As humans, we have a tendency to consume, discard, and repeat. Too much taking without giving back can (and does) reap dire consequences. For instance, cutting down a forest full of trees for lumber without planting new trees can cause major soil erosion, and it takes away from the animal habitat.
Today I'd like to share with you 7 ways you can give back to the Earth and the environment. We live in a massive circle of life and when we are given such bountiful gifts of love and life it is wise to keep that circle moving. Here’s how you can do your part:
- If you must cut down trees for whatever reason, be sure to plant another for each one you take, whether it be seed or sapling. This helps to ensure the creatures still have a home and food, as well as the many other benefits that trees provide. Even if you can't plant it in the same spot as the one you cut down, that's ok -- just replace it. You can also cut trees in particular ways that encourage regrowth.
- When you forage wild foods, save some of the seeds so you can plant them. This offers more food for you, other people, and nature. Also be sure that you leave some food left growing for the animals and insects, too!
- Just as with replanting seeds from the food you harvest, it is also wise and polite to do the same with any wild-foraged medicines. It is a Native American way of being that when harvesting food and medicines to first lay down an offering of tobacco. In this offering, Native American ask that it's ok to collect the plants and ask that the plants help to heal or sustain life in a good way. It is also the Native American way to always replant seeds and leave enough for others.
- Clean up and Leave No Trace! When I see trash floating around or on the ground, no matter whose it is or where it comes from, I clean it up and discard it properly. Trash, especially, plastic and other non-biodegradable products, will choke out plant life, as well as cause harm to other wildlife in the area. Unci Maka -- Grandmother Earth -- provides us with good, clean food and water; we give back by respecting her in ALL WAYS.
- Free up the springs and creeks. If you're a water person, it's possible you spend a lot of time in or around creeks and springs. When the waterways that lead to the creeks and springs get blocked up, a natural dam occurs, cutting off the water supply. I like to take time when I'm out playing in Nature's Playground -- I find the blocks and free them up in order to help existing life thrive. After all, Mni Wiconi -- Water is Life.
- Invest in clean and natural energy. Solar, wind and even water are great sources of power. There are many solar companies willing to help you make the switch, and wind energy is on the rise, too. Even if you have to start small, at least you start somewhere. Too much oil has already spilled, contaminating the water.
- If you have pesky animals wreaking havoc in your gardens and yard or digging through your trash, there are options. If you live in the country you can have them safely and humanely removed and relocated further into the wild. If relocating is the way to go for you, it is always good to look into the said animals breeding and birthing times because you don't want to separate a mother from her young.
There's only one Earth -- she's all we have. She always provides what it is we need and even want we want and without HER there is no US, so please help take care of her and respect her. There are so many ways to give back. Is there anything special you do as on offering or a way of giving back? Let us know in the comments!