connect with nature and even improve your overall mood. Start a garden this spring and grow more than vegetables.

Weed out harmful chemicals
According to BBC, organic gardening can provide you and your family with a bountiful harvest of delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables without the use of chemicals. In addition, adopting an organic gardening method is more conducive to the wildlife around you.

Making a compost pile out of peelings, newspapers and other green waste can provide rich nutrients for your plants without the need for chemical fertilizers. You can also control insects and weeds naturally. Mail-order suppliers can provide you with other small insects that can wipe out pests that destroy your crops. Also, pick weeds whenever you see them.

Dig in and connect with the earth
Gardening is a great way to experience nature. Earth Share recommends including flowering plants and birdbaths in your garden blueprints to encourage wildlife to enjoy your oasis as well. In addition, you can find ways to inspire nature to work in your favor.  Encouraging the presence of hummingbirds, butterflies and bees can help spread seeds and help your garden grow.

A study published by the National Institutes of Health indicated that gardeners enjoy the vegetables grown in their own gardens more due to an emotional connection to the garden. The general enjoyment experienced while planting, providing caring and harvesting may encourage individuals to participate in more activities that connect them with nature and improve overall well-being. 

Cultivate happiness
Eartheasy noted that there are a number of benefits associated with gardening. Satisfaction from work, integration into nature and physical activity in the garden can stimulate a more positive mood. Gardening can serve as horticultural therapy and help with overall happiness.

According to a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology, heading out to the garden can help alleviate stress. Participants who spent 30 minutes each day outdoors working with plants and tending the space saw their cortisol levels drop. This indicated a decrease in anxiety and worry. 

Ilchi Lee, a proud advocate of a peaceful, sustainable world, encourages citizens of Mother Earth to improve the world around them. Organic gardening can help promote a healthier lifestyle, improve your relationship with nature and help decrease the use of harmful chemicals. What can you do this spring to help our world blossom?

Ilchi Lee Shares His Philosophy, Life Story and His Own “Call of Sedona” in Meaningful Book

“Meaningful” is a succinct way to describe Ilchi Lee’s book, “The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart.”  At first glance, the book would seem to be a wonderful guide for the best nature sightseeing that Sedona has to offer. But as you traverse the book’s 222 pages it quickly becomes an inspiring handbook for self-discovery.

Since his very first visit to Sedona in 1996, Ilchi has shared the messages and inspiration he received from this magical land with the world.  The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart is a vibrant account of Ilchi’s personal journey. The softcover edition includes Sedona meditations, spiritual insights and ancient history of the land and its profound effect on those who journey from all corners of the earth to experience its magic.

Offering an open invitation to visit, Ilchi shares the many inspirations he has received from being in Sedona, and believes Sedona’s beauty and energy will help visitors connect with the most powerful parts of themselves and reignite their dreams and passions.

Ilchi writes, “It is always our dreams that lend meaning and value to our daily life. If you need a dream, or if you need to rediscover a dream you’ve lost, come here to Sedona.”

Whether you are looking for armchair adventure or the real deal, Ilchi’s The Call of Sedona shows the way to meaningful experiences to reconnect with nature and to our true inner nature as well.

For an intimate look at Sedona from your desk, visit www.CallofSedona.com. This beautiful and inspiring website is the companion to The Call of Sedona book and offers information on upcoming Sedona meditation retreats and workshops, a guide to organizations which can help you transform your life, book reviews, an insightful weekly blog, and more, all based on the beautiful Sedona message Ilchi wishes to share.

Ilchi is a New York Times bestselling author who has dedicated his life to empowering people to live their fullest potential.  He has penned thirty-three books including Healing Society: A Prescription for Global Enlightenment and Brain Wave Vibration: Getting Back into the Rhythm of a Happy, Healthy Life.

Tao Fellowship Part of Ilchi Lee’s Lifelong Endeavor for World Peace

As a young man, when Ilchi Lee began asking himself, “Who am I and what is my purpose here?” he stopped struggling with life and began a journey that would lead him to study, among other wisdom, the spiritual practice of Tao.

Ilchi Lee believes that developing the potential of the human brain holds the key to discovering the true potential of all of humanity. It was he who initiated the spiritual movement of enlightenment which led to the formation of Tao Fellowship, the 501c (3) non-profit organization established in 1998 to promote the spirit of Tao as a universal principle of harmony and peace. Although he doesn’t currently hold a title or position within the organization, Ilchi occasionally lectures for Tao Fellowship as his other endeavors with this ideal continue.

Tao Fellowship works to amplify and develop the spiritual and peaceful nature of the brain and “to close the gap between a person’s personality and his/her divine true nature.” The dream for one harmonious, peaceful world continues to be carried out through Tao Fellowship core teachings of meditation, holistic healing and Qigong. Learn more about the tradition of Tao for spiritual awakening and natural healing of body, mind and spirit at the website, www.taofellowship.org.

5 Tips for Improving Your Recycling

Ilchi Lee is an advocate of a peaceful, sustainable world. As such, he encourages all people to take action as Earth Citizens and make real, tangible change to positively impact the environment. One such way to do that is to recycle every day.

This act takes little effort, but the importance of it cannot be emphasized strongly enough. The process of recycling conserves raw materials and turns used trash into fresh, new products, thereby keeping another of Mother Earth's resources alive and well. Keep these tips in mind to improve your recycling habits:

Prepare your cans: Get aluminum cans ready for recycling by washing them with water to remove food residue. Labels don't have to be removed, as they burn off during the melting phase of recycling. The same goes with paper labels on other recyclable materials. 

Know your papers: Most paper materials, including magazines, letters and cardboard, can be recycled. Non-recyclable papers are tissue, carbon and waxed paper.

Don't break glass: Glass bottles are recycled materials. However, they may not be accepted for recycling if broken, particularly if different-colored glass is combined.

Keep a recycling bag in your car: Many keep a trash bin in their car, but you can also place a brown paper bag in your vehicle to collect recyclables. This is an easy way to pre-sort your disposed items. When it's full, toss the entire thing into the recycling bin.

Buy recycled content: Making the choice to buy recycled materials is how people close the loop on the recycling process. After all, what's the point in recycling if no one benefits from the end product? These items are also typically less expensive. To determine if your purchase is made from recycled products, look for three green arrows in the form of a triangle. 

With these tips, you can make sure recycled materials you use are properly utilized in order to help preserve the natural resources provided by Mother Earth.

Do you know of someone who could benefit from these tips? If so, pass them along to help make the world a healthier place for this and future generations.

4 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

It is every Earth Citizen's person's responsibility to keep our planet healthy, a notion that Ilchi Lee emphasizes in his teachings and writings. However, reducing humanity's carbon footprint is not a project that can be completed in one fell swoop; rather, it requires lifestyle changes both big and small that minimize the negative impact we as a species make on this beautiful planet. Implement these suggestions into your everyday life to reduce your own carbon footprint:

Utilize Public Transportation
Driving a fuel-efficient car is a great way to reduce the amount of toxins you send into the air. Unfortunately, it's not the simplest or most affordable solution for most people in our current economic climate. Rather, you can choose to take the bus or train when possible. Public transportation greatly reduces CO2 emissions. You might also form a carpool group with coworkers – if five people drive in one car, you can potentially reduce the amount of CO2 emissions to around one-fifth the amount of five people driving separately.

Turn Off the Lights
When you leave a room, make sure you flick the light switch off. Doing so won't just save you money on your electric bill but will also help minimize your carbon footprint. The same goes for other electronics that may be an energy drain – turn them off when not in use. You should also be sure to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), as they use one-third the energy of incandescent bulbs.

Buy Local Produce
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 13 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in America are caused by the production and transportation of food items. If you live in California and purchase oranges grown in Florida, the amount of energy consumed and CO2 emitted is astronomical. When you buy local, you significantly reduce the carbon footprint involved in the process and you help to support small, local farmers.

Skip the Animal Products
Eating less meat and dairy may help reduce the amount of harm caused to the planet. That's because these foods are often produced using fertilizers made from fossil fuels, not to mention pesticides and other harmful toxins. Another great benefit is that reducing meat consumption leaves room for a more diverse array of fruits and vegetables in your diet, which can work to improve your overall health.

As an advocate of a peaceful, sustainable world, Ilchi Lee encourages all people to take action in their everyday lives to conserve Earth's natural resources. With Lee's guidance and these small but important changes, Earth Citizens around the globe can reduce their carbon footprints and leave the world a better place for future generations.

NY Times: Solar and Wind Energy Gaining Traction

A great piece of news came downwind from The New York Times: Solar and wind energy are finally starting to become competitive with conventional, environment-damaging fuels such as coal and natural gas. 

For the first time ever, it's now possible to produce renewable energy at a cost equal to coal. In some markets, "green" energy has been cheaper than the dirty fossil fuels. A handful of companies have signed contracts, called power purchase agreements, for solar and wind at prices below that of natural gas, particularly in the Southwest and Great Plains. 

So, what does this have to do with you? Quite a lot in fact. And it will affect your children and grandchildren even more than you. Global experts point out that climate change is a stark reality that all citizens of the earth face today – not in 30 years or next week, but now. According to a White House report, California has been experiencing devastating droughts, low-lying U.S. cities such as Miami already experience high flooding, and farmers across the country are having to reassess their crops to confront the weather alterations. 

According to The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia's national science agency, global sea levels rose about 6.7 inches in the last century, and the rate in the last 10 years is almost double that of the last century. What's more, the period from 2001 to 2012 was warmer than any previous decade in every region of the U.S. on record. 

Fossil Fuels
One of the leading contributors to this climate change is fossil fuels.

"The burning of coal, oil and gas, and clearing of forests have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than 40 percent since the Industrial Revolution, and it has been known for almost two centuries that this carbon dioxide traps heat," the researchers wrote in the White House Report, titled "National Climate Assessment."

A Change in Dialogue
As a result, even over the last year, the climate debate has shifted from "Is climate change real?" to "What are we going to do about climate change?" As solar and wind energy become more viable, we can start cutting our output of fossil fuels and work toward greater sustainability. 

This paradigm shift directly aligns with the views of Ilchi Lee, The New York Times' bestselling author and a proud advocate of a peaceful, sustainable world. Lee aims to reduce our carbon footprint and leave a legacy of the world better than how we found it. 

That's why the solar energy shifts are so important. 

Earlier this year, Austin Energy in Texas signed a deal to create 20 years of output from a solar farm at less than 5 cents a kilowatt-hour. In Oklahoma, American Electric Powered tripled the amount of wind power it had initially sought after recognizing how low the bids came in. These are only some of the examples. However, at least for the near future, the low prices will not allow wind and solar farms to supersede power plants, experts concede.

Khalil Shalabi, vice president for energy market operations and resource planning at Austin Energy, suggested the falling prices of renewable energy is still a great sign. 

"Renewables had two issues: One, they were too expensive, and they weren't dispatchable," Shalabi told The New York Times. "They're not too expensive anymore."