Six Tips for Moving the Temple in a Sustainable Direction
Start a temple garden. Size is irrelevant, although the bigger the garden the more facility to engage others. Be sure to validate the efforts of the gardener(s) by making a point to offer his/her fruits, however insignificant, to the Deities.
Upgrade the Offering
Improve brahminical standards by preferentially offering bhoga to the Deities that is not the product of exploitative and toxic agricultural practices. Local sourcing of fresh commodities opens up a whole world of people and organizations living on the metro fringe, many of whom are favorable to devotees.
Ahimsa Support Groups
Within your local congregation, organize an ahiṃsa (non-violence) support group. Krishna conscious mothers and grandmothers naturally want to protect their children from meat-eating. Initiate the dialogue. Nurture the development of the group. What are the challenges for Indian youth? How can we protect them from McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken?
Look for Opportunities to Interact
Public perception about most city temples in ISKCON is that it’s a “religion for Indian people,” or that we are unconcerned with anything as mundane as recycling or climate change. Change the dynamic by embracing opportunities to interact with local environmental groups. Be eager to share our ideas.
Congregational Purchasing Power
Indian families in America are looking for sustainable answers, especially where to find cruelty-free milk. Families should be encouraged to pool their food dollars into well-capitalized buying blocks. Locate a dairy farmer on the metro-fringe who are looking for a niche market. If he’s willing to protect the herd from slaughter, including the newborn calves, secure a long-term contractual agreement to supply milk to the congregation.
Advertize ISKCON’s Farm Ventures
Wonderful things are happening throughout ISKCON’s network of farm communities. Each project is an incubator for the future of daiva-varnāśrama… and they’re all desperate for help! Making people aware of these projects by prominently and consistently posting farm community news sends recruits and supporters.