Earth Initiative

Green Dragon Earth Initiative

In partnership with NY Renews, the MRO Earth Initiative is asking all sangha members to join in taking immediate action to reduce carbon emissions and ensure a just transition to a renewable energy economy.

In New York State you can help by asking your legislators to join in supporting the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA). The CCIA is the funding mechanism for the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) that passed in 2019. The CCIA will ensure that NYS achieves net zero greenhouse gas emissions through a just transition, described here, and a detailed FAQ can be accessed here. (Learn about similar actions nationally through the Thrive Agenda)

The bill has been introduced by State Senator Kevin Parker as Senate Bill S03616—and in the Assembly the bill has been introduced by Assembly Member Kevin Cahill as Assembly Bill A6967. Please contact your state senator and assembly member and urge them to get active in supporting these bills! Let’s thank Cahill and Parker for becoming the lead sponsors. Some suggestions and instructions for contacting your representatives are in this document, so get creative! 

Find more background information at NY Renews, and more about the NYS Climate & Community Investment Act, details in this handy FAQ, a description of a just transition to zero-carbon.

Send us an image of your note to your representatives:!


Arising from profound love and deep respect for the earth, the Green Dragon Earth Initiative is an ongoing effort by the sangha of the Mountains and Rivers Order to address the individual, institutional, national and global degradation of our planet. Recognizing that all life springs forth from an intricate, causally-related web of interdependence, every action intended to benefit one part must benefit the whole. This Initiative thus focuses on the whole of the Earth, its creatures, and human society. Issues of social and environmental justice are also within the scope of this Initiative.

Through regular meetings and action events, MRO sangha members are invited to meet at Zen Mountain Monastery and the Zen Center of New York City to gather and share information about, and organize responses to, those issues involving the health of the planet that seem most urgent. The Initiative is part and parcel with a broader Dharma Action Initiative that attempts to take on a variety of social and economic issues effecting our communities, our country, and our world.

The Earth Initiative includes:

  • Clarifying our understanding of the nature of the self and its relationship to the Earth through traditional study of Buddhist teachings, practice and training
  • Reducing the ecological footprints of Zen Mountain Monastery and the Zen Center of New York City
  • Examining and adjusting individual life choices to improve our impact on our planet
  • Community action
  • Policy making (at the local, state, national, and global levels)
  • Identifying global systems and their interdependence
  • Education about relevant issues
  • Challenging cultural assumptions that undermine sustainability

The countenance of the mountains is completely different when we are in the world gazing off at the mountains, and when we are in the mountains meeting the mountains.
Mountains & Rivers Sutra, Master Dogen


One modest, yet important, thing we can all do is to not only cut down on our use of plastics but to make every effort to recycle plastic items whenever possible. For that reason we are happy to share this guide to plastics recycling in New York State.

Plastic Bags and Plastic Film Recycling Guide