Humanity requires large-scale change, but eventually, change comes down to the daily choices and actions that make large-scale change possible. We must act as if the age of ecological enlightenment has arrived. Here and now, we might begin this transformation by changing our lives. Here are some things we can do to be part of the solution:

• Stop hydrocarbon use: Walk, ride a bike, or take public transport. Urge politicians to create low-impact public transportation.
• Grow and eat local food: Dining on exotic food, wrapped in plastic and shipped around the world with fossil fuels, is not sustainable. Preserve local agricultural land and start a backyard or community garden. To impress guests, serve something you grew.
• Slow consumption: We must virtually stop consuming certain products, and slow down all consumption. Shop secondhand. Recycle everything. Make global responsibility your fashion statement.
• Build community: We cannot solve the global ecological challenge as individuals, but we can as neighborhoods and communities. Grow compassion.
• Have courage. Challenging conventional thinking may attract ridicule. Do not be intimidated by the consequences of having a conscience. When one person stands up, others are inspired to stand up. This is the multiplying power of Gandhi or Aung San Su Kyi.
• Research. To transform society toward ecological responsibility, one must possess a genuine curiosity about how society works and how nature works.
• Use your skills: The best way to change the world is through the things you already know how to do and love to do. Use your skills, knowledge, and passions.
• Practice self-reflection: Ecology asks us to be humble, not proud. We must discover how to learn from nature.

Ordinary heroes, who practice modesty and courage, lead change and initiate social transformation. Personal action defeats feelings of hopelessness and makes good intentions manifest. The choices we make transform the world.

This article was first published at Religion Dispatches and is reprinted with permission.

Rex Weyler is a co-founder of Greenpeace International and the author of Greenpeace: The Inside Story. His new book, The Jesus Sayings, examines the evidence for an historical Jesus and his authentic message. Contact him at