There is a view that is shared by many ethnic groups around the world that we are part of the Earth. This belief that we are not just beings that inhabit the planet we live on, but intrinsically united with it in the depths of our being, creates a unique perspective of harmony with the environment. If we are the Earth, taking care of the planet is taking care of ourselves. As we are part of nature and nature is circular, it is essential for societies to be circular too.
When we change our mindset to see the environment that surrounds us as something made up of individual lives that each hold the same importance as our own, we begin to change a paradigm. The Huni Kuin people of the Brazilian Amazon, for example, assign a spirit to each natural element; there is a forest spirit, a rain spirit, a wind spirit, and an earth spirit. This perspective creates a respectful relationship with the environment, through a theory explained beautifully in the words of the indigenous leader and activist Ailton Krenak: "When we depersonalise the river, the mountain, when we take their senses out of them. Considering that this is the exclusive attribute of humans, we liberate these places so that they become residues of industrial and extractive activities."