Get in touch with the planet

April is the month we collectively celebrate the ‘Earth’ through various Earth Day activities, so this month’s ‘green’ article is going to take a step away from the ocean to focus on the Earth.

One of the biggest considerations for environmentalists and governments world wide is the increasing population number and the impact this is having on the earth and her ability to keep replenishing her stocks. The earth is a very, very clever self-regulating system.

The biosphere and indeed the balance of biodiversity has shifted over millions of years to manage the changes that have occurred, either natural or man-made. Both the terrestrial and the oceanic ecosystems have adapted to encompass the earth’s natural move through the eons to the world as we know it today, including the human impacts of the industrial revolution.

The earth’s DIY first aid kit is under pressure however and most of us are aware (or worried) about the pressure the world’s resources are under due to pollution, waste or general population needs.

A Gaian philosophy (and actually, the view of most of our grandparents) would be that we need to learn how to live with the earth, managing ourselves and therefore the long-term sustainability prospects for future generations (Lovelock 2005). It is easy to see how globally, humans (particularly in the developed world) have perhaps lost site of a connectedness with the earth – rather than growing our of crops or visiting a local farm shop, we buy foods that are imported from all over the world.

Farming that used to be centred around local or regional subsistence providing indigenous and seasonal vegetables or fresh local meat has been replaced by intense farming crops for commercial markets such as soy or grain, or cattle factories for those famous fast food chains we all love to hate (but succumb to, especially after a night out). With all of this global activity, there comes the added negative of carbon emissions.

So perhaps Earth week should be a time to consider that the Earth needs some payback, to help the self-regulatory system that has been working for so long to absorb our mindless impacts. Ways to do this are actually easy, once there is some motivation to get involved.

Earth week in the Cayman Islands has several different activities that genuinely help, such as coastal clean-ups and community Lionfish culls. Perhaps you could make a small change at home, to help reduce your own impact on the Earth?

Saving energy, saving water, buying local produce, sharing car journeys with friends, running full loads of washing/dishwashers, turning off water heaters/ac units when you’re not at home, reusing what you can when you can, discovering what recycling facilities are available on island (more than you think)… even small changes can help, so why not get involved?