Saturday, March 31, 2012

Have you outsourced your environmental impact?

I was daydreaming the other day about my future vegetable patch. Carrying on from this lovely moment, I continued to ponder but this time specifically about the irrigation system that is going to have to support this dream. Then my thoughts strayed to considering how significant a burden a vegetable garden can be on your domestic water bill, your rain water or your dams, depending on your situation. No matter which one of these water sources you have you become keenly aware of how much water it takes to get your vegetables going and producing adequately.

In line with this, when you create a vegetable patch, no matter what style or type, there are a significant number of imposts on your household budget, particularly during the establishment phase, but these do carry on through to the maintenance phase. Anyway, long story, not so short, it made me think! At least I am keenly aware of this 'economic and environmental' impact to produce the lovely vegetables and fruit that I receive. All resulting from hardwork, effort, investment and natural resources.

But how many products and systems does the average householder have that removes them from the direct production process or means that they do not understand how much and many resources (water, soil, nutrient, electricity, timber, minerals, waste, etc, etc) it takes to produce the items in their household? The answer, I'm afraid, is soooooo many! Basically, our households, systems and businesses have allowed us to outsource our environmental impacts and become removed from this production process. This in turn, creates a false sense of one's personal environmental impact. No wonder we have a society which does not value the environment or think the planet is in dire straits.

Many people in our society do not believe that the environment has an intrinsic value and should just be preserved/conserved. Moreover, many of these people are completely devoid of understanding and experiencing natural resources. How can we therefore expect them to care for the planet?

Obviously education is a key component of rectifying this situation! With my thoughts being an important focus on arousing a re-connection to nature and particularly natural resources. Maybe with such information people might start to care about the world and potentially change their lifestyles to recognise the finite nature of many of earth's provisions.

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