By Nathan Crane
Is sustainability a corporate marketing tactic, or the future of
humanity? After 18 years of physical, mental and emotional self destruction,
I was gifted with a vision for the possibility of a bright
future. In 2005, after having destroyed both my internal and
external environments with poisons, I began a deep cleaning
process of both my physical and non-physical world. Juice fasts,
master cleanses, raw food diets, meditation, detachment from all
physical reality — swinging from one extreme to the other —
eventually finding myself and seeking balance in the middle.
As I began to clean my inner world and rid myself of the toxic environment I was plagued with, the natural tendency to clean my outer world manifested on it’s own. I began noticing the need to grow my own food, gather and make my own natural medicines, walk barefoot, get dirt under my fingernails, spend time away from technology high in the mountains, and seek a deeper connection to the earth.
The affection for this living earth we call home grew expansively within me until it consumed my entire soul. My gratitude for all living beings and natural environments continued to grow until my heart was bursting with love at the sight of a single leaf falling from a cottonwood tree, a fresh-picked plum from a first year blossom, and a glowing moon.
This cleansing of my inner world automatically cultivated the desire for cleansing my outer world, and I assume anyone on this path coming from the other end might have the same experience. Whether from outside in or inside out, I believe we’ll all end up at the same place — the expanded awareness that we must honor, cherish and nurture this astounding planet with an open heart and sustainable lifestyles if we are to create a healthy, vibrant, sustainable future for the next generations.
The Tainted Meaning of Sustainability
Corporations have taken the word sustainability and used it as a marketing ploy saying they are “green,” “eco-friendly,” and “sustainable.” But I can assure you they are not. Sustainable means, “something that can continue forever.” And for something to continue forever it must have the nature of self regeneration. Therefore, sustainability means regeneration. If we are still using oil, machines, plastic, long distance transportation, or globally made and distributed products, we are not sustainable, eco-friendly, or green as those things cannot continue indefinitely. At some point the resources needed to make them, no matter how “green,” “solar,” or “windpowered,” will run out and pollute the earth.
A new understanding of sustainability needs to come to the forefront of our consciousness. The path towards sustainability does mean replacing lifestyle choices which those that are less harmful than others, such as driving an electric car versus a gas based car or using solar instead of coal and oil. It means planting a little bit of your own food or buying 20% or more locally rather than having everything shipped in from other states and countries as it is now. And it means cutting down on electricity usage and replacing it with time spent outdoors. Though the truth is that none of those lifestyle choices in and of themselves are truly sustainable. At some point, the resources it takes to live the common lifestyles we’re used to will run out or chemically pollute the planet to a point of toxic overload before we even know what happened.
But all of those steps are critical on our journey towards sustainability, and we must take those steps every day. The important thing to consider is the long-term vision of what sustainability means, and to encourage ourselves to continue on the path towards 100% sustainability. The purpose for living sustainably is not just to avoid global catastrophe, but to experience the joy, love, abundance, simplicity, and bliss that comes with living close to the land with love in our hearts. It’s to know the abundant joy that comes with providing healthy food and basic needs for yourself and your family, and for spending your time exploring your creativity. This is how we were meant to live, but somehow along the way we’ve lost our path.
The Future of Sustainability is Ours
It’s time to get back on the path towards true sustainability and build skills for the new world. It’s time to raise our spirits and remember our simple joyful existence in harmony with nature and to know what it’s like to have mutually dependent and beneficial trade arrangements with our neighbors. It’s time to take back control of our food supply and eliminate the need for processed, genetically modified, chemically infused food so that we might know what it’s like to enjoy the abundance of health we were meant to be showered with.
This is my hope for the future, and this is why I’ve been guided by spirit to produce UNIFY FEST, a 4-day transformational festival dedicated to unifying humanity, celebrating life, and leaving the land better than we found it. UNIFY FEST focuses on progressing sustainability through education, workshops, keynote presentations, more than 50 uplifting bands and musicians, dozens of yoga classes and indigenous ceremony. These activities give us the experience of what it’s like to enjoy life, uplift our spirits, and unite for the common good of our human race. At UNIFY FEST in Santa Fe September 22–25, we will experience what it’s like to build skills for the new world while embracing expressions of joy, true community, vibrant health, and purposeful living.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Want to hear Nathan discuss sustainability in more detail? Check out the 6/21/16 Gen R podcast where Nathan is the featured guest.