Today is Sikh Environment Day, and more than 1,550 organisations will be marking the celebrating the planet with practical actions ranging from flower shows to tree planting to blessing new compost facilities to processions to prayers.
"The first Sikh Environment Day had more than 450 gurdwaras, schools and others marking it; the second last year had more than 1,000," said EcoSikh's India coordinator Ravneet Singh. "This year is the third. We hoped 1,500 gurdwaras, schools, businesses and communities would urge their members, colleagues and pupils do something positive, thoughtful and wonderful for their environment. And we have passed that number and the contacts are still flooding in."
Every plan is exciting, whether from a big community or a small one, as it involves people, through their faith, really deciding to make a difference to the planet.
Plans, from India, Pakistan, Australia, UK, USA, Canada and Peru, include:
for the first time 35 Gurdwaras in Pakistan Punjab participating in Sikh Environment Day, providing a cross-frontier forum for engagement (and acting as faith models to defend Pakistan's environment)
the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) in Punjab monitoring March 14 as Sikh Environment Day with plantations and announcements in their 78 gurdwaras, 11 colleges and 31 khalsa schools
the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee celebrating Sikh Environment Day in all its 20 khalsa schools
Indian newspapers, radio and media outlets supporting through publicising Sikh Environment Day throughout the country
artists sharing their work, allowing people to use their images to publicise the links between Sikhism and the natural world
Gurdwaras, schools, businesses and communities planting trees, introducing composting, reducing plastics and styrofoam, saying prayers, reciting gurbani, holding assemblies, arranging processions, introducing solar panels, creating Youtube videos as seva... all sorts of wonderful things and ideas and initiatives which will last well beyond March 13, 2013.
ARC is proud to have played a part in supporting this initiative, which was funded by the Norwegian Government and by generous members of US Sikh communities, and was supported by thousands of Sikhs as part of their seva, or volunteering element of their faith. Read the latest news about who is taking part here.
March 1, 2013: The Quiet Revolution "To a very large extent the conservation/ ecology world has created a language, even a mythology, that largely excludes people rather than including them. And this is a major reason why we are not as successful as we once thought we might be" - Martin Palmer in the 45th edition of Resurgence magazine.
Amritsar and the Green Pilgrimage Network Information about the sacred site of Amritsar and the ways in which the religious and civil authorities are collaborating to make it a green pilgrimage destination.