Why Does the Planet Matter?

It’s obvious that the planet matters. The question should be rather why the state of the planet matters and why it matters to human beings.

There’s a good chance that the Earth will keep on turning long before mankind has become extinct. If we want to stick around, we need to act now to protect, conserve and nurture the only home we have.

A Planet-First Approach

There’s a well-known saying that goes, “charity begins at home”. This expression is all too often applied to taking care of our own kind before delving into broader areas such as conservation and environmental issues.

However, what we need to remember is that Earth is our home and none of our personal affairs and issues matter unless it stays that way.

The planet is in crisis, and we need to keep this in mind whatever we do… moreover, we need to do this right now, not tomorrow! Humanity must realize that one more straw, or just a little more plastic, does matter. Every drop of fuel counts, as does every watt of electricity.

The real truth?

Humankind will never deplete the Earth’s reserves of fossil fuels; the effects of burning those fossil fuels, i.e. global warming will wipe us out first. You’ve got to admire the ingeniousness of this defense mechanism on the part of Mother Earth.

Like it or not, agree or don’t – the planet is fighting back. Weather patterns are changing, threatening our food security and testing our limits. It’s clear that we need to shape up or ship out.

Out of sight cannot be out of mind any longer. Those skeletons we’re hiding in the closet of humankind in the form of landfills and ocean dumpsites are about to emerge in an apocalyptic deluge.

What Can We Do?

As individuals, every one of us can do our bit. The mantra, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is in our faces every day, everywhere in the world. Can we just do it already?

Many cities and towns have recycling bins set up in convenient places. Recyclable materials translate into money. It’s money that can be used towards improving the circumstances of those less fortunate.

Start a carpool, uber share, use a bicycle or walk where possible instead of burning up fuel. Make sure the next car is eco-friendly. There are unlimited options when it comes to greener living. A quick search of the internet will reveal hundreds of ideas.

Save water; we’re running out of that too. The recent droughts in California and Cape Town have highlighted how we need to buckle down in our efforts to conserve every drop.

As a species, we need to start looking at life with a ‘need’ instead of ‘want’ mentality. Otherwise, we are going to find out the real meaning of ‘need’ fast.

Make smart seafood choices to protect our oceans and leave only your footprint in the sand of our beaches.

Support conservation and greening initiatives. Every element of nature is designed with a precise place and an important role to fill. We can’t afford to lose any more. Stop using pesticides. Plant indigenous trees, or entire gardens, after all, trees provide habitat to more than 80% of the world’s biodiversity while they absorb pollutant gases to filter the air we breathe.

Avoid plastic, styrofoam and polystyrene like the plague they are. These substances are slowly strangling our planet. Oceans are filling up with the debris of our disposable lifestyles, plants and animals are dying by the ton. If you do nothing else for the environment today, say no to that plastic bag at the supermarket.

Farmers too must play their role, using their knowledge and expertise to help find ways to reduce the harmful effects of agriculture. We need our farmers, but we need our planet too. We have to find a way.

As businesses, the efforts are no different. Build sustainably, make manufacturing processes and production techniques eco-friendly, operate with courtesy towards the planet and dispose of refuse responsibly. If you really must manufacture plastic items, use materials which are biodegradable or at least recycled. There are so many new eco-friendly options.

Governments need to step up by implementing and enforcing legislation that places the environment above all else. Environmentally friendly initiatives must be rewarded and encouraged and ultimately should replace all the ‘old’ ways.

Working Together

If the human race can’t work together to protect our planet, we are all equally doomed.

By supporting, uplifting and encouraging each other we can create the kind of team-spirit that we need so desperately right now. By educating, uplifting and healing those who are less privileged than ourselves, we remove the boundaries that are keeping us apart.

Enough is enough. It’s past time to stop taking and start giving back to our environment.

Brand Robert Nienaber supports and encourages environmentally sustainable business and actively promotes those who want to make a difference in the world.

Keep checking back for insights into the things you think you know about and how you can join the leagues of those who want something better for themselves, their communities and the planet.