Rachel Crandell Sustainability 
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There are many human activities that I think can be classified as angel messages in action. They are examples of sustainable activities motivated by caring people to restore and protect our world. These angel messages make me smile.

  • When I read that the trumpeter swan has returned from the brink of extinction and that a conservation organization paid the lease for the timber rights on 200,000 acres of tropical forest in Guyana to keep it from being logged, I smile.
  • When I find out that legislation has passed to grant fishermen a fixed percentage of the total catch that scientists determine can be sustainably harvested each year so the fisheries can recover, or that another law has encouraged the biggest fleet of express transport trucks in the US to replace 45,000 vehicles with diesel-electric hybrids that will cut tailpipe pollution by 90%, I smile.
  • When I am told that a federal district judge ruled that it was correct to restrict the flow of irrigation waters to save endangered salmon, or that a lawsuit now requires limits on pollution in impaired waterways that have been unsafe for fishing or swimming, I smile.
    When I discover new magazines that are focused on reporting positive, constructive things that are going on like Yes! Magazine and Hope, I smile.
  • When it is reported that jet skiis are no longer allowed in national park waterways and that a major coffee company is committed to working with coffee farmers in the third world to establish fair trade for shade-grown, organic coffee grown with social, environmental and economic standards, I smile.
  • When I hear of a friend going to Central America to a Spanish Language school that provides jobs in a village that was a former logging community, or that another friend has signed up for an eco-tourist trip where sustainable principles guide the socially and environmentally responsible travel, I smile.
  • When I read about land title gained by indigenous people to their ancestral lands, or read that volunteers have given their time, money and labor to build homes for families in need, I smile.
  • When I get a letter from Africa with reports on the hard work being done by guards to protect and conserve the habitat of gorillas, or a new certification of Smartwood which can identify wood products made from lumber grown in sustainable forests, I smile.
  • When I get an email telling me that another country has killed plans to open their spectacular coastal waters to oil drilling, and that citizens all over our country are emailing their congressmen and senators to demand a strengthened clear air act, I smile.
  • When I learn that schools are incorporating nature landscaping into their outdoor classrooms with butterfly gardens and restored streams or teachers are going to conferences about eco-literacy, teaching a sense of place education, I smile.
  • When I hear that vacation trips are organized to build schools and clinics and libraries in remote villages, and micro-enterprise lending is making it possible for women to receive small loans that enable them to become entrepreneurs and send their children to school, I smile.
  • When a newsletter tells me that junior high kids are doing service learning projects like tree planting and restoration of habitat, or high school kids are monitoring air pollutant levels around their school in an effort to find solutions, I smile.
  • Now that I have bought a gas/electric hybrid car that gets over 50 mpg, and I remember to use rechargeable batteries, I smile.
  • When I read new books that alert our citizens about the destructive nature of factory farms and the efforts of some companies to patent seeds for crops that farmers around the world have grown for thousands of years, I am glad to know.

I am grateful for courageous authors and activists that keep me informed. We need to know what to pray about and see where our prayers lead us to take action.

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