Is our relationship with the earth dysfunctional?

kid-blowing-dandleionOver on the brilliant “Not easy to be green” Ailanna has caused quite a stir with her post about the dysfunctional relationship between humans and the planet.

The gist of her post was that humans take much more than they give as shown in one of my favourite all time books, “The Giving Tree”

Reduce footprints has picked up the baton and asked us to spend the week exploring different ways to give back to the planet for our Change the World Wednesday challenge.

We all know we should be reducing our carbon footprint, but how about actually giving something back – do you think it’s possible to become not just carbon neutral, but in credit!?

Some of the suggestions offered are

Volunteering at coastal cleanup days
Planting trees
Restoring habitat
Picking up litter
Starting a community garden
Volunteering at a farm shop or CSA
Making seed bombs with native seeds to increase biodiversity of empty land[amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]1846143837[/amazon-product]

One commenter felt that the reason our relationships with the environment is dysfunctional is because we don’t really get to see the cause and effect of our actions. For instance we toss a coffee cup from the car window and never see it again. We drive places but don’t actually see the pollution. Our waste is taken away and buried or burned – we don’t have to deal with it at home…

I must admit, although I LOVE this challenge and it really speaks to my heart I felt at a loss for what to do. What I decided on was to check out my bee garden and see if it needs some TLC.

If this sounds good to you, check out our bee friendly plants.
So I’m kinda making seed bombs, but I’ll be planting them in my own back yard.

What about you – any ideas for ‘giving back’ to the earth?


  1. Go Green on February 7, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Although I think the commenter’s point regarding the lack of immediate correlation between cause and effect is true, there is a more immediate underlying cause. I believe that living in a city has a lot to do with that.

    I live in the mountains of northern Washington, and I am surrounded by immediate cause-effect relationships every day. If I don’t compost, I have no fertilizer for my garden and I don’t eat. If I don’t utilize my gray water pit, my well will go bad.

    In the city, everything is done for you. Water comes to you, waste is picked up from in front of you, and food is easily accessible. This not only creates a disconnect from the earth we share; but creates a closeted existence. Everything about city life is hidden… until it is not.

  2. Mrs Green on February 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    @Go Green: That’s an interesting point – thanks for sharing your views. I live in the country too and yes, maybe effects ARE more immediate…. More to think about πŸ˜‰

  3. Daniel on February 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    The man dropping litter in the street is actually helping the economy.

    If everybody threw their rubbish in the bins, there would be less need for cleaners and street sweepers, therefore increasing unemployment by thousands and decreasing tax payments massively.

    I still don’t agree with it but even if you do litter, it’s still going to end up in the same place.

  4. Jennifer on February 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for linking to my blog! I think Go Green has a definite point. I’ve never lived anywhere but a suburb, so it has been a long journey to educate myself on the impact of my lifestyle. I also don’t have any outdoor space, which has discouraged me from composting (although I’ve been eyeing the water heater closet outside) as I have nowhere to compost and little use for any compost I produce. I spent this week ramping up my indoor garden, though, and I’m already feeling a renewed interest in trying to find a composting solution.

    I think part of giving back is also increasing awareness and community, and that you are already doing with your blog. Good luck with your bees! Would you ever want to keep a hive?

  5. Mrs Green on February 8, 2011 at 8:04 am

    @Daniel: Hi Daniel, while I see your point I’m afraid I don’t agree with you! It’s a bit like the argument for throwing things into landfill rather than recycling – people wonder what will happen to refuse collectors. What will happen is they will have different jobs – recycling and sorting ones… It’s the same with street sweepers; there are always other jobs – if those bins get filled up quicker because people use them, then someone needs to empty them πŸ˜‰

    @Jennifer: Hiya, we have considered a hive, but not sure we have anywhere far enough from the house to leave them undisturbed. We have wild nests though, so that’s pretty neat – legend has it bees will nests in the grounds of harmonious homes; I like that!

  6. Small Footprints on February 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Mrs. Green … just saw your comment on today’s challenge and thought I’d rush over here and give you my support!! Actually, the challenge is easier than it seems … it’s all about planting the “green” seed in the minds of people who may not be getting the message … gently, of course. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this task is to join some blog hops … ones that aren’t specifically about environmental issues. They are fun because people stop by, sometimes only to follow, but hopefully they hang around long enough to read a little … and maybe they learn something and get hooked. I also browse around other blogs with interesting subjects … and then I leave a comment. Sometimes my comment suggests something green … for example in vegetarian/vegan recipe blogs, I often comment on recipes and say that, in addition to being healthy, the recipe is good for the earth. Sometimes they come over to visit and, again, hopefully get hooked. The more ambitious folks might want to go out into the world and actually talk about “green” … I’m less inclined to do that but will speak up when the opportunity fall into my lap. So you see … not so difficult and nothing to be afraid of … just looking for those opportunities to spread a little green. πŸ™‚

  7. Mrs Green on February 10, 2011 at 9:59 am

    @Small Footprints: Bless you and thank you for caring! I love what you have written; it’s all about sowing seeds – we never know where they might land and which ones might flourish into a beautiful, strong plant. Thank you!

  8. SherryGreens on February 11, 2011 at 6:58 am

    This one kind of has me stumped too. But I really think you are already giving back, by writing this blog, and educating and inpsiring so many people around you. Every little small action you do adds up. Also, sometimes getting involved politically, or exerting some pressure on big organizations, adds just a little bit more to the cause. For my part, I emailed my City and asked if they were going to renew a rebate program in 2011 for installing solar panels on your house. It was just one little email, but it is a start!

  9. Mrs Green on February 11, 2011 at 8:18 am

    @SherryGreens: Thanks Sherry; glad I’m not alone and yes, perhaps you’re right. I never think of it as ‘giving back’ when I’m writing this blog, but as I wrote above one should never underestimate the power of scattering seeds as we never know where they will land. Well done on writing that email – fantastic and I hope something positive comes from it!

  10. Carbon Neutral on July 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    The commenter saying “the reason our relationships with the environment is dysfunctional is because we don’t really get to see the cause and effect of our actions” must live inside an insulated buble.
    People in towns and cities can see the smog created by the exhaust of vehicles, can taste it in the air and are constantly confronted with the consrete web that holds their lives together (not being able to notice that is like jumping into water and forgeting your wet.

    People living out in the sticks have to live more harmoniously so they are constantly aware of their impact.

    In my opinion it comes down to scale, things that are too big are hard for peoples minds to compute, so the thought of an entire planet heating up and all of the intricaciesof that, theres a complete loss of interest which in turn unbalances the carbon strugle.