FIRST EDITION, SPRING 2020
EDITORIAL: TAYLOR VIENS, LAURA JOAKIMSON
BOOK DESIGN: KIM REIERSON
It is impossible to relay everything
that has gone into this book, and
what this book means to me.
Thank you for the abundance of
discussions, edits, strategy sessions
and responses to my millions of
questions. This small book, and its
big mission, would not be possible
Shifrah Devorah Witt
The payoffs of courage and effort
to create change aren’t always
immediately obvious, but they work
as a mighty tectonic force that can
shift the future in fundamental ways.
-Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia
Dear Reader 10
Personal Responsibility 28
Self-Love . Role Models . Habits
Social Responsibility 42
Environmental Responsibility 58
Igniting Global Change 78
A Whole Person 80
Whole Person Pledge 82
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FIGHT FOR THE THINGS
THAT YOU CARE ABOUT.
BUT DO IT IN A WAY
THAT WILL LEAD OTHERS
TO JOIN YOU.
-Ruth Bader Ginsberg
This book is dedicated to you.
I wrote each page with the hope of encouraging
you to become a whole person who makes the
world better. Being whole starts with caring
about yourself so you can flourish, and give more
to others and the planet. I want YOU to be more
aware of yourself, your relationships with others,
and the world we live in. Being a whole person
means being the best person you can be every day,
and leaving every day a little better than how you
The world is in a precarious state.
Conditions are dire. Challenges to humanity and
the environment are urgent. The near constant
escalation of hunger, disease, violence, social
injustice, corruption, crime, pollution, and climate
change must stop.
My hope is that each page will open
your eyes and heart, and ignite a sense
of awareness, responsibility and action.
We are living in a time that is critical for
the survival of the planet. It’s a time of
extraordinary opportunities, but also a time of
intense challenges. Many people are thriving,
while too many others are barely surviving,
and have few opportunities. Poverty, hunger,
social injustice, air and water pollution, lack
of education, economic deprivation, political
disruption, corruption, violence, and abuse
threaten millions of people worldwide. And
due to the excessive consumption of natural
resources, to pollution, global warming, and a
general lack of conservation, the environment
is frightfully fragile. Oceans are no longer a
According to a study conducted by Earth.org,
an organization committed to protecting the
deteriorating conditions of natural ecosystems
worldwide, only 3% of marine areas are
free from overfishing, over-harvesting, and
pollution from metals, fertilizers, and plastics.
National Geographic found that 91% of all
plastic that has ever been made is not recycled,
and roughly 11 million tons of this plastic
makes its way yearly into our oceans, creating
plastic continents that harm wildlife and their
habitats. The climate crisis is accelerating at
an unprecedented rate, and humanity is not
ready for it.
Because of all of this, I have decided to live
differently, in a way that makes a positive
impact in my every step, conversation, and
action. I want to be part of necessary change,
and challenge the colossal issues facing
humanity and the environment. If we all
decide to take a stand in support of humanity
and the environment, and we band together,
it’s not too late to have a positive impact on
climate change, social injustice, hate, disease,
hunger, poverty, pollution, and waste, etc.
Dear Reader, I am certain this is not new
news for you or anyone else, yet many people
still choose to do nothing. They don’t engage
or they think their own actions alone cannot
make a difference. Our world needs each and
every person to be an activist. I’ve chosen to
step up and I’m asking you to step up alongside
me, so that we become a whole force that
makes the whole world better.
The world has 7.8 billion people. Each of us
calls Earth home. It is easy to look around
and see the many challenges—in your family,
in your community, in yourself, at home, at
school, in relationships, at work, in sports, or
in hospitals. Challenges are not confined to
remote villages, to cities, or to the wilderness.
They are everywhere, and they compound
and get worse year by year. In some cases,
the problems become irreparable. Every day,
scientists speak out saying we are close to the
point of no return, but their pleas are met with
silence. My friends, a single hero is not on the
way, and neither science nor technology alone
can save the world. It’s people who must step
up, individually and as teams.
As a whole person, I have a role to play in
today’s global crisis. I have seen enough, and
I am compelled to do my part and also inspire
others to get involved. I am impactful. You
are also impactful. Together, we are a powerful
force that can effect positive change. We are
purposeful. We carry intention. We know that
every action is important, from large to small.
We give and we listen. We choose helpful
actions again and again. We are champions
for the environment, and for personal and
social change, knowing this makes the world
better. We value our own and others’ wellbeing;
we live by kindness and inclusiveness.
We take action on behalf of equality, justice,
and environmental safety for all. As a whole
person we each make the whole world better.
Zoom in further:
By nature, we each have the potential to be a
force for good wherever we are. I vow to work
alongside you to help create positive change
for a better world. Wherever you call home,
and regardless of your age, gender, race,
religion, ethnicity, interests, or physical ability,
you can be someone who greatly cares about
your own and others’ well-being. Someone
who gives more than you take. Someone who
inspires others to join in and be the change.
If you can help improve the world at the local
or global level, I urge you to do so. It starts with
awareness, responsibility, and action. A better
world is based on the power of three tenets of
a whole person:
For most of my adult life, I strived to be a
champion, and in ways I could never have
imagined, I succeeded. I am a mother, a sports
psychologist, a motivational speaker, an
author, an artist, and an endurance athlete
with nine world championship titles in
off-road triathlon. I lived in a bubble that
allowed me to focus exclusively on my life: my
children’s well-being, their success in school
and sport, our family’s adventure travel, my
own work, my athletic pursuits, and being
a good mother and wife. While my life was
exhilarating and rewarding, something deep
within was not quite right. I was proud of my
accomplishments and loved competing, but I
In late 2010, while at the top of my game,
something shocking happened. As I was
packing my bags for a competition in
Switzerland, I climbed high into my closet
reaching for a gift I imagined the race director
would love—and I fell hard, breaking both
heels. I was told I might never walk properly
again. Suddenly, the competitive world felt
beyond reach. But as it turned out, it was just
the right thing. The universe had other ideas
My recovery brought with it time for reflection.
I began to ask difficult questions. Was I a good
mother? A good citizen? A good person? Did
my focused intensity help those around me or
just help me? What motivated me to pursue
intense physical training through my 40s
and 50s? Why was competing so rewarding?
How long would I continue? I took an inward
journey to my most honest, raw self—a place
I hadn’t been in decades. When I met the
person I knew I could and should be, my “inner
champion,” I was overcome. Not by pride, but
by a tidal wave of shame.
I realized the person I was known to be—a
devoted mother, champion of sport, and
inspiration to others—had actually fallen short in
life. I now saw myself as someone who was too
singularly focused, living in a self-absorbed and
self-indulgent bubble. I was embarrassed. I knew
better. My heels were broken, and now my heart.
I was raised in a privileged household where
we worried about the good life. At age 12, an
inner voice told me if everyone lived as we
did, our world would decline to the point of
no return. The realization led me to become a
In high school, I studied the prison system and
supported prisoners’ rights, helped develop
independent living skills to further rights for
developmentally disabled populations, engaged
in anti-war activism, and thrived on vegetarian
recipes from Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a
Small Planet. But it would be decades later, after
marriage and raising a family, and immersion in
a life of elite sport for our daughters and myself,
that I would once again open my heart and
transition from living the good life to valuing
being good in life.
After my accident, I started seeking out the
work of role models. As a sponsored athlete
of Patagonia, I respected the work of founder
Yvon Chouinard. His stance on mixing social
and environmental activism with business
and consumer behavior influenced me to
think and live with greater social and
environmental impact. Another of my
sponsors, KIND Healthy Snacks, founded
by Daniel Lubetsky, introduced me to the
“and” philosophy. Lubetsky, like Chouinard,
commits to making a profit “and” being
socially and environmentally responsible. As
I watched these two companies, and other
B Corporations, work to change priorities of
the global corporate landscape, I recognized
that individuals can do the same.
I now realized that caring for myself and
my family in the best way possible means
caring for others. This larger sense of caring
urged me onward, to do everything in my
power to live with social and environmental
consciousness. My love and admiration
of Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired me to
embrace the Jewish concept and law
Tikkun Olan, which means to behave and
act constructively and beneficially, so as to
better the world. It was only by embracing
greater responsibility and action that I became
purposeful, effective, and therefore whole.
I know the load of global problems can feel
overwhelming at times, but everyone can do
something. And, if everyone committed to
doing something daily, think how much the
cumulative efforts could effect change!
For me, competing will always be an
adrenaline rush. It is empowering to stand on
a podium and receive a medal. I love being a
winner, but now it is far more important for
me to use my talents, drive, and dedication to
make a positive difference.
Today, I take pride in myself as a person who
is aware, responsible, and takes action by
contributing every day to a better world. I
now identify as a whole person whose lifetime
goal has nothing to do with a trophy or title;
rather, my aim is to live by best practices and
I created a list of some of the things I do
to benefit myself, my family, humanity,
and the environment. I encourage you to
create your own list. This is a life-affirming
experience that you can share to inspire and
Commit to 100% ecologically
formulated household products.
Drink water and coffee from a
designated re-usable container.
Subscribe to “Who Gives a Crap”
for all toilet paper and other paper
product needs, supporting the
building of toilets worldwide.
Walk, run, or bicycle rather
than drive to do errands.
Organize paperless billing, online
banking, and all digital news
and magazine subscriptions.
Compliment, smile at, or help a family
member, neighbor, or stranger daily.
Exercise every day to self-energize,
uphold fitness, and generate well-being.
Wear jackets and socks in the house
to keep warm, to prevent using heat.
Turn off all lights until they are needed.
Reduce laundry and dishwasher cycles.
Shop locally vs. online.
Shop Fair Trade.
Eat organic foods.
Reduce or eliminate use of plastic
wrap, containers, and bags.
Eliminate paper napkins and towels.
Use cloth napkins and dish towels
(and then wash those in cold water).
Re-use glass jars for storage.
Consume fewer material
things and focus on upcycling
or donating possessions.
Grow a drought-resistant garden.
Volunteer at a local food bank.
Mentor someone through the
local school or organizations, such
as Big Brother, Girls Inc., etc.
Proactively request all local
dry cleaners to use non-toxic
cleaning products, and no wire
hangers or plastic covers.
Ask people to turn off their
engines if they’re not driving.
Request local restaurants to replace
large plastic take-out containers
with recyclable containers/boxes, or
supply my own reusable container.
to drive awareness, responsibility,
and action for a better world.
A WHOLE PERSON
UNDERSTANDS THERE IS
A B O U T
IS NOW OUR
UNLESS SOMEONE LIKE YOU CARES A
WHOLE AWFUL LOT, NOTHING IS
GOING TO GET BETTER. IT’S NOT.
- DR. SEUSS ”
YES! WE REALLY
CAN IGNITE CHANGE!
Change happens one person at a time, one
cause at a time, one day at a time. In her book,
Superman’s Not Coming, environmental activist
Erin Brockovich suggests that rather than waiting
for heroes, each one of us has the opportunity and
the responsibility to create positive change.
Change might be choosing healthy food at the
market, and teaching your children the values of
clean diet and regular exercise. Or you might speak
at your kids’ school about gardening and nutrition.
Change might be starting a neighborhood recycled
clothing store that gives 1% for the planet.
Change might be eating a plant-based diet,
composting to eliminate waste and enrich the
Earth, and having a regular exercise program that’s
inspiring others to change from the inside out.
Change means white parents teaching their
children about racism and Black Lives Matter.
Change means you have the power to encourage
and inspire others, especially those closest to you!
Change builds when one person’s positive habits
and choices inspire a way of life that others adopt.
When one person is open, caring, healthy, and
believes in making a difference, an extraordinary
chain reaction happens.
EVERY PERSON HAS THE
POWER TO IGNITE CHANGE.
ONE PERSON AT A TIME
ONE CAUSE AT A TIME
ONE DAY AT A TIME
Personal responsibility begins with caring
for yourself. It means being accountable to
yourself. It’s the first step in the incredible
journey called life.
Personal responsibility is awareness, and
wellness in body, mind, and spirit. It generates
self-respect. It means knowing the difference
between right and wrong. Personal
responsibility is self-care, and it fosters selflove
and reinforces consciousness, mental
fortitude, and drive.
Personal responsibility is based on compassion
for one’s self. When we experience compassion
for our self, we extend compassion to others.
Personal responsibility is cultivated—it is not
innate, an evolutionary adaptation, or a simple
survival response. It is an ability, learned
and constantly honed. It helps us function
Caring about ourselves and others
Making decisions that don’t hurt
other people or the environment
Being accountable to ourselves and
to others in our lives
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IS
PERSONAL INTEGRITY, AND EACH OF US
EXPRESSES THIS DIFFERENTLY. IT IS OUR
COMPASS FOR MANAGING OURSELVES.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY GUIDES
EVERY RELATIONSHIP WITH
THE OUTSIDE WORLD, BEYOND
FAMILY AND LOCAL COMMUNITY,
AND GUIDES US TO INTERACT IN OUR
COMMUNITIES WITH GRACE, RESPECT,
GENEROSITY, AND PURPOSE.
Personal responsibility is personal growth,
shaping our relationship to the whole world. It
is a vessel for core values including awareness,
health and well-being, generosity, happiness,
Personal responsibility is absorbed
throughout our lives from role models,
relationships, experiences, and life
IS NOT RELATED TO
IT’S ABOUT EFFORT AND
GIVING TO THE BEST OF OUR
“before you call yourself
a christian, buddhist,
muslim, hindu or
any other theology,
learn to be human first. ”
-Shannon L. Adler
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IS
THE BASIS FOR OTHER ACTIONS
THAT EFFECT SELF, HUMANITY,
AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
These are the elements in my life that I
discovered improve my physical well-being
and ability to thrive. I encourage you to identify
which of these or other elements work for you.
▶ Managing allergies
▶ Basic first aid
▶ Fresh air
IT IS THE PATH TO HEALTH,
SELF-RESPECT, AND AN ABILITY
TO MAKE BETTER LIFE DECISIONS.
These are the elements in my life that I
discovered improve my mental well-being and
ability to thrive. I encourage you to identify
which of these or other elements work for you.
Our choices have an enormous influence on
our life path, and how we influence others.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?
DO YOU CHOOSE TO:
Be stuck in the past
Behave as a victim
Be passive aggressive
Feel stuck, isolated
OR DO YOU CHOOSE TO:
See your value
Be honest and direct
Release and believe
Take a stand
WILL HAPPEN ONE
AT A TIME.
All 7.8 billion people
worldwide have their own
particular struggles and
life circumstances. Yet we
can each make a difference
by cultivating awareness,
taking responsibility, and
knowing that our actions
Habits are formed the same way muscles
are trained—through repetition.
It takes roughly twenty-one days to
form a new habit. The brain is a muscle.
It needs training, consistency, and time
to grow. Habits are the building blocks
of your day, your life, and the way you
interact with the world around you.
If you want to create lasting change,
turn your positive actions into habits and
watch the effects multiply.
IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE
UNTIL IT’S DONE. ”
Self-love is a critical aspect of self-care
and personal responsibility.
Self-love requires you to accept your
individuality. It is knowing your
boundaries and having respect for your
value system. Self-love means showing
compassion toward yourself when you fail
to live up to your ideals. Self-love means
finding grace in hardship. It guides you
when facing life’s toughest challenges.
Self-love means letting inspiration rather
than apathy light your path.
SELF-LOVE IS AUTHENTIC
ACCEPTANCE OF THE BODY, MIND,
SELF-LOVE HONORS THE
Once you are grounded with an understanding
of personal responsibility and self-compassion,
you can step outside yourself to extend
that care to other human beings. Social
responsibility is using our best talents and
abilities to champion causes we know will
help other people.
Kindness, compassion, and a desire for justice
for those experiencing oppression are great
ways to begin. Generating awareness about
the needs of other people might start with
a simple question: How are you doing? How
are you feeling? Is there anything I can do to
help? Can I show you something I learned that
helped me and also might help you?
Support can be shown in many different
ways: lending a hand, spending time, and
Social responsibility is exploring the many
ways to champion change, which means
staying informed of current events as well as
local and global issues. Social responsibility
is turning awareness into action. It is getting
involved with a meaningful cause. It is
knowing that a little help is better than none.
Social responsibility is demonstrated by
individuals who use their voice, platform,
and influence for the greater good and
recruit others to get involved as well.
Social Responsibility is building an
awareness of and contributing to global issues
as they affect humanity and society. Donating
your time, sharing resources (materials,
information, financial contributions), speaking
out, voting, or doing whatever you can do
to turn your passion into positive change is
practicing social responsibility!
The world needs everyone to live more
consciously and to care about their own
and others’ well-being. The world needs
every child, mother, father, sister, brother,
student, teacher, athlete, coach, doctor, artist,
scientist, lawmaker, celebrity, police officer,
steel-worker, truck driver, janitor, technician,
firefighter, entrepreneur, explorer, and leader
to be a champion of change for a better world...
TO BE KIND.
TO PAY ATTENTION.
TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.
OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END
THE DAY WE BECOME SILENT
ABOUT THINGS THAT
-Martin Luther King
Social Responsibility is the willingness to feel,
behave, and contribute to the benefit of society
at large. Do you have the energy, awareness,
life force, i.e. purpose, and commitment to
inspire best practices for the benefit of a better
world? Do you contribute in a positive and
productive way to the larger society? There
are a multitude of challenges in our society,
today we must all be aware of the challenges
and find a cause(s) to champion.
Be informed. Read newspapers, connect to
online media, and listen to local public radio
stations to be aware of current events in the
Take Action. Find a cause you are passionate
about, and get involved. Learn to turn your
passion into a contribution.
Examples of pressing social issues
affecting humanity today:
▶ Animal rights
▶ Domestic violence
▶ Gender discrimination
▶ Gender roles
▶ Human trafficking
▶ LGBTQ rights
▶ Police brutality
▶ Racial discrimination
▶ Refugee crises
▶ Religious freedom
▶ School-to-prison pipeline
▶ Separation of immigrant families
▶ Substance abuse
A whole person is a natural role model and
someone who has integrated simple yet
powerful ways to create a better world. A
role model is a positive force—someone who
lives with little separation between personal,
social, and environmental responsibility, who
inspires others by their example of how to
give back and how to save the planet. Our
aspirations may be global, but each of us
starts with a drive towards self-development
and making conscious choices.
Role models are everywhere!
They are you, me, athletes, actors, singers,
writers, innovators, business icons, and
spiritual leaders. Role models can also be
Role models learn how to use their unique
circumstances and abilities to best impact the
world. A whole person accepts responsibility
for both finding positive role models, and
living as a role model to others.
DO WHAT YOU
LONG AS YOU
As a teenager in Pakistan, Malala took a stand
against the Taliban’s banning of girls’ education.
After surviving a violent attack, Malala continues to
fight for every girl’s right to receive an education.
A civil-rights leader in South Africa who spent
twenty-seven years in prison. He fought for people
of all races to have basic human rights, and later
became president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
MARY TERESA BOJAXHIU, “MOTHER TERESA”
This Catholic saint dedicated her life to
compassionately serving those suffering from
disease, poverty and starvation.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Known for his contributions to the American
civil rights movement. His most famous work
is his “I Have a Dream” (1963) speech, in which
he spoke of his dream of a United States that
is void of segregation and racism. King also
advocated for nonviolent protest.
A teenage Swedish climate activist responsible
for leading an international movement to
fight climate change.
He changed American business by using his
company, Patagonia, as a model of “sustainable
industry” that neither harms the environment
nor grows so quickly that its own viability is
jeopardized. Fully committed to a healthier
planet, he founded 1% for the Planet, an
international organization whose business and
individual members contribute at least one
percent of their annual sales or personal income
to environmental causes.
As the founder of the Virgin companies, multiple
non-profits, and as one of the pioneers of the
B Corporation movement, he stands at the helm of
corporate social and environmental responsibility,
where activism is integral to business.
STEFANI GERMANOTTA, “LADY GAGA”
Leveraged her musical fame to found Born This
Way, a non-profit organization that supports
the mental health of young people and aims to
create a more kind and brave world.
Environmental issues are defined as problems
with the planet’s systems (air, water, soil, etc.)
that have developed as a result of human
interference or mistreatment of the planet. Our
planet is on the brink of a severe environmental
crisis, making all of us vulnerable to existing
and potential disasters.
Here are the challenges: The Earth’s natural
resources are being depleted faster than they
can be replenished. Humans are increasingly
polluting the oceans with plastic, exploiting
the land in search of fossil fuels, and releasing
toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases into
the air from our factories, our homes, and
methods of transportation. These gases wrap
around the planet like a blanket and make
everything hotter. A hotter planet leads to
IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP THE
HERO WITHIN YOU,
AND NOW IS THE TIME TO
START. ULTIMATELY, IT’S WE,
THE PEOPLE, WHO WILL
SAVE THE DAY..
rising temperatures of the oceans and the
Earth’s surface causing natural disasters that
include unnatural patterns of precipitation
such as flash floods, hurricanes, wildfires,
drought, excessive snow or desertification,
and melting of polar ice caps. This can cause a
rise in sea levels and make it harder for animals
to find places to live. The huge production of
waste due to our hyper-consumption is also a
major threat to the environment.
It’s time to take responsibility for our messes
NOW! Environmental Responsibility is
essential. We can each do our part and make
a positive difference.
IS CREATING A LIFESTYLE THAT
In 2000, the movie Erin Brockovich featured then
unknown a legal assistant who helped to win a
major environmental lawsuit against PG&E. Since
then, thousands of Americans have written letters
to Brockovich asking them for support in fighting
for cleaner drinking water in their communities.
She built a website where she maps drinking water
pollution across the United States. Although she
is now a well known environmental activists who
travels across the United States shining a light
on water safety issues, she writes that today’s
environmental challenges are so enormous no
one person can solve them.
IT IS OUR COLLECTIVE AND
TO PRESERVE AND TEND
TO THE ENVIRONMENT IN
WHICH WE ALL LIVE.
She writes “I was a broke, single mom with
dyslexia trying to make ends meet. I was -The the least Dalai Lama
likely person to become anyone’s hero, but I was
willing to listen to other people’s stories and use
common sense to guide me.”
Here’s the challenge: humans are increasingly
polluting the oceans with plastic, exploiting the
land in search of fossil fuels, and releasing toxic
chemicals into the air – and at a rate so high, the
’s natural resources are being depleted faster
than they can be replenished. As a result, we are
Examples of ecologically-minded habits:
▶ Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose.
▶ Think hard before you
discard. Even clothing!
▶ Donate, share, resell unwanted
and unworn clothing.
▶ Replace all single-use coffee
cups with a reusable mug.
▶ Eliminate plastic bottles from
the home, from your life.
▶ Live life without plastic.
▶ Unplug electronics that aren’t in use.
▶ Turn lights out when you leave a room.
▶ Install LED light bulbs.
▶ Go paperless.
▶ Use cloth napkins, not paper.
▶ Opt out of paper billing.
▶ Use email and don’t print.
▶ Clean up your surroundings.
▶ No litter, no dumping, no open sewage,
no car exhaust, no dirty smoke or fires.
▶ Turn off the faucet when brushing
teeth and washing face and hands.
▶ Trade in your fuel burning car.
▶ Choose electric or manual: ride
a bike, scooter, carpool, walk,
▶ Drive ecologically: to spare the air
and to conserve gasoline. (50 mph
uses 30% less fuel and produces
40% less emissions than 70 mph)
▶ Use public transportation.
▶ Fly less. Or buy carbon offsets.
▶ Purchase ecological appliances: water
conscious shower-head, washerdryer,
dishwasher, toilet, etc.
(Products bearing the Energy Star
label are reliably efficient).
▶ Avoid aerosols for deodorant, hair
spray, or cleaning products.
▶ Make your own cleaning products: kitchen
cleaners, toothpaste, facial cleansers, etc.
Obtain alternatives for shampoo, toothpaste,
deodorant, and cleaning bottles.
▶ Support organic farmers by
eating seasonal foods.
▶ Shop locally. Go to Farmers’ Markets.
▶ Support sustainable brands.
Sometimes people think that because they
separate their trash, glass, metals, plastics,
paper, and household vegetative waste and
put it on the curb weekly or bi-weekly for
municipal pick-up, that they are sufficiently
contributing to a healthier planet.
Recycling does have some tangible ecological
benefits. But the fact is, if that’s all you are
doing, it really isn’t enough. Recycling should
be just one tool in your environmental toolbox
to fight against overconsumption, pollution,
and global warming.
The first thing to remember is that recycling is
a business and industry, not a service—which
means that the business will only do what is
most cost-effective. Many of the things that
go to recycling centers are contaminated and
then end up being sent to landfill sites. Or
take the example of glass, which is in theory,
infinitely recyclable. It costs less to make
new glass than it does to make things from
recycled glass, so many manufacturers won’t
bother with it. This is how glass and other
recyclable materials end up in landfills.
Recycling takes a lot of energy, including fossil
fuels, as some of the recycled products (like
plastics) end up being burnt. Recycling is a
greener way of dealing with waste but it should
be used as a last resort, after cutting down
on consumption and supporting sustainable
manufacturing in what we do consume.
So please continue to separate your trash,
glass, metals, plastics, paper, and household
vegetative waste (or compost it yourself), and
do it well. But don’t stop there.
REMEMBER THE 3R’S: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.
That’s the order of importance. Reducing your waste
should always be the top priority! Next, reusing an
item—even once—before disposing of it makes a
huge difference. Lastly, recycle responsibly once
you have exhausted all other options.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING
AS ‘AWAY.’ WHEN WE THROW
ANYTHING AWAY IT MUST
An industry that has not been discussed as often
as it should be for its role in climate change
is fashion. The environmental impact of fast
fashion strains our world. An overproduction of
cheap clothing relies on fossil fuels, produces
toxic chemicals, causes water pollution, and
adds to landfills.
Consumer habits around fashion also continue
to pressure the industry to cut costs and time
for production, creating unhealthy working
environments. Companies like Patagonia, Worn
Wear, ThredUP, Allbirds, Athleta, Eileen Fisher,
and Prana have led the charge in educating
consumers on the ecological need for
sustainable clothing options. We can all rethink
new ways to refresh our wardrobe and stay
fashionable: share, resell, trade, and shop your
closet. If you have the financial means, support
whole or sustainable companies. Everyone
can do their part: share, resell. Don’t waste.
Today, every whole company and consumer
recognizes the importance of doing their part.
Water is the single most important nutrient of
life. The human body is approximately 70 percent
water. Brain tissue is 70 percent water. Blood is
70 percent water. Earth’s surface is 70 percent
Without water, metabolic and physiological
processes within the body cannot occur. All
biochemical reactions in the body require
water. Therefore it’s important to conserve this
precious resource and support the right to safe
drinking water for everyone.
Only 2.5% of Earth’s water is fresh, so this makes
it important to consider how to conserve water
in your daily habits. Consider short showers
and turning off the water when you brush
your teeth or wash your face. You can make a
difference by making water-efficient choices
when purchasing shower heads, faucet heads,
toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.
THESE CONCEPTS MAY
NOT BE ENTIRELY
NEW, BUT OUR ACTIONS
There’s no better way to ignite global change
than by example. Take care of yourself. Eat
well. Exercise. Give more than you take.
Establish purposeful habits. Care no matter
Why? When you champion life, you
champion the whole world. Embracing
greater responsibility and action leads to
a sense of wholeness.
A whole person understands and respects
the escalating threats to humanity and to the
A whole person finds a way to step up, and
that benefits the whole world.
ABOVE ALL ELSE,
A WHOLE PERSON:
Seizes opportunities to take
positive action in one’s own life
and the lives of others.
Chooses to act to benefit humanity,
the environment, and whole world.
Is constantly growing in awareness
that there is little separation between
personal, social, and environmental
IGNITING CHANGE ONE W
Dear Reader, after reading this book, you know
as well as I do that you are a whole person when
you learn to cultivate personal responsibility,
stay authentic to yourself, become accountable
for your actions, embrace self-love, and love for
A whole person champions positive activity and
inspires everyone around them to do the same.
You are a whole person when you share your
journey with others and act with compassion
and generosity to help those in need.
A whole person uses their platform not just
to benefit themselves, but to champion other
people and the environment.
A whole person inspires their family, community,
and culture to become whole, too.
HOLE PERSON AT A TIME
How does a whole person make the
whole world better?
Through awareness, responsibility, and
Through care, intention, and purposeful
A whole person grows in awareness of
escalating threats to humanity and the whole
A whole person takes responsibility to
help the greater good, by making conscious
A whole person takes action that inspires
others to make a better world, too.
A WHOLE PERSON
A WHOLE PERSON
MAKES THE WHOLE
We hope this book inspires conviction and
ignites global change. The world needs people
who are aware, who care, and who are ready
and willing to take action to help.
This philosophy can benefit every person,
ocean, river, lake, mountain, glacier, meadow,
and forest. We have the opportunity to
live purposefully and to make a difference.
Participating in whole practices helps to
create a global community of individuals and
organizations championing positive change.
I recognize that our world requires a
monumental shift, and being a whole person
makes the whole world better through
greater awareness, responsibility, and action.
I understand the time is now to champion the
well-being of myself, other people, and the
I PLEDGE TO DO MY BEST
TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
WHOLE PERSON GLOSSARY
Holding yourself to the truth, your word, promise,
Being true to yourself by acting according to your
personal values. Applying your unique internal
vision to the external world.
Consciousness, or knowledge of existence, is
like light—it illuminates a situation or state of
mind. From this springs awareness (knowing the
difference between right and wrong). A whole
champion’s awareness motivates them to fight
wrong in the world, and to work for well-being on
a personal, local, and global scale.
Attention to providing what’s necessary for the
health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of
others. Care is taking time to complete something
correctly and a focus on avoiding needless damage
A champion stands up for a cause and sees it
through to completion. To champion a sport,
a cause, or an ideology, you need to be an
unstoppable force until your goal is achieved.
A whole champion is driven to achieve, and is
unrelenting in accomplishing good for humanity
and the environment, not just the self. A whole
champion leverages their achievements and most
compelling ideas to support the greater good.
The quality of being friendly, generous, and
considerate. Kindness is the foundation for making
positive, whole change.
A conscious mindset that the planet needs care,
protection, recovery, and an opportunity to
flourish in its natural state. Embrace a lifestyle
that nourishes and champions the environment.
Purposeful effort to do one’s part for planet Earth:
Minimize your ecological footprint through
sustainable, recyclable, “green” practices and
products that protect Mother Nature. Treat
the environment the way you would a family
member or a friend.
An open attitude welcoming all people,
regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion,
socioeconomic background, or geographic
location. Inclusivity means practicing openmindedness,
respect, tolerance, social justice,
and love for other human beings.
An inner force that moves you physically, mentally,
and spiritually. It can come from a voice in your
head, emotion in your heart, or drive in your gut
to do the right thing.
A system or group of people. If we zoom out, we
can see that through interconnectivity, everything
around us is potentially a network that can be
used in positive ways to improve the world.
Caring for oneself by holding oneself accountable.
It’s self-love, self-care, and self-work—an
investment in personal development. It’s
awareness and balance of mind, body, and spirit.
Personal responsibility leads to the pride and
empowerment that result from doing one’s best.
A decision to start thinking, feeling, and acting
with awareness and intention. It is a conscious
effort to do the right thing, in large or small ways,
for the greater good.
Kindness, acceptance, and confidence in yourself
throughout life. Understanding your unique
qualities and characteristics. Practicing self-care
means becoming a champion of yourself through
love, compassion, patience, and authentic,
Caring for oneself and others; taking action to
benefit other people. Awareness, compassion, and
action—social responsibility means giving more
than you take. It could be as simple as offering
to carry someone’s groceries, or as involved as
participating in a food drop to a village stricken
by natural disaster or war. It can manifest as
organizing a peaceful march to benefit a worthy
A form of creative recycling centered around
reusing items in your everyday life to decrease
your ecological footprint.
A state of harmony, completion, or resolution
ultimately achieved by a group effort that begins
with a single person. Wholeness means practicing
awareness, responsibility, and taking action for
a better world. It’s taking personal, social, and
environmental responsibility for the planet.
“BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIB
LE. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE.”
-THE DALAI LAMA
Whole Champion Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit
organization, has been granted full permission by the
author, Barbara Edelston Peterson, to borrow content
from this book.
As a sports psychologist, motivational speaker,
author, and former marketing executive,
Barbara Edelston Peterson understands the power of
education, leadership, and human momentum. She
is a nine-time world champion in cross triathlon, and
recently founded a non-profit, the Whole Champion
Foundation, to promote global change. Her mission is
to revitalize the concepts of whole and champion so
they may be embraced globally to help the planet and
its inhabitants prosper. By influencing networks of
people championing positive action, a whole person
helps to heal the whole world.
ISBN 990 7-0-3233309-22-0
9 9077011 3233309