Essay Title

Nuturing Nature

I never felt as calm and balanced as I did on the 1st of May when my mother and I went to the Luyang Lake Wetland Park. 

 

Early in the day, a light drizzle threatened to destroy our plans, but try as it did, it could not tear down the anticipation we had built up for the trip. Indeed, the rain was refreshing. As it rained, I could not stop my mind from wondering about how the rain interacted with, and influenced, the lake we were going to see. I pondered the mysteries of nature, most of which I can never completely comprehend, and can only appreciate and maybe enjoy.

 

The rain gradually stopped, and we sauntered into the park. Inside, I felt the immense and dwarfing power of the world around me. I felt the sublime: the soothing, calming, nurturing nature, and for the moment, I wholly and serendipitously surrendered myself to it.

 

Later, as we took the train ride home, I reveled in the resulting euphoria.

 

And then we got to Shanghai.

 

The difference in the air quality between Luoyang and Shanghai was palpable. I had to struggle to catch each breath. The pollution mask made it even worse. To top it all off, everyone else seemed oblivious to it. It broke my heart to realize how used we had all gotten to the horrible reality of life in a heavily polluted city. 

 

That’s when I noticed the contrast between nature and the destructive power of humans. Over pollution of the air, caused by coal industries and the transport industry had turned nature against humanity, and both sides were losing. Life had lost its beauty and sustenance, and in its place was a harsh existence with real, destructive, devastating effects. Indeed, the World Health Organization estimates that air pollution is responsible for about 2 million deaths in China every year (WHO, 2019). Put simply, the war between humanity and nature is too expensive. It is time for a ceasefire.

 

According to the United Nations, Vision 2030 aims to create a China with sustainable cities and communities, affordable and clean energy, clean water and sanitation, good health, and responsible consumption and production. We need to rekindle our relationship with nature if we are to realize this vision. Each of us needs to be aware of our responsibilities to the environment, which include preserving, protecting, and appreciating nature.

 

We must become responsible for our consumption and production, making sure to use only what we need, reuse all we can, and recycle almost religiously. This we should do to save our soil, preserve its fertility, and save the energy that would otherwise be expended to produce new goods and clean our wastage.  Then, and only then, will we lead healthy lives punctuated by universal access to clean water and air. Only then could we claim to live in sustainable cities: cities wherein no one has to wear pollution masks to get around, and everyone has access to parks where they can relax and get refreshed. 

 

Indeed, we must come together to stop harmful industrial practices. No longer can we afford to have companies that destroy nature for profits. It is, therefore, imperative for us to look towards alternative sources of energy and embrace alternative modes of transportation. Finally, we need to plant trees, protect water, and preserve the air. All these in the name of protecting the environment for us, our children, their children, ad infinitum.

 

Conserving water is essential for both environmental sustainability and water resource management. This includes a regular check for and repair any leaks in your plumbing, including faucets, toilets, and pipes. We can also collect rainwater for outdoor purposes, including irrigating your lawn or garden, use rain barrels or cisterns. Also, something we can all do is reduce the time we take to shower, this can also include using a flow showerhead.

 

Simply, we must nurture nature, so nature nurtures us.

References

United Nations. (n.d.) THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development. https://sdgs.un.org/goals

World Health Organization: WHO. (2019, March 3). Air pollution. https://www.who.int/china/health-topics/air-pollution

Photo Reference

Photo by Rahul Pandit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/closeup-photography-of-ocean-2260649/

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