We always talk about giving back in relation to people and the community, but giving back doesn’t always have to be limited to the less fortunate people we meet in our daily lives. For those who have been constantly giving back to people in their local communities, there might be a larger community they have overlooked, the Earth. That’s right, Mother Nature has always been there for us, continually giving without taking anything from us, while we greedily receive without giving back in return. As a result, our collective carbon footprint has grown alarmingly over the years. If we want the world to be a better place for us and our future generations to live in, we need to give back to nature too.
Here are some ways to give back to nature, and build a cleaner, greener environment for ourselves to live in.
Thank a Tree, Plant a Tree
Have you ever taken some time to think about how hard trees and other plants are working for us? They give us oxygen, shade, and some even bear fruits and vegetables for us. It’s a thankless job, and we need to appreciate the hard work they put in all year round – without them we would not even be able to breathe. However, instead of thanking the trees for all they have provided, we just chop them down for wood, paper, and land use. In honour of all their hard work, and to replace what we have taken from nature, say thank you to the trees and plant a tree. Every new tree planted helps to replenish our oxygen levels and reduce our carbon footprint.
Volunteer for Cleanup Projects
Cleanup projects are a great way to give back to Mother Nature, and there are usually several cleanup projects taking place at beaches or nature parks near you throughout the year. Find a group or organisation in your area that is dedicated to giving back to the Earth, and sign up for their next outing to clean up your community. You’ll be surprised at how much trash people leave at public parks and beaches, and this trash could harm the natural environment and wildlife present in the area. At the end of the day you’ll be left with a deep satisfaction, knowing how much the flora and fauna in your community can benefit through a little bit of effort. If possible, take time to remind others not to leave litter in nature, which can harm the animals and plants native to the area. After all, they wouldn’t want someone to come to their home and dump a load of harmful trash, would they?
BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag
The next time you decide to go shopping, bring along a spare tote bag or reusable shopping bag, and say no to plastic bags. We use our little plastic bags for a few hours at most, carting around our purchases of the day, and promptly discard the bags once we get home. For the more eco-conscious among us, these plastic bags might have a second chance at life, as trash bags, before being thrown away with other waste products. A plastic bag is only used for several hours on average, but will take decades to break down, and is one of the largest killers of marine life. By refusing a plastic bag, not only will you help save our aquatic friends, you will also be helping the environment and leaving more non-renewable resources for future generations’ use.
Have you heard of composting? Composting is a great way to make sure that nothing goes to waste, not even food scraps! Compost is fertilizer that is made from green waste – food waste and garden waste such as grass or flower cuttings. There are many tutorials online for you to start your own compost bin or compost heap at home, so pick the one that suits you the most and get composting! By creating your own compost, you are actually providing nutrients for plants and helping their growth. At the same time, you will also be reducing your waste output, reducing the load at garbage disposal centres and incinerators, and making the Earth greener through your efforts.
Repurpose Old Items
“Reduce, reuse, recycle.” I’m sure you’ve heard the common phrase that goes hand in hand with environmental friendliness. A good way to give back to the environment is through reducing your wastage, especially when it comes to non-biodegradable items like plastic. A fun way to reduce wastage is through repurposing old items! There are many ways to repurpose. You can cut up your old tee-shirts to make tee-shirt yarn for useful knitting or crochet projects. You can repurpose old water bottles as bird feeders, planters, or cool decorations around your house. You can also cut your old beer or wine bottles to make some fancy statement glasses that will give your house guests to something to talk about. Whatever your repurposing project is, there are various ideas and tutorials on the internet which can help you to reduce your wastage and have fun while creating something ‘new’ for yourself or others!
The amount of wastage we contribute to yearly is shocking, and we all need to play our part in keeping the Earth a clean and green home for us to live in. Whether you choose to give back to Mother Nature through one of these methods or some other form, every little bit counts. So stop taking nature for granted and give back in any way you can!