Tag Archives: environmental sustainability

Brief History of Global Environmental Sustainability

Although different environments in the past and distant past were not affected by the severe types of environmental problems affecting our present-day world, they would have still attracted the attention of people who had a desire to protect or sustain the environment.

Outside of Athens, the Greeks developed the first refuse dumps around the year 500 B.C. Because the Greeks understood how solid waste and human waste could spread diseases in the environment, they invented sewers, toilets, and placed waste yards or refuse dumps outside the city.

Within the boundaries of other ancient cities such as Rome, poor disposal of human waste increased the already-existing displeasing level of air pollution due to burning of solid waste, wood, and odors from garbage and runoff from household and industrial sewage.

Pollution of rivers is nothing new. To prevent the river Thames from being polluted, King Edward III of England passed a law in 1357 prohibiting pollution of the river. Nine years later (1366) in Paris, slaughterers were forced to discard animal waste outside the city.

And after about a further two decades more, in 1388, laws were passed in England to forbid/disallow disposal of garbage and refuse into trenches, rivers, and bodies of water.

By responding to numerous outbreaks of diseases and environmental problems, and creating laws to protect the environment, the foundations of environmental sustainability were further strengthened and many improvements were being increasingly made in the centuries that followed.

Even now (in modern times), governments, organizations, and people from across the world still show consistent concern for the environment and environmental sustainability. The need to sustain the environment exists globally, and the United Nations has been a major vehicle driving and promoting environmental sustainability.

In preparation for the Stockholm Conference (The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment), which was held in 1972 in Stockholm (Sweden), a meeting was held in 1971: the developed nations expressed more concern about environmental consequences of global development, while the less developed nations, on the other hand, expressed more concern about economic development.

Sustainable development ensued as a compromise between two major conflicting choices: environmental concerns and economic concerns. The Stockholm Conference led to the birth of the United Nations Environmental Programme with a mandate to handle issues tied to both sound development practices and environmental practices.

The International Environmental Education Programme took off in 1975 and was followed by the World Conservation Strategy in 1980.

Then in 1983, the Secretary-General of the United Nations asked the Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, to constitute and lead a special independent World Commission on Environment and Development.

The purpose was to enhance global cooperation on environmental and developmental matters, review and suggest how to handle critical global environmental and developmental problems, and raise different citizens’, governments’, businesses’, and industries’ understanding of and commitment to environmental sustainability and sustainable development.

After many meetings took place, the independent World Commission on Environment and Development produced a report which led to the establishment of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, and Agenda 21 instituted at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and was accepted by more than 178 governments.

Agenda 21 report was created with different sections that targeted different aspects of environmental sustainability. Section I of Agenda 21 report contained discourses on eating/consumption patterns, poverty, demographic dynamics, sustainable development in developing countries, how to encourage sustainable human settlements, how to protect and promote human health, how to protect and integrate the environment into development decisions, and how to take care of needs while developing land and resources.

Section II re-examined the methods of protecting air, water, land, vulnerable or destroyed ecosystems, and sustainable agriculture, and discussed environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, illegal international trading  of hazardous wastes, toxic and dangerous products, solid wastes, and radioactive wastes.

Section III discussed the role of different native peoples, women, children, youths, workers, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, businesses, industries, and the scientific and technological community in sustainable development.

While Section IV discussed implementation of Agenda 21 which is the design pattern or blueprint for environmental sustainability and sustainable development in the 21st century.

Since global climate change started becoming an issue, all countries saw an immediate need to take necessary actions to tackle the major environmental problems affecting the world as a community.

The original “Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” was signed by 197 countries on September 16, 1987, and became effective on January 1, 1989. Its provisions seek to protect the stratosphere ozone layer which is important and contributes to the sustenance of biodiversity and life on Earth.

Based on new scientific information at the time, adjustments were effected on March 7, 1991, September 23, 1993, August 5, 1996, June 4, 1998, July 28, 2000, and May 14, 2008.

Meanwhile, in December 1997, more than 150 countries established the Kyoto Protocol to sustain and protect the atmosphere and the climate, and support research on climate change.

To propel actions that can increase the availability of clean air, clean energy, and safe water, and protect people and the environment from diseases and injuries, various nations, NGOs, financial institutions, UN agencies, and groups from around the world convened at the World Summit on Sustainable Development between August 26 and September 4, 2002, and discussed major issues of biodiversity, water, agriculture, energy, and health.

Once again, the countries of the world convened at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development between June 20 and 22, 2012, and reaffirmed their commitment to take necessary actions to achieve a sustainable future for present and future generations.

The most important concerns discussed were about how to eradicate hunger, poverty, and diseases, and develop natural resources in ways that are environmentally friendly.

The conference re-emphasized that people were the focal point of sustainable development, while governments, industries, businesses, and organizations were partners, and decisions on sustainable development should be based on scientific research.

History of Environmental Sustainability & Environmental Laws in the USA

From the very beginnings of the USA as a country, concerned individuals, leaders, and the government had made and still continue making efforts to prevent environmental degradation and land, air, and water pollution. The country’s efforts over a few centuries have laid a strong foundation for present-day environmental sustainability practices that have been taking an increasingly firm grip on the world.

As far back as 1634, when the term “environmental sustainability” was still light years away from seeing the light of day, regulations on public sanitation were enacted in Massachusetts. To prevent water pollution, the city of Boston decreed that people ought not to leave garbage or fish near the bridge or mutual landing between two brooks.

About 3,500 sanitary/medical practitioners lived and worked in the colonies that existed in the USA back in the day. Some of the duties they often performed, included the following:

  • Supply of pure water and prevention of polluting substances from contaminated water
  • Enforcement of practices aimed at keeping the environment clean
  • Control of inconveniences from filth and trades that had the potential to harm physical or mental health
  • Drainage of swamps, low-lying wetland that had grassy vegetation, and stagnant small lakes or bodies of water
  • Disposal of wastes, trash, excrement, etc.

As the United States continued to enlarge its size westward in the nineteenth century (1800s), people freely used natural resources; on the other hand, they indiscriminately discharged all types of pollutants on the land and into the water and air.

But between the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century (1900s), people started realizing the need to use natural resources more sustainably and conserve them for future generations.

This mindset helped create the Conservation Movement (also known as Nature Conservation) which was an environmental, social, and political reform movement whose goal was to preserve natural features and resources (such as animal species, plant species, and their habitat) in ways that would leave the environment in a more sustainable or better condition for the benefit of future generations.

President Teddy Roosevelt stood out and became an exemplary American leader who knew that the country’s development depended a lot on preserving natural resources and taking good care of the environment.

Sensing that the country would be depleted of natural resources, especially trees, and that pollution would threaten human life, especially in big cities, Roosevelt sought after the protection of water and the promotion of effective and sustainable land development. Civic associations, The Sierra Club, and individuals such as John Muir agreed with Roosevelt’s initiatives and efforts.

Because of the dangerous environmental and living conditions that existed in cities and which people were exposed to, anti-pollution programs were established and made a considerable impact from around the end of the Civil War (in 1865) to 1915.

The governments that were in power during that period, took some actions that are still being practiced in present-day environmental sustainability programs: they protected water sources, constructed sewerage/sewer systems, cleaned the streets, gathered and got rid of solid waste, set up parks, and started regulating air pollutants.

Care for the environment continued receiving increasing attention to a point that environmental laws were being passed in the form of “Acts”. The “Rivers and Harbours Appropriation Act” was passed in 1899; it prohibits “the discharge of refuse matter of any kind into the navigable waters, or tributaries thereof, of the United States without permit”.

Congress passed another environmental law, the “Pure Food and Drug Act” in 1905, to protect consumers or people from adulterated or contaminated and harmful food and drug products. Subsequent amendments—such as the “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” of 1936—regulated the pesticides used in the environment and—the “Food Quality Protection Act” of 1996—guaranteed that standards for the pesticides applied to foods, were instituted and enforced.

The “Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act” (FIFRA) Act was passed in 1947 to control the use or application of pesticides and ensure that, whenever they are applied, they won’t pose unreasonable risk to human health and the environment. The FIFRA was amended in 1972 and further amended in 1988 and 1996.

The “Atomic Energy Act” (AEA) was passed in 1954 to regulate the production and use of nuclear energy, nuclear power plants, and nuclear weapons facilities, and protect the health and safety of the public and environment.

Senator Gaylord Nelson created “Earth Day” on April 22, 1970, and about 20 million people throughout the USA showed their support for Earth Day and environmental protection after constantly seeing people living side by side with environmental pollutants. The first Earth Day in 1970 expressed people’s desire to see the general public take much better care of the environment and their own health and lives.

United States Congress passed the “National Environmental Policy Act” in 1969 to establish a broad structure and national policy for protecting the environment and preparing an environmental impact statement whenever the environment would have to be affected by certain actions or changes.

Programs were brought together from 15 different agencies and departments in order to create the “Environmental Protection Agency” (EPA) in 1970. And many additional environmental laws were passed in the form of Acts in order to protect people and the environment, at both federal and state levels.

To ensure sustainability was also applied to the coasts, an environmental law named “Coastal Zone Management Act” was passed in 1972 to permit the federal government and states to protect United States coastal areas from actions and overdevelopment activities that are regarded as “environmentally destructive”.

The “Marine Mammal Protection Act” was passed in 1972 to protect marine animals (such as sea lions, seals, dolphins, whales, manatees, seals, etc,) from becoming endangered. The “Endangered Species Act” was passed in 1973 to protect habitats that are havens for species of wildlife, fish, and plants that are becoming endangered in the United States. The “Fisheries Conservation and Management Act” was passed in 1976 to keep fish stock in a healthy state and prevent people from over-harvesting fish in the future.

The “Safe Drinking Water Act” was passed in 1974—and amended in 1986 and 1996—to establish drinking water standards and protect groundwater or underground environments that are saturated with water. And the “Federal Land Policy and Management Act” was passed in 1976 to protect federal lands that have ecological value.

The “Resource Conservation and Recovery Act” was passed in 1976 to establish standards for managing and properly disposing hazardous waste and preventing the creation of toxic waste dump sites in the environment. The “Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act” was passed in 1977 to ensure coal mining is regulated so it doesn’t degrade or destroy the environment and human and animal life.

The “Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act” was passed in 1980—and later underwent subsequent amendments—to ensure that sites contaminated by toxic wastes are cleaned up, even if the toxic wastes were placed there many years prior to the creation of such sites.

The “Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act” was passed in 1986 to ensure that industries or companies that produce toxic chemicals, inform communities or residential areas about the toxic chemicals they discharge on land and into the water and air.

The “Oil Pollution Act” was passed in 1990 to ensure that the organizations or people who pollute the environment through oil spills/spillage, take responsibility for any damage they cause to the environment or any natural resources.

Conclusion

Since each environmental law was passed or created by United States Congress, a lot of actions, scientific research, studies, environmental sustainability best practices, and programs have been pioneered throughout the country in order to promote sustainability and ensure that the environment is protected, and injuries and illnesses are prevented or abated.

Environmental Sustainability—Definitions & Brief Insight

Generally speaking, “sustainability” can be defined as the characteristic or attribute of being sustainable. Sustainability can also be defined as the ability of an object, thing, or individual to be sustained or maintained without becoming degraded, deteriorated, or weak.

The term “environmental sustainability” can be defined as long-term sustenance or maintenance of the environment by interacting with and treating it in ways that can conserve, protect, or avoid depletion/degradation of its components which include all the renewable and non-renewable natural resources and ecosystems that support the wellbeing of all life-forms, now and in the future.

Human, animal, and environmental wellbeing are closely linked with how well the environment and its constituents are treated, and how well the environment is maintained or sustained in a healthy state. One of the aims of practicing environmental sustainability is to ensure that today’s world and its population are utilizing resources to a great extent without putting the needs of future generations in jeopardy.

According to WHO (World Health Organization), about 24% of deaths around the world are caused by avoidable environmental factors—note the word “avoidable”. As the world has been experiencing the long-term negative effects of increasing energy use and industrial growth, its inhabitants have to act or behave in sustainable ways that can halt/help avoid or prevent further damage to the environment.

The practice of environmental sustainability demands that appropriate and adequate methods are implemented and skills are employed in creating and sustaining or maintaining environmental conditions that can make it possible for living and non-living things to exist in harmony with nature, while at the same time halting or eliminating harmful actions and substances that may affect the natural environment and cause sicknesses and injuries.

The practice of environmental sustainability considers and integrates all levels of environmental, social, and economic factors in ways that can help create and implement programs aimed at educating the masses about the environment, improving air quality, destroying things that contaminate the environment, developing a green environment, and efficiently using technologies to preserve all life-forms, land, air, water, ecosystems, minerals, and forests.

If properly implemented, environmental sustainability practices can reduce or halt hunger and poverty, create economic stability and growth, conserve natural resources much better, and help to achieve other conditions that can improve the quality of the environment for present and future generations.

Environmental sustainability can be implemented on a global scale through teamwork and the combined effort of different populations, businesses, industries, and governments at local, state, national, and international levels. The groups of individuals or governments that wish to achieve environmental sustainability, need to develop a clear-cut vision—based on any existing situation—with long-term or short-term aims and objectives, and implement programs using the best field-tested practices which need to be backed up by necessary budgets.

Techniques & Strategies for Environmental Conservation

Due to the causes of environmental problems, the global environment which provides us with basic necessities of life is degenerating year in and year out; water scarcity and environmental pollution are greatly hampering mankind’s progress.

Decades of drastic changes in land use and the extravagant and unreasonable exploitation of natural resources have led to rapid degradation of the natural environment in many parts of the world.

Each person is part of the international community and needs to help create a society that would protect the natural environment or restore it to its natural or original state and ensure there will be continuous harmony between human activities and natural ecosystems.

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The techniques, methods, or practices used to conserve the environment are many and varied. Some of them are expensive while others are inexpensive and require people to apply and become familiar with them; others are temporary, while others are permanent; still yet, others are widely useful, while others are limited to specific conditions.

The following techniques and strategies can be used to maintain or preserve the natural environment:

1. Tree planting, supply of more vegetative cover, and sustainable forest/vegetation management

More trees, grasses, plants, dense vegetative cover, and sustainable forest management are needed in critical places of the natural environment around many parts of the world.

Appropriate plantings and management should be effected on steep slopes, odd corners, or other problematic areas that provide food, stable water supplies, habitation for wildlife, and help to control soil erosion, conserve soil fertility, absorb and accumulate greenhouse gases, and mitigate natural disasters such as landslides and floods.

2. Crop rotation, narrow row spacing, and strip cropping

Crop rotation is an important and necessary environmental conservation technique because it uses series of different crops to protect soil against erosion, considerably reduce erosion, and also provide more income. Crops that are strictly grown for the purpose of protecting soil are known as cover crops.

The practice of narrow row spacing is equally an important and effective environmental conservation technique because it enables row crops to provide better soil cover much earlier and improve both crop yield and soil erosion control.

In addition to crop rotation and narrow row spacing, there are various forms of strip cropping that can reduce wind erosion, water erosion, and environmental pollution.

3. Contour tillage & no-tillage systems, and mechanical methods

The practice of certain types of tillage systems—which are usually inexpensive and don’t require investments unless equipment is required—are effective environmental conservation techniques because they hold more crop residues on soil surfaces and considerably reduce erosion.

For instance, by employing contour tillage, erosion is often reduced to half of what it would be if straight-line tillage is employed in place of contour tillage. The no-tillage system is even more effective and rapidly expanding because modern herbicides are making it unnecessary to use tillage (till the soil).

Mechanical methods could be either metallic structures, wooden structures, and concrete structures which exist in forms such as dams, terraces, chutes, drainages, channels, or any object that can limit erosion and environmental degradation by controlling water flow, holding soil, and preventing surface water pollution.

4. Less intensive land use

Inappropriate use of land constitutes a major problem: most lands are only suitable for some purposes, while others are unsuitable, and vice-versa. One of the best ways to conserve land/soil and the air and water environments around it is to use each land/soil within its capabilities and prevent intensive land use when it can degrade the environment.

Some lands are suitable for intensive cropping, especially if they have deep and fertile soil that has favorable texture and structure. On the other hand, other lands are only suitable for wildlife and other non-disruptive purposes because they are stony, shallow, steep, or too steep, and limited in ways that make them only suitable for specific purposes.

Therefore, it’s advisable to be prudent when using a particular land, while acknowledging fully well that some land uses conserve the environment, while others can degrade it.

5. Sustainable uses of natural resources

Cooperation or ties need to be established or strengthened between various governments, NGOs, and international organizations in order to promote activities that can reduce over-exploitation and excessive usage of natural resources; sustainable use of natural resources need to be commenced, enhanced, or maintained in different parts of the world, especially developing countries where the majority of inhabitants rely on local natural resources to sustain their lives on a daily basis.

6. Biodiversity conservation by protecting certain areas

In addition to buffer zones and national parks, more protected areas need to be set up to promote environmental education, support and promote the harmonious coexistence of nature and humans, and reduce the risk of species extinction due to overhunting of wildlife, growing or breeding of alien species in new environments, climate change, and other factors.

7. Effective solid waste management

In many parts of the world, the existing sanitation, public health, and pollution control schemes tied to recycling and solid waste management need to be improved in order to reduce the environmental impacts of the solid waste that is being generated increasingly and in large quantities.

8. Effective air, water, and land pollution control

Assessments of pollution situations need to be made, institutions have to be developed, and regulations have to be enforced or re-enforced in order to reduce and prevent cases of air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution due to mercury pollution, chemical substances, oil spillage, and lack of environmental management in urban and rural areas.

10 Features of Ecocities & Ecovillages that Inspire our World to Be More Sustainable

The environmental problems in urban and large cities should not be hinged solely on urbanization, but on our inability to make cities more sustainable and livable by using urbanization in much better and efficient ways than we have been able to.

We can use urbanization in much better ways if we apply the concepts used in creating ecocities and ecovillages which employ good ecological designs and make new and existing urban areas more sustainable, naturally self-reliant, and pleasurable places to live in.

An ecocity (also known as a green city) is an environmentally sustainable city that applies the following three principles of sustainability, or lessons from nature, in order to promote environmental sustainability based on development and minimal environmental impact goals:

  • reliance or dependence on solar energy in order to reduce or eliminate environmental impacts of fossil fuels and artificially created forms of energy.
  • application of nutrient or chemical cycling or waste reuse to ensure there is little or no waste disposal in the environment.
  • allowance for all types of biodiversity (or biological diversity) to exist and provide vital ecosystem services; this can further provide numerous ways for the variety of plant and animal life to adapt to changing and challenging environmental conditions.

The vehicles, appliances, and buildings that exist in ecocities are highly energy-efficient and make ecocities to be somewhat energy-independent. Unlike in most cities where industrial sites are either unkept and abandoned, in ecocities, abandoned industrial sites are cleaned up, regenerated, and used for beneficial purposes.

Future ecocities look attractive because they could consist of buildings that would be powered by solar panels, power plants, wind turbines, and roofs; in addition, they could have digesters that would be used to convert kitchen and plant waste into natural gas for cooking and heating.

In addition to ecocities, eco-villages exist, in cities, urbanized areas, or ecocities. The term “ecovillage” was first coined and used by Robert Gilman in 1991. In his paper titled “The Ecovillage Challenge”, he defined ecovillage as “a combination of a human habitat and human activities that does not cause environmental damage and support human health” (Gilman R., 1991).

An ecovillage (a.k.a. ecodistrict) is an environmentally sustainable community or settlement of people that is smaller than a city and applies the goals targeted by the three principles of sustainability mentioned earlier.

Ecocities, ecovillages, and the findings in other projects and research works on biomimicry, provide mankind with sufficient ideas that can be used to improve the ecological design of buildings, based on the three principles of sustainability.

10 Features or characteristics of ecocities and ecovillages

1. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages use solar energy and locally available renewable energy resources; in so doing, they reduce their ecological footprints.

2. Ecocities and ecovillages consist of buildings that produce more energy than they consume, and can be heated and cooled as much as possible by nature or natural processes.

3. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages plant trees and plants in most areas in order to ensure that there is pure air, adequate shade, and soil is protected from erosion.

4. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages use material resources and energy more efficiently; for instance, instead of using money and energy to mow grass, they ensure cattle or sheep graze on grass, thereby saving energy and using grass as a resource.

5. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages reuse, recycle, and compost high percentages of their solid waste. Instead of disposing animal manure in their environment, they ensure that it is used as organic fertilizer on farmlands.

6. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages reduce waste generation and prevent pollution as much as possible. To ensure there is little or no air pollution, waste is properly disposed or efficiently reused, and the inhabitants walk or move around in low-polluting vehicles.

7. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages promote agriculture, aquaculture, and construction of urban gardens and farmers’ markets.

8. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages protect and support the growth of biodiversity, preserve forests and grasslands, and protect and restore natural systems.

9. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages ensure that most of their food is produced from organic farms, community farms, solar greenhouses, and gardens.

10. The inhabitants of ecocities and ecovillages educate their populations about environmental problems and solutions.

Examples of ecocities and ecovillages

  • Curitiba ecocity, Brazil.
  • Dongtan ecocity, China.
  • Masdar ecocity, UAE.
  • Vauban urban ecovillage, Freiburg, Germany.
  • Los Angeles ecovillage, USA.
  • Cloughjordan ecovillage, Ireland.
  • BedZED housing development ecovillage, London, England.

Examples of emerging ecocities or cities that are becoming environmentally sustainable

  • Bogota, Columbia.
  • Helsinki, Finland.
  • Waitakere City, New Zealand.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Malmo, Sweden.
  • Portland, Oregon, USA.

Biomimicry: Examples & Benefits of Copying Nature

If we can’t be able to use man-made or artificial methods of pollution prevention and waste reduction to reduce waste as much as we possibly can, then we can, at least, be able to apply the principles of biomimicry and mimic nature’s methods of composting, recycling, or exchanging waste, so that we can reduce waste as much as possible.

Biomimicry is the science and art of studying nature’s activities through experimentation or observation, in order to discover natural principles and environmentally beneficial ideas, and apply them in ways that can solve human problems and make the environment better.

Top 9 Sustainability Practices of Nature that You Should Practice

Biomimicry observes certain changes that nature currently makes, and goes back to study how natural systems have responded to such changes in the past or distant past; thereafter, it copies or adjusts the responses to fit into human or man-made systems in order to reduce or eliminate various environmental problems.

To create a more sustainable and low-waste society, one important goal of environmentalists is to apply biomimicry and make industrial manufacturing processes much cleaner and more sustainable by redesigning them to behave like nature and mimic how nature handles waste.

Examples of biomimicry

1. Like nature, which has been carrying out chemical recycling for ages and using wastes produced by some living organisms to serve as nutrients and aid the growth of other living organisms, mankind has been using animal wastes to aid plant growth, and vice-versa. In this way, the earth’s nutrients have been continuously recycled, and waste has been minimal in undisturbed ecosystems. 

2. Similar to what nature does during chemical recycling, some industries or manufacturers have been reusing and recycling most of the waste, chemicals, and minerals they use, instead of burning or discarding them by transporting them elsewhere.

3. On the other hand, if a certain industry won’t be able to mimic nature and reuse or recycle its waste, it could interact with other industries or manufacturers through resource exchange channels, and make their waste materials available for use as raw materials, instead of burning or discarding them in the environment.

Generally, the waste output(s) from one industry can be exchanged for the waste output(s) from another industry, and converted into resources or raw materials, thereby reducing pollution, waste, and the movement of non-renewable energy and mineral through society.

4. The study of termite mounds by scientists has led to the discovery of how to cool buildings naturally, instead of artificially, which has been degrading the quality of the atmosphere and environment, especially when fossil fuels are used.

Benefits of biomimicry

1. Biomimicry can inspire companies to invent new, environmentally uplifting, and less energy-consuming processes and products that can help mankind and gain the affection of the world.

2. Biomimicry can solve human problems and make the natural surroundings/environment better.

3. Biomimicry can make man-made or industrial manufacturing processes to be much neater and more sustainable.

4. Biomimicry can reduce the costs of handling solid wastes, reducing pollution, and abiding by pollution regulations.

5. Biomimicry can reduce pollution, transfer of toxic waste, and the flow of non-renewable minerals and energy through society.

6. Biomimicry can help to prevent industries or manufacturing companies from damaging communities, thereby reducing their chances of getting sued because of how they handle or dispose waste.

7. Biomimicry can reduce companies’ health insurance costs and improve the health and safety of their workers by reducing their exposure to noxious and harmful wastes or materials.

How water wastage can be reduced in the environment

The use of water is of serious concern in our world today, especially because of the way it is being used in unsustainable ways that have led to lots of wastage and deterioration of the environment which is mankind’s earthly home.

It is far easier, and much less costly to reduce water wastage than many people think. In fact, it costs much less money and energy to reduce water wastage than it does to provide new supplies of water—except in situations where governments subsidize water systems in order to reduce water prices and make their acquisition much easier.

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Many studies have been carried out on the usage and sustainability or unsustainability of water. Mohammed El-Ashry of the World Resources Institute once made three profound statements concerning water wastage:

  • it is technically and economically possible to reduce water wastage to 15% and meet most of the world’s water needs in the anticipated future.
  • approximately two-thirds of the quantity of water used worldwide is unnecessarily wasted through leaks, evaporation, and other types of losses.
  • about half the quantity of water obtained from surface and ground supplies in the U.S.A. (the world’s largest user of water) is unnecessarily wasted.

According to most water and environment specialists, the first major cause of water wastage is the fact that water is relatively cheap or easy to acquire

Because water is almost readily available, and governments subsidize it to low prices, users have little or no interest to invest time or money in water-saving schemes.

At times, it seems as if governments’ efforts to subsidize water are sending out a wrong message that water is abundant and can be used haphazardly or wasted.

On the other hand, if water is not subsidized, low-income farmers might find it hard to buy enough water to meet their agricultural needs.

How water can be conserved (or water wastage reduced) in an environment

In the U.S.A., almost 90% of the quantity of water used in industries is for the production of oil, chemicals, paper, coal, metals, and processed foods.

Reduction of water wastage can be achieved by following the example of some industries that recycle their water via recycling and purification in order to reduce water wastage, and most especially costs—water treatment costs.

Another way to reduce water wastage is by depending less on the use of coal-burning and nuclear power plants for the production of electricity.

Coal-burning and nuclear power plants normally use large quantities of water in their cooling systems which have a wide variety of applications in manufacturing and production industries.

A brief summary of some important solutions for water wastage

  • collect and reuse household water for agricultural or other purposes (offices, hotels, etc.)
  • use water-saving shower-heads and toilets
  • recycle water in manufacturing and production industries
  • pass laws to enforce regulations for the conservation of water in cities
  • conduct research and redesign manufacturing and production processes
  • plant crops or trees that require little water for their growth, especially in heavily populated cities
  • use drip irrigation which has the ability to save water and nutrients by making water drip slowly to the roots of plants, crops, or trees
  • fix all leaking taps or leakages
  • use water meters in billing systems.

We can all reduce our water wastage footprint by using water much more sustainably without wasting it. The solution starts with taking adequate steps and acts within our local environments and stretching our acts globally.

How to Transform an Environmentally Unsustainable Society into an Environmentally Sustainable One

Environmental degradation is no longer a new topic. Many air, water, and land environments in many societies (worldwide) are heavily polluted to such an extent that they’ve become unsustainable and need urgent attention so they can be transformed from unsustainable environments to sustainable environments: the types of environments that are part and parcel of environmentally sustainable societies.

But how can environmentally unsustainable societies move from an unsustainable level to a sustainable one? What important measures must be put in place before such a great challenge can be surmounted—especially when an appreciable amount of time, human and natural resources are needed in transforming society and its environment?

This article will provide very important strategies that could help to transform environmentally unsustainable societies into environmentally sustainable ones.

But first, what is an environmentally sustainable society?

An environmentally sustainable society is one that has enough natural resources that can cater for the needs of its present and future population(s) without threatening the ability of its future generations to meet their own basic needs.

Environmentally sustainable societies conserve, manage and protect their natural resources (or natural capital) properly, and live on the income that their natural resources generate.

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Environmentally sustainable societies know that if they waste, excessively deplete and mismanage their natural resources/capital, they will deteriorate from a sustainable level to an unsustainable one.

Environmentally sustainable societies exploit natural resources (i.e., the Earth’s natural capital or fund which nature provides for all human beings, plants, and animals), and use them to enhance their environments and increase their present and future ability to meet human, animal, and plant needs.

The sustainability of the environment is in the hands of mankind, and it needs to be properly implemented and maintained

On the other hand, environmentally unsustainable societies also exist, and there is growing evidence that some environmentally sustainable societies are showing signs of becoming environmentally unsustainable—i.e., they are living unsustainably and their environments are degrading.

What are some major characteristics of environmentally unsustainable societies?

  • their air is highly polluted with smoke from indigenous industries; it’s at such a degree that people have to turn on vehicle headlights during the day in order to see what is in front of them.
  • their lakes, rivers, seas, oceans, or water bodies are polluted because they contain various types of toxic solid and liquid wastes that have been dumped or discharged by people.
  • their lands are highly polluted with wastes from factories; this has happened to such a degree that people and industries have abandoned certain polluted wastelands. Why? Because they are unproductive and have recorded high rates of unemployment and crime.
  • etc.—many other unsustainable characteristics.

Now, what are the most important steps that can be taken in order to transform an environmentally unsustainable society into an environmentally sustainable one?

(1) Establish, or improve existing social capital: Everybody in each society has to put its hands together in order to solve environmental problems—this needs to start at the grassroots

In order for an environmentally unsustainable society to become environmentally sustainable (or much less environmentally unsustainable) it has to build or improve on what sociologists call “social capital”.

Each society has a social capital—its own citizens.

In order to establish or improve social capital, people from different backgrounds, with opinions and characteristics have to come together, communicate with each other, understand each other, and find a common ground to work together in order to solve existing societal or environmental problems.

In this regard, indigenous local society leaders, learned people, government officials, business leaders, and all citizens have to come together, discuss, work out modalities and look for high- and low-cost options that can be used to transform ailing and highly polluted unsustainable societies into sustainable and livable ones.

The solutions to environmental problems are easier to implement if every person in society—regardless of age or background—is carried along.

Important questions that should be asked during meetings—when establishing or improving social capital:

  • is there pollution in the environment—air, water, and land?
  • is there too much pollution? What is the presumed level of pollution?
  • what are the causes or existing sources of pollution?
  • how can pollution be eradicated from the society or environment?
  • should the sources of pollution be regulated or eradicate, even if it will affect the economy/standard of living, but end up preserving health?
  • etc.—many other important questions.

If citizens of societies do not put heads together, and reason together, it will be difficult to eradicate environmental problems because, naturally, without discussions, enlightenment, and leadership, many people tend to neglect Mother Nature’s call of duty to protect the environment.

(2) Once respective leaders can summon people together and address environmental issues, a timeline should be set—as agreed—in which it is believed that most important goals would be achieved; for example, environmental clean-up, closure of polluting factories, etc.

(Also, there should be a plan, not only for a few meetings but a continuous series of meetings, as agreed by all members of a society or community.)

All citizens, especially leaders and learned people, should be allowed to contribute as much as possible so that environmental problems can be identified precisely and goals/solutions can be proffered after members of society brainstorm all-important solutions, or ideas provided by citizens.

Examples of some important goals that environmentally unsustainable societies could proffer

  • enforce or encourage the reduction of air pollution from industries—from high emission rates to low or even zero-emission rates, if possible.
  • stop or discourage littering/open dumping of solid waste on land, and in water bodies.
  • stop construction of structures, building or factories that encourages increasing discharge of waste into air, water and land environments.
  • launch a recycling program in order to conserve certain resources, and recycle and re-use others that are recyclable and reusable.
  • replace some high carbon-emitting factories and vehicles that use more fossil fuel, with those that use more electricity, and give off low- or zero-emission discharges. Note: replacement could only be a good option if there is sufficient funding to do it.
  • etc.

(3) Implement goals

All stated goals that have been agreed on, should be zealously and vigorously implemented, and effectively monitored from inception to completion.

If goals are properly implemented, then air pollution and environmental degradation levels will gradually become much lower than the minimum levels recommended locally, or internationally.

(4) Exercise patience

It takes time and patience to get things done in today’s world. Government leaders, society leaders, learned people, and citizens have to exercise a lot of patience because transforming an environmentally unsustainable society into a sustainable one would involve a lot of human resources, natural resources, energy, and a lot of time as well. It is not such an easy task as stated on paper, but it can be done.

If patience is not properly exercised, the dream of a society can be forgotten, long before a single step is taken.

Conclusions

  • each individual in society matters a lot. Most environmental damages are results of social changes due to each individual’s action—which could be excessive burning of combustible fuels, dumping of solid wastes on land, and in water, etc.
  • Each individual’s action at the grassroots can lead to massive changes in overall environmental conditions—either positively or negatively.

In fact, research conducted by social scientists suggests that it takes between 5% and 10% of the population of a society, community, country, or the whole world to bring about a “major social change”.

  • human history and research have proven that significant social and environmental changes occur in a shorter time than many people think—especially if goals are pursued with the type of vigor and zeal that is necessary.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once summed up the ability a group of people could have if they desire to make a social change: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

  • If societies start now, rather than later, they will still have enough time to change from environmentally unsustainable societies to environmentally sustainable ones.

Recommendations for sustainable living

There are some recommendable strategies that can be used to reduce negative environmental impacts and create more environmentally sustainable environments/societies.

The following strategies can help to sustain the Earth’s natural capital and create more sustainable environments:

1. Carry everybody along—as stated at the beginning of the article.

2. Rely more on renewable energy from the sun and indirect forms of solar energy such as wind and flowing water. Solar energy can provide most heating and electricity needs without emitting health-deteriorating carbon compounds into the atmosphere.

3. Protect the biodiversity of nature by preventing pollution and degradation of air, water bodies, and land—since pollution affects the health of animal species, natural processes, and ecosystems.

4. Sustain the Earth’s natural chemical cycles by reducing pollution, production, and mismanagement of solid wastes; and preventing natural systems from being overloaded with harmful man-made chemicals.

Life Lessons We can Learn from Environmental Sustainability

When we see or hear the word “sustainability” we tend to think of only renewable fuel sources, reduction in carbon emissions, environmental protection, etc., without thinking about how each individual could sustain their own life. Although sustainability can protect the natural environment and human and ecological health without compromising our way of life, we can use its principles to enhance our emotional well-being, employ our talents to full effect, and continuously generate joy, contentment, fulfillment, income, etc.

From the perspective of environmental science, sustainability focuses on meeting the demands of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own demands. A good example that illustrates the ill-effects of unsustainable living is when a pharmaceutical company discharges highly concentrated and polluted wastewater into a nearby river used by people who live around the vicinity of the river.

Probably, the company’s intention is to avoid short-term costs of properly disposing such wastewater into a different—but distant—body of water not used by people; however, discharges, especially if done consistently, could lead to water-borne diseases and other expenses that have been known to create significant long-term environmental damage on both the people who consume polluted water, and the water environment (river) itself.

Sustainable nations & sustainable people

One great quality environmentally sustainable nations have is that they effectively conserve their natural resources, and survive pretty well on income generated from their resources—which can be divided into renewable and non-renewable (you can read about renewable and non-renewable resources here). In summary, sustainable nations use their resources in ways that preserve/conserve them indefinitely.

Like any sustainable nation, sustainability should be the major goal for anyone who’s interested in meeting personal current and future resource needs, and generating income for survival without compromising the ability of one’s future to meet future needs. Such goals should be the dream of all individuals, irrespective of their professions.

The good news is that, generally, everyone is given some talent (natural resource) at birth; however, each person goes on to use their talent(s) in different ways while growing up. The bad news is that most people either under-utilize their talent(s) or don’t even use it/them at all.

One point that should be kept in mind is that talent is only a starting point for generating income and becoming successful. A lot of effort is required to efficiently and productively use that talent in a sustainable way, and over a long period of time.

Good enough, as long as we are alive, each person’s time and talent have the ability to be renewed; so we can safely say that both time and talent are renewable resources like solar energy. Resources can be either used sustainably or unsustainably; for example: imagine that someone used his talent (natural income) to earn £500,000 over a period of time after investing both.

Next, he took part of his money and invested in a profitable business that earned him 20% interest per year; implying that he generated a sustainable income of £100,000 per year, and which he could survive on indefinitely. Bear it in mind that he still had £400,000 fixed income alongside any leftover whenever he didn’t withdraw more than the £100,000 interest generated each year. The above illustration depicts the life of someone who lives sustainably.

On the other hand, if we look at a scenario opposite to the one illustrated above, and whereby—instead of living sustainably—the individual lives unsustainably after inheriting £500,000: he didn’t invest time and talent to get £500,000, but rather inherited it from somebody who did, and went ahead to spend £ 100,000 each year without investing any leftover. Also, he was so lazy that he couldn’t use his natural talent (e.g., singing, acting, writing/blogging, editing, proofreading, etc.) to generate any income.

Under such circumstances, the initial capital of £500,000 (which he inherited) would disappear after 5 years—if he spends at a rate of £100,000 per year without investing neither income nor talent. The bottom line is that spending £100,000 each year without working (using talent and time) and investing part of the capital (£500,000) he inherited, would definitely lead to bankruptcy after 5 years.

The thing is this: you can’t compare someone who lives on their income without investing their time/talent (natural capital), with someone else who efficiently uses their time/talent in a consistent manner, and invests their capital in ways that generate consistent returns of income and trust. People who consistently invest their time and talent will definitely reap much more than those who either don’t use their time/talent (natural capital) consistently or don’t invest their income at all.

The lesson for everybody is an old one: protect your capital (time/talent), and live on the income your time and talent generate. If you deplete or waste your capital (time/talent), and don’t invest any available income—if there are any—then you’d likely live an unsustainable lifestyle and become doomed.

However, if you invest your time and talent and look for profitable ways to invest any capital generated from your time/talent, you would likely live sustainably and become prosperous. This also applies to the use of the Earth’s natural capital: the natural resources Mother Nature has provided for mankind and all other living things. If the earth’s natural capital is properly conserved and used to generate income, then human and animal populations will have adequate natural resources and income for the foreseeable future.

The bad news is that many people are living unsustainably by wasting, depleting, and degrading their natural capital (talent and time) at an accelerating rate. Their inactivity has been known to hamper their self-development and put strain not only on themselves but on their country’s leaders and economy as well.

The good news is that we have the power and ability to put a halt to procrastination and make proper use of our talents/times in order to generate income and conserve our talent along with our emotional and mental health/well-being.

How to live sustainably by effectively using your natural human resources (talent & time)

  • get to work, either for yourself or for someone else. No matter the situation you find yourself in, remember that you have some talent, and there’s something you’re definitely good at. Find it and start doing it by starting from somewhere. Keep this thought into your mind: the greatest men were once unknown, especially when they hadn’t started putting their talents to effective use.
  • use your energy, time and talent (what I call renewable human resources) efficiently and carefully so that you would be able to generate income that would be enough for you to live on indefinitely.
  • minimize the amount of time you waste on things that don’t bring much profit on a long-term basis.
  • re-use your talent in many other areas of life that are related to your main area of interest.
  • renew your talent by being studious and looking for information relevant to your area of interest.
  • limit negativity—and if you are diverse—protect, maintain or enhance your diversity by reading and meditating on informative and positive literature/information; make it a habit to do this repeatedly until you are habitually positive, irrespective of any negative circumstance(s) that could be going on.
  • always visit/stay in places, and around people who make you feel good and be at your best.
  • protect your health, eat good food, clean up your environment regularly, and use the least amount of non-renewable resources as you possibly can.
  • list and strive to achieve more goals that have consideration/respect for the natural environment, human and animal life, and make you use technology in a way that conserves resources and protects the environment.
  • respect or place high values on all forms of life.

Top 9 Sustainability Practices of Nature that You Should Practice

We may refer to nature as the unseen power that empowers all forms of life and natural activities on Earth. Nature has been handling enormous environmental changes on Earth for about 3.5 billion years; that’s why many environmental experts say that when the Earth faces problematic environmental changes, we should observe and learn how to use nature’s methods/practices to handle such changes.

In order to sustain our mental and emotional health, and have good control over our environment, children, restaurants, homes, hotels, businesses, construction industries, and many other areas of life, we can learn and apply the incredible ways nature has employed in sustaining the variety of life on the Earth, especially in the midst of catastrophic environmental changes.

Such changes have come in two shapes. The first one involved various changes caused by nature; for example: gigantic meteorites once collided with the Earth; ice ages once lasted for millions of years; also, lengthy periods of hot weather have melted ice and raised sea levels by hundreds of meters. The second one involved various changes initiated by mankind who has used the resources of the Earth in an unsustainable manner, and degraded much of the land, water and atmosphere. The fact that man has degraded a part of the Earth’s life-support system, shows that he might not be as wise as he thinks.

These few examples should serve as a wake-up call on us to observe how nature works, and live by the lessons it teaches in silence. If we learn from nature, we’ll live more sustainably, and the Earth’s living and natural resources will be sustained over a longer period of time without becoming weak or deteriorated. In the face of environmental challenges, there are a number of sustainability practices nature has been using to maintain the Earth for about 3.5 billion years, and which are worth practicing. The following practices are what I may call: “top 9 sustainability practices of nature”:

1. Nature’s practice of relying on solar energy

The sun powers life on Earth and energizes our weather, water cycle, ocean and river waves, and supports photosynthesis—thereby helping plants acquire nutrients and chemicals which most organisms need to live and reproduce. Without energy from the sun, there would be no plants, no animals, nothing to feed on, and probably no life; in fact, in order for all natural systems to thrive, they must depend on the sun.

Sunlight—unlike fossil fuels which have been known to cause harsh climatic conditions and global warming—also powers indirect forms of solar energy like flowing water and wind, which can all be used to produce electricity without degrading the Earth’s atmosphere.

Lesson worth practicing

In order to reduce or stop global warming, we need to practice using more solar energy than we’ve been doing. The fossil fuels (which mankind have been heavily dependent on) seem to be threatening the existence of life on Earth. This threat will be under control if we start using more solar energy than we’ve been doing. Any increase in the practice of using sunlight energy (along with wind and other types of waves) will still provide all the energy that Earth-heating fossil fuels provide; and fortunately, unlike fossil fuels, the use of more sunlight energy (in place of fossil fuels) will make climatic and weather conditions more favorable for living organisms.

2. Nature’s practice of being diverse

Nature is diverse and produces a wide variety of organisms that expand their territories, and increase in size, range and scope. Take a look at the astonishing variety of plant and animal life (biodiversity) and natural systems (oceans, lands, forests, mountains, etc.) that exist, and the uncountable natural services that these living organisms and natural systems offer freely to each other.

Biodiversity has provided countless ways for living and non-living things to sustain each other in the face of adverse environmental conditions. Without biodiversity, most forms of life would probably not be in existence.

Lesson worth practicing

We should learn to diversify, in terms of the knowledge and solutions we seek. If you’ve been using only one popular approach to achieve something, you’d be better equipped if you learn another (or others). Never keep your hope on one or few ideas, solutions or activities. Most people tend to depend on only one or few ideas—which might not be a bad thing to do—until failure sets in. People seem to ignore the fact that a popular idea or activity that’s good/strong today, might become bad, weak, and even extinct tomorrow.

If you look outside your comfort zone, you’ll be surprise to find out that there are many other better ideas and solutions to specific problems! It’s important for us to realize that diversity is essential in building strong, lasting and sustainable lives and environments/systems.

3. Nature’s practice of recycling without wasting

The Earth doesn’t throw away any minerals, materials, chemicals or waste; for instance, nature recycles chemicals (i.e., nutrient cycling) in mostly water and soil environments through organisms, and gives the recycled product back to the Earth so that life will continuously be supported. Nature makes these processes and cycles to continue and replenish the Earth with recycled supplies of chemicals, rather than entirely new ones.

In order for nature to sustain life on Earth, nutrients must be cycled indefinitely. Without chemical cycling, there would be stale air (or no air), no water, no replenished soil, no food—and thus no life. Earth is somewhat a “closed” system, and has nothing much leaving it. It manages and recycles its waste; in fact, living things rarely create waste: what one organism considers to be waste is often food for another organism.

Lesson worth practicing

Look for ways to re-use (or recycle for further use) most of the things you throw away as “waste”. It’s quite unfortunate that most people use too many items only once and throw them away. Good enough, science and the industries seem to be practicing and advocating for an increase in the practice recycling—almost in the same vein that nature has been practicing it for 3.5 billion years. If recycling is practiced everywhere, most natural resources will be sustained indefinitely, and financial capitals will be much more stable.

4. Nature’s practice of silence

Most times, nature is quiet or silent. We aren’t referring to the type of silence in most cities, especially during the daytime when cars, radios, stereos, and other equipment produce noise; rather, we’re referring to the type of silence that can be heard clearly on mountains, hills—or in places (even houses) that don’t produce too much noise.

Those who dislike quiet environments because it makes them feel lonely, should be informed that silent environments have their own benefits; even science says so. Many who meditate in/on silence know the obvious benefits of practicing silence, either in quiet environments, or in their hearts wherever they are meditating. They seek silence with zeal and attentiveness as if they are looking for gold, and many have found profound benefits that a lot of people aren’t aware of.

Lesson worth practicing

It’s beneficial to always practice silence because it can enhance one’s overall physical and emotional health. Apart from giving our emotions a break from the negative effects of noise, silence has proven to strengthen health and boost overall well-being; generally, it helps to:

• boost the body’s immune system

• reduce blood pressure (and help prevent heart attack)

• support brain chemistry and grow new cells; in fact, a study in 2013 concluded that two hours of silence can help produce new cells in the hippocampus (the region in the brain that is associated with emotions, learning and memory).

• lower blood cortisol levels and decrease stress. According to another study conducted in 2006, two minutes of silence can reduce tension in the brain and body, and can be more emotionally soothing than music.

5. Nature’s practice of never being in a hurry

Nature does things at its own pace. It doesn’t try to mimic what other planets are doing; neither does it try to do things the way they are done in other solar systems or galaxies. In order to illustrate, there are countless examples in nature that deserve to be mentioned; however, we’ll use only two examples that cut across a lot of living and non-living activities: a seed doesn’t become a tree within a day, and a child doesn’t become an adult within a year.

From the time a seed is planted, it doesn’t stop growing till it reaches an age or stage of maturity/productivity! It takes time (days, months, years, etc.) to grow every day, little by little, and steadily, except something deters it.

Lesson worth practicing

As we pursue certain dreams in life, we shouldn’t hurry to reach a particular stage or level, especially within a limited amount of time. There’s no way you can become an adult within an hour, a day, or even a year; it requires several years, coupled with a lot of patience, trials and challenges. Hurrying won’t get us results in many areas of life that require a moderate or considerable amount of time.

We should allow time to have its way. Mix time with patience, positive thinking and faith, and never allow discouragement to creep in!

6. Nature’s practice of being positive—or not worrying

In life, there are many things that don’t deserve our attention, and which we shouldn’t bother/worry about because they are out of our control. In the midst of catastrophes, tsunamis, wars, etc., nature doesn’t seem to worry one bit; it doesn’t even seem to worry or hurry in resolving any issue, and subsiding anything that’s problematic. You would have noticed that heavy cyclones and rainfall shatter/destroy a lot of things, but after a period of time, nature balances or restores everything and behaves as if nothing happened!

Lesson worth practicing

We shouldn’t worry. Also, we have to learn how to accept certain things that life throws at us because we obviously don’t have power to control or change them; nature is the best teacher that exemplifies this. Do all you can to prevent any thought or belief system from killing any existing positivity you possess.

7. Nature’s practice of being flexible and fully fit

Being flexible will increase your ability to adapt and survive in any situation. Furthermore, it will place you among the group who survive because of their high fitness levels: “Survival of the fittest”. “Survival of the fittest” was coined in the era when Darwin’s theory of evolution gained popularity. Research has shown that many genetic mutations took place in history, and eventually, only the species that were fit, adapted and survived! Nature teaches us to be the same: flexible and fully fit.

Lesson worth practicing

If you want success in life, you have to be able to adapt to any condition—whether you are rich or poor, have much or have less, live in cold weather or hot weather, etc. It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to move on smooth and easy-going terrains every time! We must learn how to swim in any type of river: shallow or deep! Many living species have survived in both favorable and extremely unfavorable conditions, and they teach us not to give up, no matter the circumstances we face.

8. Nature’s practice of being selfless and caring

We’ve witnessed how trees produce foods and fruits for our consumption and sustenance. Most of us don’t think about the selflessness in this activity of nature! Nature compels plants to be selfless and offer what they can offer, voluntarily. Nature is the greatest giver you can see around, and it doesn’t ask or expect anything back from anyone or anything on Earth.

Lesson worth practicing

What we can learn from nature is that giving and helping are great qualities that can sustain the lives of everything around us! People, animals, and the environment are always in need of help, and we should do our best to help, especially wherever help is needed. Helping spreads happiness and joy, and can relieve a lot of people from worries and emotional problems.

9. Nature’s practice of not being extravagant

In a quest to acquire material things, money and power, humans have been extracting raw materials from nature much faster than nature can replenish or regenerate them—so the raw materials are quickly depleting. Imagine what would happen if the Earth produces more trees than it’s able to replenish the chemicals and nutrients in the soil that supports their growth to maturity. Also, imagine what would happen if nature provides the Earth with more sunlight than is necessary; wouldn’t everything burn up?

Mankind uses far more quantities of resources and materials than required, and still goes ahead to toss/throw whatever they’ve used into the environment without thinking about the aftermath, or any negative consequences.

Lesson worth practicing

We have to practice how to use resources in moderate or adequate quantities, and look for ways to exploit other resources that are not widely known or used.