Have human beings lost sight of their connection with the earth?
For Julia Butterfly Hill, an environmental and social activist, the answer is a resounding "yes." According to her, we've forgotten how to co-exist with nature, and are now content living in a mindset of wastefulness.
She calls this phenomenon the "disposability consciousness," and explains how understanding it can help us address numerous social justice issues.
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"Every plastic bag, plastic cup, plastic to-go container, that is the petroleum complex in Africa, Ecuador, Columbia, Alaska, you name it," Hill said.
"When you say you're going to throw something away -- where's 'away?' There is no away."
In her travels she asked various native peoples if their original languages had words for waste, or disposable, or trash, and found that none of them did. "Because all traditional knowledge knows there's no such thing," she said.
She invites people to reconnect with walking, bicycling, reusing, consuming less energy -- and recognizing the joy and power in the simplicity of these things.
"We cannot have peace on the earth unless we also have peace with the earth," she said.
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