Earth is important because we live on Earth and we depend on Earth’s resources. We need the oxygen from trees to breathe and we need food from the soil for sustenance. We need the clouds to produce rain to fill up the river for us to drink, and most importantly, we need the Sun to give us Energy.
Unfortunately, there are quite a number of us who take that for granted or perhaps have forgotten about Earth’s many gifts. Instead, we treat the Earth like we do our exes or enemies – like trash.
We purchase plastic bags and bottles and then we discard them in the bin thinking that the rubbish collector will sort them out. We buy smart phones every two years because new ones seem better and we don’t think that perhaps human lives were shortened just so our smart phones could have longer lives. We use polystyrene plates at events because it’s cheaper and easier – we don’t have to wash them, just throw them away after use and all will be well.
Whatever items we throw without thinking would come back to bite us in the arse. The polystyrene cups and disposable straws we discard would go to landfills. Landfills are just a plot of bare land that used to have trees growing on them, land that huge holes have been dug to bury the trash. To let it decompose. We would think it’s good because it would then be out of sight.
But the soil suffers. The chemicals will leach into the soil and if the landfill is near an agriculture land, then our food will be affected. If it is near a river, the freshwater lives will be lost. The ecosystem becomes unbalanced. It struggles to achieve equilibrium again, as we human beings continuously dump more synthetic weight, more chemicals onto Earth.
And it’s not just the land. The oceans become affected, too. Population increase prompts the development of cities leading to more trash produced. When there is not enough land to hide the evidence of our irresponsibility, the rubbish goes to sea.
Don’t get me started on what happens to the rubbish at sea.
On second thought, let me just list down what happens:
- Rubbish is eaten by fish and whales thus slowly and painfully killing them.
- Plastic ringlets become unnecessary corsets for sea turtles, damaging their beautiful protective shells.
- Plastic straws stuck in the noses of those turtles.
- Albatross consumes plastic toys and such, eventually dies.
- The formation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
If those things don’t sound horrible to you, I’d suggest you have a good check on your humanity.
It seems like whatever we throw away irresponsibly would result in death of a living species along the way. To me, regardless if it’s a direct or indirect killing, it is still a crime that one is a part of. And yes I do feel guilty upon realising this and I am trying very hard to change the throwing away habit by practising the 5Rs.
But it’s still so very difficult to keep motivated or consistent, as I am basically going against the default system. It’s just like swimming against the current. It takes so much effort and sometimes it would feel as though it’s better to just drown.
It’s never better to give up. The earth has done so much more for me than I could ever contribute to it, which makes it all the more necessary for me to keep on caring for the environment until my last breath. I must show my gratitude for the trees, the soil, the Sun by endeavouring to live sustainably and consciously.
And you should, too, if you live on Earth.