Bob Ewing – Everything is connected: accept this short sentence as the truth, and the first step towards reducing your impact on our planet has been taken. When you take this step you become aware that each action you take, makes a difference.
It makes a difference even though it is quite unlikely you will ever know the full extent of the consequences that flow from your choice.
Care of the Earth is one of the three permaculture ethics. The first step in caring for the Earth is to know that what you do matters, for example, it makes a difference whether you compost and recycle.
Both composting and recycling keep material out of garbage dumps and thereby prevent land, possibly, valuable land, from being used as a garbage dump; at least the amount of material going to the dump will be reduced and this is good for the earth.
Composting is an excellent way to recycle material that will benefit your garden; real gardeners know that building soil, also a fine way to care for the earth, is the true purpose of gardening. Composting creates organic material that can be put on the garden bed and help the plants thrive.
So rather than toss those vegetable scraps into a garbage can, compost them. If you do not have a garden, you may have a friend, neighbour or family member who would be happy to turn your scraps into organic garden food.
Recycling is one of the important R words, along with reducing, reusing and rethinking. Recycling, not only will reduce the amount of garbage that is generated, but it can also create jobs.
An increasing number of products are being produced from recycled materials. So if you need to buy a gift for someone or need something for yourself, take a look at products that have been made from post-consumer recycled material.
There are a number of other ways an individual can take care of the earth. Growing your own food organically or buying locally grown, organic food makes a huge difference to the impact you daily need to eat has on the environment.
I buy food grown and produced within 100 miles of my home as often as I can, however, there is little available through the long winter months. If I cannot get both organic and local, I usually buy local. My main reason for buying from a local merchant is the positive impact this has on the local economy.
A strong local economy is essential, if you want to have an environmental sound community, when people are struggling to make a buck to pay the bills, environmental concerns take a back seat.
Food does not have to be certified organic to be grown without the harmful chemicals that play havoc with air, water and soil. Small farmers who may often sell through farmers markets or develop community scaled agriculture operations are aware that their consumers want healthy food, and these growers often have direct contact with their consumers, so get first hand knowledge about preferences.
Be vocal, state your preferences for pesticide free food and you have taken another major step towards caring for the earth.