The eco soul is when people gain an awareness of the environment and want to take care of it due to a natural inner impulse rather than being told it is a good thing to do. I first heard the term eco soul from the founder of Maui Retreat, a bed & breakfast/ eco farm/ spiritual retreat in Hawaii, Kutira Decosterd. Kutira found her own eco soul awakened more than two decades ago and every project she’s taken on since then has been with the intention of creating as sustainable an environment as possible. I really like this term because it highlights one of the major effects of becoming an aware human being.
Becoming consious of our thoughts and actions leads to taking responsibility and control of them. When we tune into our connection to earth, where products come from, where they go when we’re done with them, how animals are treated, the role we as consumers play becomes clear within the context of the bigger picture. For those who really feel the connection to earth, there is a natural urge to be better stewards than we have been as a society. No one has to tell you to recycle, to shop with reusable bags, and not to waste energy. You do it because you know if you poison your environment, you poison yourself. Every action inevitably comes back to stare us in the face. No one in their right mind would deliberately hurt themselves, unless they had no idea of how their actions affected other things. Our urge to survive and thrive is too strong to keep perpetuating self-destructive behavior after awareness kicks in.
As soon as we see the connection between the our actions and the outer world, blind consumerism disappears and conscious consumerism begins to transform our thoughts, habits, desires, and the way products are made and marketed. Sustainability, green living, and eco-friendly goods are all expressions of a collective eco soul wielding its transformative power on our modern society.
It is a gradual process. Most people don’t change every bad habit all at once. I certainly am not as green as I could be but I do what I can and keep trying in other ways. It is far better to succeed sometimes rather than not to try at all and have zero chance of acquiring better habits. The more we invite our eco soul to awaken the greater the effect on our immediate environment. We will have less tolerance for toxicity and cruelty and a greater impulse towards nurturing the earth and all the creatures who depend on her, including our fellow humans. Here’s to the continual growth of our eco souls, individual and collective!
Written by Soanya Ahmad
Image: Chakra Buddha sculpture by Reid Stowe, 1975.