How are you currently working to help the planet?
I have been working for 13 years with a neighbourhood council in the district of Maipu (Santiago, Chile), transforming a neighbourhood with a population of 3,800 inhabitants. The purpose is to turn it into an ecological neighbourhood that is self-sustainable.
What do you consider the most important planetary actions we, as global citizens, should be taking?
I think we should take the climate and social crisis that we are experiencing as a humanity as a great opportunity for positive transformation from all points of view.
From a social perspective, this situation of emergency puts a lot of pressure on us to be able to search for solutions, which we can’t do alone. We have to do it in community, creating and participating in conversations, carrying out concrete actions and local action in our neighbourhoods, universities, workplaces and organizations.
As for our personal habits, we must become aware of how we relate to Mother Earth, including our food and waste habits. It is important to stop consuming what has generated pain and contamination in its preparation.
From a political perspective, I think it has the potential to have a great impact to support those changes and decisions that lead us towards an ecological democracy and a regenerative ecological economy.
It is key to be optimistic and keep the spirit high despite what reality shows, and to always remember that there are more and more human beings on the planet who are generating changes to improve our relationship with nature.
How are you taking these actions?
In my work at the ecological neighborhood, I coordinate a sustainability training project and interventions to improve the facilities of the neighborhood. It is a project financed by the regional government.
I am conducting talks and workshops on climate change, speaking about how we can contribute to the new political constitution that we will have. Also, I participate in meetings about the environment and this new political constitution.
I try to make my lifestyle as conscious as I can, although I know that I still have a lot to do. I use the water from the washing machine to irrigate, for example, and I prefer small local producers when deciding what and where to buy. I try to transport myself by bicycle when I don’t go out with my son.
What are the biggest challenges that you encounter in your work toward saving Mother Earth?
- To get greater participation from young people in the ecological neighborhood activities.
- The social outbreak that Chile has been experiencing, since October 2019, has limited the attendance of people in the activities, because the nearby metro station was destroyed. We want to encourage people to still participate.
- To be able to count on some type of funds for those of us who work on this project, and in this way, we can be constant in the work that all the members of the project do.
Could you give us some tips to help our environment?
Be aware of our consumption and stop consuming disposable products, which can be done in a practical way:
- Always carry plastic cups with you to avoid buying beverages in disposable containers.
- Before buying, think about the life cycle of the product and the impact it will have once you stop using it.
- Have a simpler lifestyle and manage to live with less. This generates great well-being.
If you had the chance to speak to every single person on the planet, what would you tell them?
Mother Earth is the Mother of every living being on Earth. She has rights and these must be honored and respected. Otherwise, there will be no place for the life of many species, including ours.
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