“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
Today is World Environment Day. This day was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. Amazing—43 years of bringing global awareness to the well-being of humanity and our natural environment. This year’s theme is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” I love this. What a thought-provoking theme for all of us to keep in mind this day and every day.
Yes, there are more than 7 billion of us on this one magnificent planet of ours. Imagine If each of us treated the earth with care and respect, our world could be a paradise with enough resources to go around for everyone.
Environmental issues are a hot topic these days, and for good reason. There is a lot of destruction happening all around the globe, and in many circles, little or no thought is given to sustainability. As Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” Unfortunately, many of the issues that surround environmental issues are centered on profit. Often I hear, “We have time to fix things; we can do it later.” From smog to polluted water to the decimation of natural habits and more, there is much to be concerned about if we wish to keep Mother Earth alive and well. I don’t believe it can wait until later—7 billion makes this urgent!
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;
we borrow it from our children.”
The above is a famous quote whose authorship is debated, but I’ve most often seen it attributed to Chief Seattle or to the Native Americans in general. Let this proverb help guide us as we look at what and how we are consuming earth’s natural resources as well as the manmade products that often make life more convenient.
Are we consuming with care? This is a question each of us needs to answer for ourselves. If our answer is yes, then we are doing a small part in ensuring that the generations to come will inherit a sustainable, healthy world. If not, we must think about what we can do to reduce our waste and then take action. Every little bit counts! You may think small actions don’t make a significant difference, but it does matter greatly that we each do our part to have the greatest impact.
If you are interested in doing even more or just learning about World Environment Day in general, visit the website of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): http://www.unep.org/wed/.