Nature: Abstract or Real?

Saying that you “support” nature and environmentalism is wonderful… in theory. But we really need is action. Saying that you “care” about issues like climate change and deforestation is necessary and appreciated – but also hypocritical if you are ordering take-out meals or packages from Amazon that arrive with excess cardboard. Put your “support and care” into action – large or small – every single day.

Many people do not interact regularly or intimately with nature and view nature as an abstract concept from which they are separate. Or, even if some people try to be conscious environmental citizens, there are many times during each day when a blind eye is turned (or not cognitively recognized at all) to products or services which cause environmental degradation. Simply leaving lights on and wasting electricity can have profound impacts on the natural world. So often we go through our days on autopilot that we don’t stop to notice all of the ways in which the natural world has been compromised for our convenience – newly tarred roads with chemicals that affect soil and air quality; new fancy buildings with imported wood that was cut down from a deforested area in Brazil which hinders carbon sequestration and subsequently increases global warming.

If you have a few spare minutes during the day, look around you and try to identify the natural origin of items you see. Where did your leather chair come from/how was it made? From what material are backpacks created? From where does the food come that you are consuming? If we are more aware of the origins (and subsequent travels, technologies, and global impact) of items in our daily lives, then we can become more strategic about our purchases and more sensitive about how our actions affect the natural world. We cannot afford to be ignorant or turn a blind eye to environmental degradation. Nature is real and it affects you as much as you affect it – even if you are unaware of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *