Updated: 5 days ago
Recently, I was talking to my son about extreme weather and climate change, because that’s what he is interested in. Want to know some random facts about tornadoes? He’s your guy! If you want to know about thunderstorms, supercells, wall clouds, just ask him. He is happy to talk about extreme weather, the sinking of the Titanic, or space exploration for hours.
He is very concerned that extreme weather events are becoming more extreme and more prevalent. He knows that humans have made some choices that have affected the planet. He asked me about what we can do differently to stop this war on Mother Earth. I thought it was interesting phrasing. The war on Mother Earth. Since Star Wars and Star Trek have yet to come true, this is the only planet we have that can sustain our way of life. Why are we not taking better care of her?
To answer his question, I started asking him what we as a family are doing differently right now to help. Most of our trash goes into the recycling bin. Our food scrapes are put in the compost pile in our backyard. We have reduced our use of single-use plastics – we use glass or stainless-steel containers most of the time. The plastic bags we use are made from plants and can be composted. We have planted trees. We use bamboo paper towels and toilet paper. We don’t use weed killers or chemical fertilizers. We have a natural lawn with a mix of clover, grass, buckwheat (and other cover crops). We drive a hybrid vehicle (but if anyone wants to donate an electric one, I’d be all for it). Is it enough?
We were taking a drive through the mountains of Virginia and came across a construction zone. The area had been clear-cut and many tree trunks were strewn around the site. His face dropped. If construction companies are clear cutting forests and commercial farming is using chemical fertilizers and weed killers, is what we are doing enough? If industries are polluting our waterways, plastics are finding their way into our oceans, greenhouse gases are being pumped into our atmosphere, is preserving our one acre of property enough?
In a word, no. But we must do what is in our power to do. That’s all any of us can do. If enough of us make these small changes in our habits, it can be a starting point. If we write to our government officials about changing policies, regulating industries, or creating laws, we might see some more significant changes. If we start using our pocketbooks to choose meat and produce from regenerative farms, companies that reduce plastics, companies that are reducing their carbon footprint, companies that have not been fined for pollution, we might see some changes in industry. If we plant community gardens, plant trees, take care of our natural landscapes, don’t litter in our parks, leave areas better than how we found them, it is a start.
What does all this have to do with health and wellness? A couple of thoughts come to mind.
One: Just like we only have one planet to live on and we must take care of her to survive, we only have one body. We must take care of our body to survive. That means fueling it with the right kinds of foods: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, grass-fed or plant-based proteins, etc. That means moving – get off the couch and move. You don’t have to go to the gym, just move. It means reducing stress, getting quality sleep, avoiding toxins, and being social. Stop polluting your body with fast foods, processed foods, and sugar.
Two: By taking care of our planet, our health improves. We must take care of the microbiome in the soil because that’s where the vitamins and minerals in the foods we eat come from. Our depleted soil in commercial farms has caused major depletion of nutrients in our foods. Regenerative farming practices renew the microbiome in the soil and increase the nutrition of our food.
Pollution in our air causes or exacerbates breathing problems (asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.).
Pollution in our water has led to rising mercury levels in our fish, lead contamination in our drinking water like in Flint, Michigan, algae blooms that reduce oxygen in the water and create dead zones like in the Gulf of Mexico.
Growth hormones in our livestock has led to hormone dysfunction in our children. Antibiotics in our livestock has led to resistant bacteria.
So, why should we care about the War on Mother Earth? Because our lives and our future generations are depending on it.
What are you doing to stop the war on Mother Earth?
Are you ready to PIVOT to health and wellness?