Category Archives: One Water

Oil Over Water in Ecuador

world water dayMy interview of Barry Heidt of Sustainability Action Media (SAM) about his trip to Ecuador’s Achuar Territory occurred on March 22nd so with a nod to World Water Day we talked about water.  You can’t talk about water in Ecuador without talking about oil.

It will take a few minutes to read this blog post and less than an hour to take action.  It will be time well spent in the service of sustainability.

Here we go.

1. Give five minutes to listen to Barry’s interview for background and motivation. He saved you the trip of going there on your own to verify that oil and water do not mix and to choose oil over water is to choose short term profits over the rights of Mother Earth and our communities.

2. Barry references a recently released documentary by the folks in Quito associatepachamamalogod with Fundancio Pachamama entitled, Screams of the Amazon. This too is educational and in a much more dramatic way. Ecuador’s government is moving forward with the next phase of the 11th Oil Round, opening up 10 million acres of pristine rainforest to petroleum companies. It’s 11 minutes short.

tn_24470We excerpted Patricia Gualinga’s interview from the video, Screams of the Amazon, and published it here as a short, short (53 seconds) entitled, “Easy Money in the Amazon, At What Cost?”

3. Raise her question by citing this short video on your LinkedIn groups to raise a frank discussion among groups with sustainability leanings ranging from climate to community engagementlinkedin_logo small, to greenbiz.   It really goes to the heart of sustainability and sustainable development. Help with seeding the Web by raising the question (link to the video) with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. (1/2 hour)

4.  Sign a petition here to tell Ecuador’s President Correa You Stand with Indigenous Peoples for an Oil-free Amazon. (3 minutes)

5.  Talk about it.  Most if not all of the last of our non-renewable energy resources are in the territories of indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Voices of Sustainability


Domingo Peas

Shortly Barry will be publishing his two interviews with community leaders, Domingo Peas, Sharamentsa and Hilario Saant, Kapawi of the Achuar Territory in Ecuador.  These indigenous voices of sustainability will give you the ground level perspective as the very existence of communities in the Southeast region of Ecuador are threatened.

Hope and Heart

erick gonzales small

Erick Gonzales

My motivation to call for action on this issue stems from the question raised by Erick Gonzalez of Earth Peoples United, “What gives us hope and heart to keep working on what is best for our Earth in the face of difficult changes?”

Engaging my readers in the issues around oil and water, spurred on by my colleague Barry’s strong personal commitment to the Rights of Nature movement and his journey to Ecuador, gives me hope and heart.  I hope it does the same for you.

Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, March 25, 2013, Portland, Oregon.

*Screams of the Amazon produced by Pacha Producciones, Quito, Ecuador, 2013 and published on the FPachamama YouTube channel, March 12, 2013 is also found on, Voices of Sustainability here.

Sustainability: Not Any One Issue

Screen shot 2012-02-08 at 11.30.29 AMThis is a quick look at the results  of the 2011 CONE/ECHO Global CR Opportunity Study that is available here at the Cone site and looked at through a sustainability lens. The takeaway cited by the authors is that  “consumers globally believe companies have an explicit responsibility to help change the world.”

Can there be but one issue anymore?

Screen shot 2012-02-08 at 11.38.03 AMOr put all the wood behind one arrow.

whole picture

This same information, with a shift in the lens to a sustainability perspective rather than pieces and parts, unifies and integrates moving us toward the requirement of an interconnected holistic approach, using the integrated elements of sustainability strategically.

The lens we use to ask for opinions and present information about those opinions can’t be the same one we’ve been using for the last thirty years . How we use information to motivate and inspire citizens and organizations of all stripes to change their consumption habits is the challenge for all of us who accept “explicit responsibility to help change the world” and who are marketers and communicators.

Can we agree on this?

Here’s some examples of messages that educate, motivate and inspire while addressing the whole, not pieces and parts:

Rethinking the Economy by Ellen MacArthur Foundation,

disConnected Consciousness by environmentalist Julia Butterfly Hill,

and John Marshall Roberts on the Science of Inspiration.

By: Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate,, February 8, 2012, Portland, Oregon.

Wine to Water by Doc Hendley

hendleyVideo of Hero Doc Hendley’s premier on the TEDx Stage at Asheville, NC on August 29, 2010. Doc is founder of Wine to Water, a non-profit promoting clean water resources in poverty stricken countries worldwide. This video compliments the interview of Doc Hendley by Dick Gordan of The Story as reported in this blog post.

He ends this presentation with “Here’s to being a nobody.” Find out why.

View video on, special collection on One Water.

Sustainability Advocate, Ruth Ann Barrett, February 5, 2011, Portland, Oregon.

Wine Into Water works for us all

winetowaterThis morning I woke up early, opened one eye, grabbed my iPhone, and chose the podcast, American Public Media (APM) The Story with Dick Gordan, the one titled, Fix a Well and Change the World.

It woke me up.

It’s an interview with Doc Hendley of the group Wine to Water. He talks about his transition from bartending in Raleigh to working to bring clean water to people in Darfur. Despite the violence there, Doc says that bad water kills more people than the conflict.

Winetowater on Twitter.