I often think that this beautiful planet is our home that we share with various species, ranging from plants, animals, insects, oceans, mountains, etc. They make the entire ecology holistic. God created our planet Earth in such a beautiful way so that all parts can live and coexist in perfect harmony. Nature has been running its course perfectly till we humans tried to disturb and disrupt its balance. This leads to destruction which leads to complete chaos. We need to ensure environmental sustainability. Anthropogenic activity is disturbing the global socio-ecological system on the planet. Let’s look at some of the facts. Temperatures have increased globally by over 1 degree since the 1880s. As many as 9 out of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2000, says NASA. Moreover, Arctic Ice has shrunk to its lowest level. Plus, sea levels are rising at 3.4 mm per year.
Environmental sustainability can only happen when we have a healthy relationship with our self, first. This has to start from within. When we have the kindness, love and compassion for our own self, only then can we have harmonious and balanced connectivity with the outside environment. Human evolution, along with its various innovations and inventions for the world of materialism, has made our life easier. However, it has quite a few unpleasant side-effects and consequences for this planet. As we move towards industrialization and advanced technology, we are losing the originality and raw beauty of nature. For example, if 100 trees are cut to make a building, it is a long-term damage to the environment though there could be short-term gains.
Why do we forget that nature itself planted seeds of ideas in the human mind to discover, invent and be creative? But when we create something materialistic to serve us, we end up losing a part of nature for that. In fact, it often kills a part of it. That leads to disharmony and imbalance, instead of coexisting without destroying our beautiful planet’s ecological system.
Should human development come at the cost of environment?
How can we as a collective consciousness work towards environmental sustainability? We all should come out with creative and innovative ideas and evaluate strategies to implement it correctly. Nature always brings us together but the human mind separates one from the other. Such an initiation of connection with nature will help human species to live harmoniously on this planet. It will also lead to further evolution of thought process as well as building a spiritual connection with nature.
If we only think of the ‘now’ then we will very soon run short of many things in the future such as fresh water and clean air to breathe. It could also lead to disastrous consequences for human beings such as pollution, food scarcity, destruction of crops and other natural resources. Human development is also leading to major disruption in the various earth phenomena, which may lead to floods, wildfires (as happened in the USA), extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes (Hurricane Harvey, Irma and others created havoc with the environment past year), soaring temperatures (the Australian heat wave is the most latest and glaring example of climate change), soil erosion, etc.
How do we protect our self from the side effects of unbridled and mindless development?
The only way to sustain our self and the environment is to find a balanced way and be eco-friendly and adopt steps such as recycling to reduce our carbon footprint. Recycle of materials will stop wastage. Besides, try to connect with nature and the environment. For this follow these steps: First, close your eyes, connect and see yourself as one single point of light in this Universe. This will lead to you connecting with whatever is within and around us. There will be a realization that we as individuals have a responsibility and a part to play in this planet for now and for future environmental sustainability of humans as well as the environment.
Such a transformation can only come when there is a judicious extraction of resources from the environment. Our requirements should mirror our efforts at environmental sustainability. We need to be mindful of the fact that there take from the environment only what we need and not what we desire. Nature has bounty enough for human needs and not enough to fulfill human greed. We need to recycle more instead of wasting it. The Industrial Revolution and scientific thoughts have given birth to advanced technologies in order to increase mass productivity. This is a great blessing for all of us as it increases economy and leads to development and urbanisation. However, this should not come at the cost of nature and environment. Ancient civilizations knew the secrets of sustainability and interwove it in their lives. Similarly, we must become one with nature, continue our communication and keep within our biological limitations.
We can indeed create something new without disturbing the ecobiological balance and ensure its stability. Sustainability is about adopting a community approach and holding it efficiently and not merely individually. To have the perfect balance, we humans need to share a more compassionate relationship with the environment to optimize its resources and be more eco-friendly. This would need an inter-related system and innovative ideas to hold the various parts together to have a holistic perspective about sustainability.