Nature has been sustaining life for 4 billion years. As such, few things can guide us better than using nature as a teacher, not only in our home but in every aspect of our lives.
It’s been a critical part of what I do in my own life, but it’s also been the sustaining values of the company my husband and I started many years ago, Seed Systems. We designed Seed Systems from its beginning to work according to nature’s proven and essential principles for life.
Along the way we’ve learned even more than we knew then. But these are three key principles–among many–we’ve learned from nature as a teacher.
Three Keys to Nature as a Teacher
The lessons of nature as a teacher are deep and often mysterious, requiring us to look, listen, feel, and respond.
There is no waste in nature. This means that our businesses can no longer create waste: zero to landfill, zero toxins, 100% renewable.
The definition of zero waste according to The Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) is d “Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”
A great example of a company that demonstrates this is Eileen Fisher. All their customers are invited to send back their clothing for repair and resell, or turn into new products. Since 2020, they have taken over 1.5 million pieces of clothing back. Think of the impact if more, or even ALL clothing companies did this!
How you help: Check out Zero Waste Tips: 50 Of The Most Impactful Earth-happy Habits
All energy is renewable in nature. Think solar, wind, ocean currents, more. This means no more carbon emissions.
Renewable energy, often referred to as clean energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. For example, sunlight or wind keep shining and blowing, even if their availability depends on time and weather. There are a total of seven types of renewable energy: solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, ocean, hydrogen, and biomass.
Renewable energy is an alternative to the traditional nonrenewable, or “dirty,” energy includes fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal. These sources of energy cause irreversible damage to our world including air/water/soil pollution, green-house gas emissions, acid rain, depletion of the ozone, just to name a few.
How you can help:
- Federal and state laws and incentives for alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation-related topics.
- Other ways you can help
A Diverse Ecosystem is a healthy ecosystem.
This means we revere and protect all forms of life. We don’t destroy habitats. We don’t clear cut forests. We don’t eliminate species. We cultivate conditions for vitality in all our actions.
As the definition of nature states—it is the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations. So how can humans and nature both survive and thrive in the same environment?
According to the newly released 2020 Living Planet Report created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), we are not doing our part to protect our environment; in fact, the report shows that the Living Planet Index (LPI) shows an average 68% decline in populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish between 1970 and 2016–68%!!
The Living Planet Index (LPI) is a measure of the state of the world’s biological diversity based on population trends of vertebrate species from terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. The LPI has been adopted by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) as an indicator of progress towards its 2011-2020 target to ‘take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity’.
It gets worse—in the tropical subregions of Latin America and the Caribbean, there is a 94% decline in the LPI due to key drivers including the conversion of grasslands, savannahs, forests and wetlands, the overexploitation of species, climate change, and the introduction of alien species.
How you can help:
- Read about Human Activities that Affect the Ecosystem and what you can do to help and
- Learn the 6 Things to do to Conserve Biodiversity
Nature as a teacher in troubled times
Nature teaches us more than just these lessons; it teaches us how to love unconditionally; give and not take; and have tolerance for us—humans invading her space.
With a four billion year track record of sustainable success, we can trust nature as a teacher always—but we need her wisdom now more than ever in these troubled times.
Nature has solutions for solving the climate crisis that threatens our existence on this planet. Nature has solutions for the root causes of pandemics and the growing weather-related destruction we endure.
Nature provides all we need: it’s time we listen to her wisdom for the sake of the survival of all we love.