Eco Tips for Sabbats

It's the time of year to harvest the fruits of your labor thus far. We are no longer an agriculturally based society, but our ties to the natural cycles remain, so rather than solely a celebration of literal crop harvesting Lammas (or Lughnasadh) can become a celebration of the unity between mankind and Nature.

As a modern human, you must first ask yourself what is the labor and the fruits that may yield? What have you and the planet done for each other so far this year? Celebrate memories of times you mingled with the energy of a tree or were given guidance by animal messengers; give thanks for signs and omens the Earth has given you. Raising environmental awareness helps the planet, and even simple acts like placing a non-profits banner on your Myspace or Facebook profile could make a difference. Try to dig out the ways you can, or have been, helping the environment or environmental causes.

Get outside and pull some weeds, clean things up a bit. Contacting your local Department of Agriculture can reveal what plant species are on the most wanted list in your state, like the invasive cowslip; you really are helping your local environment by removing destructive non-native plants. Let yourself have fun with it though and enjoy the time outside.
Take a special walk with a loved one sometime between Midsummer and Lammas. The planet loves the spiritual energy created between loving people. Make it count more by taking along a couple of bags and pick up some trash along the way.
One wide scale expression found today is the desire to reduce one's personal impact upon the planet. The Harvest Sabbats can be a great time to review your "carbon count" or "Footprint". A great way to settle down after Lammas celebrations, or to start the morning after, would be to review your own planetary impact. If your household has done this before, then use this as an opportunity to review and compare progress.
If there are children in the family try making a game of recycling throughout the year and keep track; each family member would have an individual recycle bin, which is not unreasonable considering today's consumerism. Mark totals in a notebook when recycling or trash day comes around. At the after Lammas review, the person who was able to recycle the most (total number of bin loads in the year) wins some sort of prize. Make sure the prize reflects your family activity level; winner gets out of chores, or gets to pick the next family activity or movie, perhaps offer the option for "carbon cash" so children can save up the fruits of their own labor. You can use carbon cash for other events through the year, like an allowance. Just what you use as the cash itself is up to you; get creative with scrap paper from printer out put. Giving children a visible reward, rather than abstract rewards such as a donation, helps them learn the value of right action; at earlier ages let it all be fun, older kids can handle the concept of moral choices and self sacrifice but that's too heavy for the tots.
Celebrate and discover the different ways you can harvest the fruits of your own yearly labor.

* Here's a carbon footprint calculator (An Inconvenient Truth)

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