background image
/ A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
6 / A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
tribute to a better world. I high-
ly recommend the Better World
Handbook or It's Easy to Be
Green. But it's also important
to know what actions will cre-
ate the greatest impacts; for ex-
ample, the fact that reducing the
number of miles we travel will
have more impact than our con-
sistency in recycling our bottles
-- though of course, we should
be doing both.
We know from many recent
studies that, generally speaking,
reducing or eliminating animal-
based foods from our diet and
moving to a plant-based diet will
have the greatest overall reduc-
tion of our personal ecological
footprint, meaning that it re-
duces our resource consump-
tion, as well as our harmful
emissions output. A close sec-
ond is reducing our transporta-
tion footprint -- reducing car
miles, airline flight quantity and
distance, etc.
Another powerful action is
to evaluate our banks and in-
vestments on the basis of their
environmental and social re-
sponsibility, and if necessary,
change over to those that per-
form with high standards. We
can, and should, do the same
in terms of the companies from
whom we buy our food and ma-
terial goods. Over the course
of our lifetime, this will make
a huge difference. One excel-
lent resource is the Responsi-
ble Shopper program on Green
America's website,
Randy: What is being done
that is good?
Vinit: There is a huge awak-
ening happening all over the
world now as to the urgency of
our impending crises, from stu-
dents, to scientists, to corporate
executives. Recent research in-
dicates that there are well over
a million public service organi-
zations working for social good
and environmental health, al-
though clearly we need to be
doing better at coordinating our
collective work.
In every sector of sustainabil-
ity, models of how things can be
done effectively -- in ways that
benefit both people and the en-
vironment -- are either currently
in practice in different parts of
the world or being developed.
These solutions are both on
the micro level -- such as so-
lar ovens or hand-crank laptop
computers, as well as the macro
level, such as giant wind farms
and technology sharing between
nations. Obviously, there are far
too many examples to list here,
but there are excellent compen-
diums of these solutions, such
as the book and website, World-
Randy: how did you get into
this field?
Vinit: Yes, who can I blame
for all this?! Well, I have always
been very connected to nature
-- it has always seemed to me
that nature was the very em-
bodiment of health, purity and
innocence. My understanding
of social justice, white privilege,
poverty, and the causes of this
"people" aspect of sustainability
has been more recent. But it was
the Johannesburg World Summit
that first gave me the impetus to
create my own organization and
begin producing educational
presentations and materials.
Prior to the sustainability fo-
cus, I was a marketing coach
and a graphic designer. I still use
those skills to help promote the
work. For many years I have also
had a spiritual practice, mostly
influenced by Buddhism. This
practice has given me a larger
perspective on my life purpose
and the fate of planet Earth.
The Universe is much bigger
in every respect than I can ever
know -- this gives me both the
humility and the willingness to
not be attached to how things
turn out, which is essential on
our journey of evolution.
Randy: Would you like to
share some information about
the various projects you are
working on right now?
Vinit: We are working on a
new global version of the Source
Book featuring voices that rep-
resent every continent. It will
be translated into several lan-
guages. In addition, we are pro-
ducing a study guide called, the
Learning & Engagement Guide,
to accompany the SourceBook
for classrooms and discussion
I am also involved in "Awak-
ening the Dreamer, Changing the
Dream" Symposium, created by
the Pachamama Alliance. This is
a symposium produced all over
the world by over 3000 trained
volunteers. This symposium fea-
tures powerful documentary
video excerpts that offer much
of what the SourceBook does --
understanding our current global
challenges, how we created this
predicament, and our best way
forward from here -- but in an
event format.
From my perspective, this
4-hour event is the most impor-
tant event one can attend, since
it is about the fate of our world.
It conveys both the urgency of
our current plight, as well the
hopeful way forward from here.
Randy: When does this sym-
posium take place?
Vinit: These symposiums are
produced whenever the volun-
teer presenters decide to put one
on. People can find out when
the next symposium is at www.
Randy: What are your plans
for the future?
Vinit: My vision is for the
Symposium and the SourceBook
(which is often sold at the end
of the Symposium) to increase
their penetration around the
world exponentially -- to help
us reach a critical mass of peo-
ple who understand our urgent
situation and are engaged in
work (at any level) to bring forth
a just and sustainable world for
I want to work closely with
global partners, and be based in
a self-sufficient community of
similarly engaged people.
Randy: I know you are out of
the country right, since we are
doing this interview by Skype
and through emails back and
forth. I'm curious as to where
you are right now and what are
you doing there?
Vinit: Presently, I'm in Guate-
mala, which is an interesting mix
of indigenous people (the great
majority of Mayan descent) and
mestizos, those with both Span-
ish and indigenous bloodlines.
I am inspired by these people
and their simplicity, open-heart-
edness and dedication to family
and work.
In addition to seeing different
parts of the country, I am meet-
ing with various people who are
volunteering with service orga-
nizations, building bridges and
schools, teaching children, etc.
Randy: Do you travel a lot? If
so, what are you discovering in
your travels?
Vinit: Yes, I do travel a fair
amount, although I also recog-
nize that represents a sizeable
ecological footprint, and make
sure I at least pay to offset the
emissions. I try to get out of
the U.S. periodically and usu-
ally visit so-called developing
countries ("third-world" coun-
tries is now generally consid-
ered a condescending term,
understandably) for two prima-
ry reasons: one is to get outside
(Continued from page 5)
Native Ceremonies * Vortex Tours * Energy Balancing
Inner Journeys Presents:
2011 Spiritual Retreats in Beautiful Sedona, Arizona
Four Elements" Retreat
"Ancient Wisdom" Retreat
"Exploring Your Spiritual Toolbox"
"IET Intensive" Nature Retreats
Day Retreats & Packages
for dates & details!
Call (928) 282-1706 to Register!
Spiritual Healing * Medicine Wheel * Sacred Walks
"If you wish the world
to become loving and
compassionate, become
loving and compassionate
yourself. If you wish to
diminish fear in the world,
diminish your own. These
are the gifts you can give."
-- Gary Zukav,
The Seat of the Soul