The issues facing our generation in today’s rapidly changing world are complex, but we’ve simplified them into ten issues.
WE BELIEVE THESE TEN ISSUES ARE THE most critical to address, with the SOLUTIONS LEADING TO THE GREATEST collective impact.
Most of the DANGERS TO OUR SOCIETY AND OUR PLANET can fall into at least one of the cHANGEs, with many being intertwined.
WE UTILIZE creativity, collaboration, and technology, generating new ideas to bring forth a better world for our generation and future generations.
We launch creative, focused campaigns for change within each of the “Ten Changes”:
1. Save Species
Work to reverse the mass extinction of biodiversity and save animals on the brink of extinction. According to the U.N. Environment program, scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours! “This is Nearly 1,000 times the natural rate,” say many biologists, “and is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of dinosaurs nearly 65 million years ago.”
Current Campaign: Acres for Animals
Since habitat loss and human overpopulation are wildlife’s greatest threats we work with governments and other organizations to protect what is left of the world’s Rainforests and wild natural environments. Many exotic species are declining rapidly due to poaching and illegal wildlife trading on the black market. Currently our focus is on Africa, where their numbers are being decimated across the continent.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Rainforests: As a consumer you can use your buying power to show you do not support products that add to rainforest decline. Look for products that are certified Fair Trade, Organic (see #6 for reasons why) and NO palm oil. To learn more and see products and brands that contain palm oil click on this link: http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/palm-oil.php
Black Market and Ivory: Don’t purchase ivory or exotic pets (see #5) or support circuses or theme parks that exploit animals who may have been victims of the illegal wildlife trade.
Donate to our Acres 4 Animals campaign: Help us save land. Wildlife needs their habitat to survive.
2. Save our Oceans
Trash, pollution and overfishing are depleting life in our oceans. In a TIME magazine article titled “The Sorrow beneath the Sea,” Callum Roberts says “Imagine an underwater world without whales, sharks and dolphins, where jellyfish and algae rule. It’s already happening.”
In addition to overfishing, pollution is causing our oceans to absorb higher and higher amounts of CO2 from our atmosphere, causing ocean acidification. The world’s biologists predict (and are already seeing) evidence that our ocean’s coral reefs, which are ecosystems to much of the ocean life, are dying. If we don’t act quickly to address these problems we will watch the world’s greatest ecosystem collapse, threatening our own survival.
WHAT WE CAN DO:
Keep sharks as top predators – sharks are vital for healthy oceans, keeping the entire ecosystem in balance. Raising awareness of the shark slaughter and passing laws to end the shark-finning phenomenon. Learn more about why the Shark Finning Practice is threatening the health of our oceans: http://animal.discovery.com/endangered-species/shark-finning.htm & https://www.sharksavers.org/en/education/sharks-are-in-trouble/finning-and-the-fin-trade/ & http://www.seashepherd.org/sharks/shark-finning.html (warning: graphic images on the Sea Shepard’s site)
Keep plastics out of our oceans (see #4)
Keep land pollutants and pesticides out of our rivers – it all comes back to the ocean! (see #6)
Reduce and reverse ocean acidification caused by CO2 in our air (see #3)
3. Alternative Energy
Our world’s most highly educated scientists agree Climate Change is real and its happening now – we are already experiencing the effects. It’s time to switch our dependence from non-renewable resources which have negative environmental impacts and pollutes our air, to clean, renewable energy sources. We have the technology and the alternatives, we must demand that they be implemented NOW.
Environment > Profit
WHAT WE CAN DO:
Write / Petition our congressmen and representatives to stop supporting oil companies with subsidies and instead invest in alternative forms of energy. End the “natural gas solution” by banning Fracking which is an environmentally devastating process. See: http://earthjustice.org/our_work/campaigns/fracking-gone-wrong-finding-a-better-way & http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/fracking/ & http://www.dangersoffracking.com/
Use our power as conscious consumers to explore solar options for home energy needs. Propose solar panels as an energy source for schools.
Use environmentally friendly methods of transportation.
4. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, and Renewables // Hemp Revolution
It’s time to switch to compostable, recycled and other green products to replace plastic. Plastic now has formed two islands in the oceans stretching hundreds of miles long and killing sea life. Hemp is the solution for many, if not all, plastic products. Mass producing hemp means a sustainable alternative for fuel, paper and other fibers, even building materials. We are still cutting down trees for our newspapers when hemp is just as pliable and much more sustainable, has the lowest ecological footprint and grows rapidly! One acre of hemp will produce 4 to 10 times as much paper pulp than an acre of trees. Changing to hemp-based paper could reduce deforestation in HALF. We need to demand that companies make the switch.
Stay tuned for our Hemp campaign!
CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE:
NOT buying plastic bottles and using a re-usable water bottle.
You can make a difference by using your own cloth bags at stores instead of taking a plastic bag for every purchase.
You also have a choice when buying products at the store – look for products made with eco-friendly or recycled packaging!
Recycle and just consume less in general! WATCH this: http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-stuff/
It all adds up, just imagine if EVERYONE did these things.
5. Animal Rights
We’ve come to the time in history where we need to raise our voices for the animals. No more experiments (the U.N. has already phased out dated animal experiments for new and more technologically advanced methods. The U.S. needs to follow suit).
Every day, millions upon millions of animals are abused, confined, exploited and violently killed for the purpose of food and fashion. For the sake of the animals, our health, human rights and our environment, we need to evolve towards a vegan diet and abstain from wearing animal-derived clothing.
End the use of exotic animals in circuses or at theme parks. Intelligent animals such as elephants, Orca whales, and tigers do not deserve a life confined to performing tricks for human “entertainment”.
By allowing exotic animals as pets, we are contributing and supporting the exotic wildlife trade and the illegal smuggling of cubs from Africa and other parts of the world. Many of the captive tigers and lions are subject to lives of abuse, neglect, poor conditions, and loneliness due to the unnatural way of life. “There are more tigers in captivity in the U.S. then there are left in the wild!” Let’s be their voice and make the changes they so desperately need.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Do not support circuses or theme parks that use exotic animals in entertainment
Do not buy exotic animals
Do not buy cosmetics or brands that test on animals
Do not purchase clothing derived from animal fur, skin, feathers, etc. (No UGG boots from sheep's skin or down comforters!)
Adopt (or incorporate) a plant-based, vegan diet- get started by watching documentaries and reading our recommended books! – Then share to others!
Sign petitions to governments or corporations for animal rights
Foster or rescue a shelter animal to help reduce your community’s kill rate
Volunteer with GA or your own local advocacy group
Help the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) end cosmetics testing on animals! Urge your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act, H.R. 4148: http://lil.ms/i8l/2k14
Stay tuned as we launch new campaigns for animal rights!
6. Food System
Due to the fact that methane gas released into the atmosphere by cows is the number one contributor to CO2 in our atmosphere (over all types of transportation combined!) we strongly urge a plant-based vegan diet. We urge you to watch documentaries and read up on the health effects and environmental degradation that results from animal agriculture. We understand that everyone evolves at their own pace, and challenge even the most dedicated meat eaters to making small, positive changes in their life: whether it’s switching to almond milk, dining out vegan, or swapping out hamburgers with veggie burgers, you are making a difference!
“Animal agriculture in the United States generates up to a billion tons of waste every year. The EPA estimates livestock operations that confine animals are responsible for impairing more than 25,000 miles of U.S. rivers and streams and more than 269,000 acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds.”
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) crops are playing a huge role, not only in the U.S. but in the world, in infiltrating the food supply and putting the family farms out of business. Biologists are linking GMO’s to the decline of the bees – our natural pollinators! We still do not know the effects of genetically modified foods on the human bodies because of claims that they do not need to be tested. We believe food should be grown in nature like it has been for thousands of years – not in lab that alters the DNA of seeds to be pesticide resistant. GMO crops have been banned 26 countries in light of independent studies where lab rats grew tumors from their diet of Genetically Modified Corn, why are we allowing it in the U.S.?
To combat these dangerous industries and corporations, we urge you to stick to organic, non-GMO, locally grown fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and nuts whenever possible. As human beings we have the power to vote with our money; support local farms by buying your fruits and veggies from farmers markets and health food stores. Think of it this way: When you buy your food from massive corporations, you are helping the CEO of a greedy business buy his seventh private jet or yacht…but when you buy from local farmers, you are helping pay for someone’s college fees or helping buy someone’s child a birthday present. We have the power to make that choice!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
CHOOSE LOCAL AND ORGANIC whenever possible! Even better, grow your own garden.
BOYCOTT FACTORY FARMS and GMO’s – both are destroying our environment and ecosystems.
ADOPT A PLANT-BASED VEGAN DIET – or reduce your meat intake whenever possible
PETITION & MARCH for better agricultural laws (and stop the “revolving door” of Big Agriculture Corporations in government/FDA positions)
WATCH & THEN SPREAD THE WORD ON THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTARIES: Food Inc., Earthlings (narrated by Joaquin Phoenix), Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy
7. Social Systems & City Farms
We aim to put Generation Awakening ambassadors in every city around the world to work locally to create changes in their own communities. Ambassadors can choose one of the changes, or multiple ones, giving them the flexibility to do what inspires them. By implementing a grassroots movement we can empower individuals to come together in their communities to work towards better city ordinances, social programs and implement community farms.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Apply to become a GA Ambassador and implement city farms or any of the ten changes in your community!
Get your school or community to have us implement a ROOTS farm program
Our consumer driven culture is using up resources and filling landfills at a staggering rate. If everyone were living the way Americans do (in terms of resources used, the big houses and cars, etc.) it would take EIGHT PLANET EARTHS to sustain us. Does that give you an idea of how unsustainable our current way of life is?
Consumption and the means in which products are sourced is polluting our environment and threatening all other species on the planet. If we industrialize and suburbanize every square inch of land there will be no land left for wildlife to live on. They will disappear, to be gone forever.
In addition to driving all other species to extinction, over-consumption is on track to becoming our generation’s biggest issue – as the fight for resources: oil, food and water, intensifies.
The documentary below is incredibly profound, inspiring and calls us to ask questions and work for solutions to one of our generations most pressing global issues. Find ways to create more and consume less for a more healthy and just planet.
9. Political System
Our ancestors and founding fathers fought for this country to have a government for the people, by the people. We need to get the power back in the people’s hands and start a new party if necessary. Both sides of the political parties are bought out – which is why we need to cap corporate contributions to campaigns. When people in congress and positions of power are funded by corporations they act in favor of the corporations, not the people, usually resulting in injustices to workers, communities and the environment.
It would greatly help to research and realize what is going on behind the facade of a “choice” and the pitting of two parties – Republicans and Democrats- against each other and how it is merely a distraction. The truth is corporations are running our government, if not our world. Instead of fighting with each other, we should be fighting against this flawed system. Why do we only have 2 choices? Why aren’t any of the other candidates even allowed at the televised debates? Why do we have laws being made for corporations i.e. Citizens United stating that corporations are people? This country desperately needs to get back to the constitution and the Bill of Rights and get the power back to the people. Think of what we could accomplish if the passion from the election time was maintained and used to create the changes we need to make – for our democracy and for the planet. The people and animals of this world need us – our EARTH needs us UNITED for the GREATER GOOD!
This may be the most powerful of all... for how can there be war if we are all unified?
“When one is harmed, all are harmed. When one is helped, all are helped.”
For the first time in history, technology allows us to instantly connect with each other from all around the world. We shouldn’t let country borders separate us, we are all part of the human race. In order to preserve the earth we must all come together and awaken ourselves not only for our own generation but the generations to come.
“When the POWER of LOVE overcomes the LOVE of POWER, the WORLD will KNOW PEACE.” – Jimi Hendrix