How We Can Help Our Earth

Ecology Notes from Kids Discover Magazine, and the Thunderbird Bookstore, Carmel, CA

"The world grows smaller and smaller, more and more inter-dependent. Today more than ever before life must be characterised by a sense of universal responsibility, not only nation-to-nation and human-to-human, but also human to other forms of life." H.H. the Dalai Lama

Despite all of our wonderful technological advances, our smog-covered cities, melting glaciers, polluted waterways, devastated forests and chemical dumps remind us that our material gains have come at a steep price. Not only is the beauty of our natural environment gradually being destroyed, but its capacity to sustain life is seriously threatened.

We are a throwaway society: Americans alone throw out 150,000 tons of packaging each day, or 120 miles of tractor-trailers end-to-end. This is 195 million tons of garbage every year! And unfortunately, we are all-too-quick to throw out last year's or last-month's style in favor of the latest trendy item.

Fortunately, concern for environmental issues can naturally arise out of Buddhism, since a central Buddhist insight is the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living things. Such an awareness promotes humility and thoughtfulness. A great way that we and our children can act thoughtfully is to become aware of the many opportunities we each have everyday to "help our earth."

The 3 R's are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: 1 ton of paper equals 17 trees plus the energy used to process. Making recycled paper takes less energy; making aluminum from used cans takes only 5% of the energy to make new cans. Looking after the environment helps everyone. When we "RRR," we save the earth's precious natural resources. We also cut down on pollution, thus creating a safer and healthier place for people to live. Making new products from recycled materials can lower energy costs. Slowing the growth of the garbage pile can also reduce the headache of finding new places to store our waste!

Here's What We Can Do:

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