AUSTRALIA, November 2013 (press release): Bushfires raging in the Blue Mountains around Sydney as early as October is being seen by Hindu community leaders as a call to action. This call is the subject of the Hindu Climate Change Action Kit, jointly published by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and the Hindu Council of Australia, and was launched on Saturday, 26th October by Rev. Swami Sunishthananda of the Sydney Vedanta Centre. The launch took place as part of the Deepavali Festival at Sydney Olympic Park.
ARRCC’s President Thea Ormerod, who was present at the launch said, “After a week of uncharacteristically hot weather for October and terrible bushfires, it is imperative that we all step up and take responsibility for addressing climate change. We need to start making Earth-friendly choices both as individuals and communities. Like our Christian Kit, the Hindu Climate Change Action Kit provides loads of well-grounded, easy-to-use, creative ideas to assist Hindus to play their part. From Hindu spirituality to the science basics and improving energy efficiency, from ideas for nurturing a sense of connection with Mother Nature to advocacy, this kit will support Australian Hindus in making their contribution.”
Sri Venkateswara Temple, Helensburgh, is one example of a temple that has taken the sorts of actions that the kit recommends. These include insulating the temple to conserve energy and reducing the size of the pits used for the Omum (Havan) fire ceremony, to reduce firewood consumption.
“Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘The rich must live more simply so the poor may simply live’,” quoted Professor Agar. “The simple message is to control our desires and reduce the demand on precious natural resources. Spirituality is at the heart of sustainability. The Hindu Climate Change Action Kit encourages us all to conserve energy, live a simple, contented and fulfilled life with mental peace and tranquillity, green our worship and festivals at the temple and at home, and live healthy active lives including a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This is a message for our wider communities, businesses and for our political representatives as well. I highly commend the kit to all Hindus.”
The Hindu Climate Change Action Kit is downloadable from ‘source.’