“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” — E.O Wilson
Make no mistake, the current state of the planet occurred only because of man’s interference. What E.O Wilson is stating is that mankind is not needed to support the planet, but our actions are making it worse. Ultimately, we are less important than the insects, but a much bigger nuisance. This earth day, try undertaking the zero waste challenge and see if you can live a little more naturally.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” — Margaret Atwood
This quote is short, simple and straight to the point. Nature should be enjoyed and, for that to happen, we need to embrace it. Why watch from a distance when you can explore today? A walk in the woods won’t just let you connect with nature; it will help you realise just why it’s worth saving.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” — Rachel Carson
Written by a marine biologist, it’s difficult to find fault with this quote. For many people, nature represents the cycle of rebirth as every winter is followed by spring. There are few things more comforting than that. The natural world has this sense of order and rhythm. If we destroy nature, what will we replace that with?
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” — Henry David Thoreau
American author, poet and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau beautifully summarises the relationship man has with nature. We may build cities and cause pollution but, at the end of the day we need nature just as much as any other organism on the planet.
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” — David Carnegie
To neglect nature is to neglect ourselves. Everybody needs to get outside and experience the natural world once in a while. As this quote says, why put it off until tomorrow? There’s no guarantee it will still be there.
“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese
Short yet powerful, Cesare Pavese raises a very notable point. It is not the individual days that count, but the moments that we create. With earth day just around the corner, why not plan some great family moments you’ll remember more than a typical Friday? Years from now, you are more likely to remember these special events than any other day.
“The most important thing about global warming is this. Whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change is going to be left to the scientists, but it’s all of our responsibility to leave this planet in better shape for the future generations than we found it.” — Mike Huckabee
Learning to take action, rather than simply passing blame and hoping someone else well, is one of the greatest lessons we can learn in life. It does not always matter who caused what. When it comes to the environment, everyone should do their part to help improve the earth.
“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” — John James Audubon
The world is not ours alone, which is something John James Audubon believed in very strongly. It is always the next generation that inherits the earth. Rather than being content with its current state, should we not be repairing it for today’s children? It is our responsibility to ensure we don’t leave the planet in a worse state than when it was given to us, as that only leads to a downward spiral.
“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.” — William J. Clinton
This quote, from former US President “Bill” Clinton can be inspiring in a number of ways. As a species, mankind has made mistakes and harmed the planet, from the local environment to the continued damage to the ozone layer itself. As Clinton believes, this may be a never ending battle but it is important to learn from everything you do and keep pushing forward. Giving up doesn’t help the environment – nature needs people who will keep fighting for it.
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” — E.B White
Throughout modern history, man has often come to work against nature and, as E.B White eloquently argues, why shouldn’t we work with nature? The earth has been around much longer than we have, yet we seem determined to destroy it in such a short period of time. Perhaps if we put that energy and drive into more holistic processes, we could achieve great accomplishments.