The natural world is amazing. The fresh air we breathe, the lush forests, the crystal-clear rivers, and the captivating diversity of wildlife – nature is truly a gift that keeps on giving. But here’s the kicker: we’re taking it for granted, and the shockingly destructive impact we’ve had on our planet is a wake-up call we can’t afford to ignore.
Let’s embark on a journey together to explore why we should love and take care of nature, understand our need for it, and face the reality of what we’ve already lost.
The Need for Nature
We need nature for our very survival. Nature is the provider of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. It’s the pharmacy that gives us medicines, the artist behind our beautiful landscapes, and the engineer of our climate.
DID YOU KNOW:
40% of medicines draw from nature, including aspirin and child cancer drugs
But nature isn’t just a source of physical sustenance, it’s also a powerful tonic for our mental and emotional wellbeing. Nature has the remarkable ability to reduce stress, improve our mood, and boost our overall mental health.
When we talk about the need for nature, it’s not just about saving the planet; it’s about saving ourselves. Destroying natural habitats, polluting our air and water, and driving species to extinction is like cutting off the branch we’re sitting on. We’re jeopardising the delicate balance of life that has allowed humanity to thrive for millennia.
The Shocking Reality
Deforestation, pollution, climate change, and overexploitation of resources are taking a devastating toll on the planet. The shocking truth is that 1 million animals and plants are at risk from extinction, ecosystems are collapsing, and climate change is wreaking havoc on our planet.
Roughly one-third of the world’s forests have been sacrificed for the expansion of agriculture. The relentless pursuit of arable land and grazing has led to deforestation on a massive scale. In the Amazon, for instance, the lush and intricate ecosystems are vanishing at an alarming rate to make way for crops and livestock. The consequences are profound; deforestation not only accelerates climate change but also threatens the livelihoods of indigenous communities and countless species.
An equally alarming statistic reveals that approximately 90% of fish stocks are over-exploited or fully exploited. The seas that once teemed with life are now struggling under the weight of relentless fishing practices.
DID YOU KNOW:
Millions of animals are harmed each year by litter which they eat or get entangled in. Plastic litter in the oceans is a particularly big killer.
It’s heart-wrenching to think about the consequences of our actions, but it’s not too late to turn the tide. Together, we can take steps to protect and restore our planet.
What we can do
So, what can we do to stand up for nature and make a difference? Here are a few steps we can all take:
- Think about what you buy: Look out for Fairtrade products. Fairtrade means that workers get paid a fair price for what they grow and are also trained to look after their local environment. Palm oil is a big contributor to deforestation in the world, so look for palm oil free products, or opt for sustainable palm oil only.
- Pick up and recycle litter: Less litter is good for wild animals and pets and will help millions of animals avoid injury every year. Plastic bottles are one of the most common forms of litter and 8 million new pieces of plastic get into the sea every day.
- Buy sustainably sourced fish: This helps protect fish stocks which are under threat around the world and reduces destructive fishing methods.
- Plant some pollinator friendly flowers: Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, help support the health of natural ecosystems by allowing plants to fruit, set seed and breed. This in turn provides food and habitat for a range of other creatures.
- Connect with Nature: Taking a walk in nature is a great way to destress, keep fit and healthy and is also a great reminder of how beautiful nature is and why it is important to preserve it.
- Support Conservation Efforts: Protect rainforests that would be chopped down without your support. Cutting down rainforests releases a huge amount of carbon emissions. It also means the forest cannot absorb carbon in the future and animals lose their natural habitats.
- Educate Yourself and Others: Knowledge is a powerful tool. Learn about the issues and share that knowledge with friends and family.
Standing up for nature isn’t just an act of selflessness; it’s an act of self-preservation. The love of nature, the undeniable need for it, and the stark reality of what we’ve done should motivate us to protect and cherish our incredible planet. Together, we can ensure that future generations will have the same opportunities to experience the wonders of nature that we do today. Let’s get out there, stand up for nature, and make a change!