Environment influences everything. We are reflections, as well as representations, of our various environments. In this regard, how we perceive and treat our environment significantly impacts who we are and have the ability to become.
Humans are highly adaptable. We continue to exceed previous limitations. But if we want to stick around, we better learn to respect Earth’s boundaries.
“If you knew she could feel, you would stop.”— A message from the Kogi people of the Sierra Madre in Colombia to modern society (aka ‘little brother’)33
Earth has nine planetary boundaries within which humans remain safe. According to an article in the journal Science, our species has already transgressed four of those boundaries through climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen).34
We are rapidly depleting our earth’s forests, animals, freshwater, and even the topsoil we need to grow our crops. We recognize the potentially irreversible and devastating consequences of our transgressions. We know that the answers to these questions, about how to adequately develop human endeavors on a changing planet, will require a new state of innovation.
We have the choice, right now, to begin choosing approaches to industry that can shift course from unsustainable and wasteful practices. The powerful slogan taught to elementary school students, that can, and should, be adopted by everyone is: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Beyond these three principles, we can all rethink how we approach our individual wants. We can learn to better listen to the Earth. We can recognize that we are part of everything we come into contact with. We can see that all of our actions have consequences. We can remember to place a more appropriate intention of reconnection with our environment as we employ natural resources to meet our needs. We believe that we can advance past the toxicity that our industrial waste has made of our planet and remain safely within the protection of Earth’s boundaries through a revised set of personal, societal, and industrial standards. By collectively agreeing to work toward repairing our relationships with one another, and the Earth, we can stop causing harm and start relearning how to live in healthy, balanced relationships.
- The Power of Humility
- Healthy Habits
- Environmental Actors
- Economic Priorities
- Lessons Ahead