My spiritual practice is based out of this:
I believe in the unison of all things and in the sanctity of life that exists in all things. I believe that all forms of life are intrinsically entwined and this infinitely complex network of life is the most precious thing above all things. I believe the purpose of life is to live.
In a sense, yes, this is essentially environmentalism as a personal practice; I deliberately chose to make it a spiritual one. Meditation has been a part of this choice, and that's a topic for another entry. The point, however, is that I've more and more begun to understand myself as a part of the environment -- my body and actions are part of this total interconnection and are THE SAME THING as the biodiversity of the Boreal or the mutated shrimp coming out of the Gulf of Mexico. I'm not inseparable from these things or the the world around me, I am the same thing.
I have a friend here in Colorado who does not recycle and uses her car to get everywhere, even if it is only around the block. I've helped her buy a bike and am slowly trying to talk about recycling in a way that would encourage her to start because of a conscious and informed decision, and not because this crazy chick from California was shouting at her. We're going to Switzerland this summer and I really hope that she'll see the glaciers and then be told by the locals about how they're almost gone. About how they took up this much more of the mountain. It's crass: I want her to change the way she lives, and articulating that desire to myself is scary.
I have similar agenda with one of my roommates. He is very young. He's never had a gay friend before (let alone lived with one), recycled, voted, or considered his personal carbon footprint. The trick is to avoid blaming; "you could reuse those party cups" is a lot more effective than "you're wasting a lot of plastic."
I was explaining these to my boss.
"What?" He said, "You want to make a difference or something?"
And that was odd, to me, because I hadn't thought of it like that. I think of it more as a gradual education, because I feel that oftentimes people simply don't know enough. The implication in that is that I know enough, which is completely untrue. Moreover, the whole thing is very selfish. I want them to start limiting their environmental impact so that I have more environment. So that I can BE more healthy environment, so that SHE and HIM and THEM and US and EVERYTHING can be let truly and same-ly thriving as this the one life thing.