Pagan Earth Alliance
by Kansas Stanton
I’ve been an environmentalist since the age of twelve when I started a Save the Rainforest club in my grade school. I had assistants, an artist, an editor, and interns that made us matching t-shirts that we wore while we handed out educational pamphlets door to door and picked up trash at recess (because when you’re twelve, recess is the rainforest, apparently). After that, life kind of happened and one thing led to another until I was suddenly approaching 30 and decided that I needed a major change and I needed to do what I believe the gods put me here to do. So, I went back to school to become an environmental scientist so that I could make a difference in myself and in the world. It was during this time that I had ordered online a small statue of Cernunnos for my altar, and it arrived sealed up in a cardboard box. When I opened the box, I noticed two large halves of Styrofoam encasing the idol. And I remember thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be ironic if I chose to throw the Styrofoam that housed a nature god of animals into the trash where it’ll probably end up in the ocean forever and suffocating some poor animal’. That’s when I realized there was a major problem in the modern Pagan world. I wanted to help but many times when you organize Pagans, it’s like herding cats. But then I had an idea: what if in place of herding, I could instead just supply the cats ethically sourced catnip? And so began my organization.
Pagan Earth Alliance (PEA) is a non-profit organization that works to bring environmentalism to Pagans of all sects and traditions. And it does this through four departments; Education, Information, Operations, and Support - with Education and Information mostly existing online and Operations and Support existing in the real world. The Education department supplies Pagans non-biased knowledge from peer reviewed and credible sources on every topic that relates to global environmentalism. It explains what that topic is and its history, how it affects people and the environment, and what’s being done (or what can be done) to either implement it or remedy it from further degradation. The Information department supplies Pagans an easy-to-look-up source for whatever purchasing, and lifestyle decisions confront them at any given time. This department covers everything from eco-friendly household cleaning products, to purchasing environmental cars, to performing their religious rituals in a more environmentally innocuous manner. The Operations department is what started this whole idea in the first place with that Cernunnos statue. Through the Operations department, PEA members will be touring the facilities and factories of companies and artists that supply Pagans their religious and spiritual products to lower their business's carbon footprint as much as possible in areas such as: water use, energy use, chemical use and disposal of chemicals, material use, recycling and up-cycling, and sustainability- all whilst saving them overall cost. PEA members will also find ways to use biodegradable packaging for the businesses or set up a reuse or recycling program in their local area. Once these requirements have been met to the best of their abilities, their products will receive a PEA certification that is advertised as such on its packaging and on the product. This will enable the consumer to know which products to support the manufacturer’s environmental endeavors if they so choose to do so. The Support department works with individual Pagans and Pagan groups that need the political and physical support to enact environmental laws and changes in their communities where they practice, when their communities consist of socially and legally accepted procedures that are harmful to the Earth. Examples of this department would be starting petitions and marches, community meetings and fundraisers, organizing groups to educate at schools and corporate businesses, and setting up meetings with government officials. These four main departments act as the defining backbone of how we operate and enact change to the Pagan community.
Outside of these departments, PEA also supplies the Pagan community orderable “ritualware” which consist of cups, plates, flatware, napkins, disposable tablecloths, and straws that are 100% compostable to use for their group rituals, Meetups, events, gatherings, conventions and conferences, and their retreats. PEA is also involved in workshops, public events, and conferences to better educate, inform, and work with Pagans on how to implement environmentalism in their personal lives through various examples.
The sustainable health of the Earth is collapsing. The more ongoing degradation our planet experiences from our choices, the more threatened we are, as well as all the other beings and energies we share our home with who have innocently fallen victim. The blame game is over- we are above that. We are the consumers. We are the decision-makers who can make changes every day. But now Pagans do not have to inconvenience themselves and their routines to make these necessary changes; PEA has already done it for them as an environmental resource. Because we believe that no matter what kind of Pagan you are, we all see the Earth as sacred.
~ Kansas Stanton, President, PEA