Earth & Spirit

The thought of committing yourself to protecting the few remaining natural places on Earth is an important thought to have. In wake of the seemingly large mass of people that disbelieve in the human effects on the climate over the past century, one might begin to question the actual need to take personal action against the toxicity of the planet. But the obligation to protect these wild places falls upon us; the conservation of the earth is irrevocably intertwined with the conservation of human spirit.

It's distressing to constantly reiterate that without preserving the lands, arterial waters, and oceans, we are condemning future generations to centuries of misery. The evidence is overwhelming that current methods of managing human-produced wastes are not sustainable. It’s more like waste mismanagement, and given the flippant attitude towards the harmful substances carelessly infused into the earth, humanity has a high disregard for any generations much outside their immediate lifespans. A far-reaching disconnect with not only nature but the human spirit.

It can seem daunting—“How can I save the world?”

You can’t, not by yourself, but by changing your habits: being proactive and helping others find methods of living cleaner lifestyles, we all can save the world together. Discontinuing reliance on governments and other agencies to make important choices for us is the first step. These political structures might follow along eventually but we have to take the charge first. There’s a saying that history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme, and if we look back over the last century, it certainly does have a certain jingle to it. So it is more important than ever to stand up for our silent home world, to use our voices in unison before it is too late. If we give our ability to choose away to others then we will simply lose that basic right.

The planet calls on us all to examine our lifestyles, separate the needs from the wants, dissolve the ego and really discern how we can reconnect with nature. And we must ask ourselves, “why wouldn’t we?”

How can industrial cities, vast spans of steel and concrete be any consolation as we watch the wild things dwindle away? Science Fiction has described many such planets with super-states spanning globally, seemingly little traces of any natural landscapes and devoid of vegetation. They detail grim futures with bleak horizons, artificial oxygen producers and acidified bodies of water. Societies constantly warring over the little resources left to them from past generations.

Nature is not divisive, it's hard and unforgiving, but it's for us to preserve not to pillage.

We are gifted with amazing awareness, intellect and imagination, nature has given us the ways to move forward. We see that with all the emerging technologies and entrepreneurs in the renewable and recycling industries in countries all over. The hope is there, the ingenuity is there, and in order for these new entities to succeed we need to consider our power as consumers and stop consuming in an unsustainable way. Trinkets and decorations, with unique histories, from a second hand shop are much more meaningful than polyvinyl swaddled in polyethylene destined to nine times out of ten end up in a landfill.

The idea of a world that doesn’t have trees that whisper to your spirit from the edge of a forest, or where a cool breeze can’t caress tall stalks of grass on a pebbled beach, is a world that we should grieve to leave the children.

There is a real threat, in our lifetime, to conservation zones across the global terrain; many people in government seem apathetic but we can’t afford to be. By remaining vocal, we can use social media outlets to our advantage. Engaging in reading evidence-based articles when researching about heavy topics such as climate change, ocean acidification, and resource extraction provides us with the knowledge needed when combatting these issues.

As mentioned, becoming an ally to the planet involves changing lifestyle habits; it’s not optional. Suggesting that people throw out their televisions and plant a garden may sound extreme (I assure you, it’s not), many may balk at the idea but to reconnect with nature definitely involves a “hands-on, apps-off” approach.

Start smaller, if needed, but always take into account where that organic blueberry packaging really ends up when it’s not properly recycled. We must remain vigilant of where our garbage goes, the weight of it…the fact that just because it’s out of our sight doesn’t mean it’s gone.

The Great Pacific garbage patch should be reason enough to want to recover a more symbiotic relationship with Mother Earth, but, to elaborate upon the premise that profits are becoming preferential to people, and corporations are being given too much leash with resource extraction ventures, we only need to look to the Indigenous led resistance at Standing Rock.

These fights aren’t new; they’re only becoming louder and more desperate.

If we truly want to save our planet, we need to look past just conserving certain areas; we need to start looking at the whole planet as a conservation area with all of us on the endangered species list if we don’t begin to take action now. 

An article by Sarah Cooke