What can we do?

Occupy Wall Street has made it. It’s popular. Talked about. A big hit.

I’ve been following it since the first people got arrested on September 17, back when no one had heard about it and no one knew where it would go. The people in Zuccotti Park and in public spaces all over the world should be commended for their willingness to camp out, to get out there and risk arrest. You can follow their progress here and admire their official declaration of demands here.

So where does that leave those of us who are lame enough to still be sitting comfortably at home, indulging in hot showers and dutifully showing up to work every day (like me)?

Well, you can find a protest nearby at occupytogether.org and participate in the big march on October 29th called for at adbusters.org. But you can also do something just as fundamental and far-reaching — take a critical look at your daily life and how you could be perpetuating the problems we face.

Of course, none of us are to blame for the major economic and environmental crises. But perhaps we can reevaluate the way we spend and consume, the corporations we feed (are they environmentally responsible? Where do they get their labor and products? Where do they dump their waste?). We can consider not patronizing the big-name financial institutions that may be, in part, culpable. We can be more conscious of how the proliferation of advertising (the average American is exposed to approximately 3000 ads a day) is affecting the way we spend our lives.

We can choose to walk and bike rather than drive everywhere; to buy local; to choose physical activity, activism, arts and culture over passively watching a screen. We can choose to recycle and to educate ourselves. And to do more than we are now; to do as much as we can.

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