Why am I beating the biodiversity drum? Because we are nature’s best—and possibly last–hope. Remember Obi-Wan Kenobi, the last hope for the Jedi? Well, that’s the spot we’re in.
It’s now impossible to deny climate crisis, biodiversity loss and deteriorating ecosystems. Droughts, floods, wildfires, increasing severity of tropical storms and hurricanes, insect apocalypse, bird decline, species extinctions, pollution, microplastics in our air, food and water, melting glaciers, and permafrost…need I go on?
But let’s not give up. Our planet can recover if we help, but we need to take action now. There is something each one of us can do, depending on our interests, knowledge and expertise. The number of people and organizations committed to helping our planet is growing daily. If you feel discouraged, watch this video, recorded in 2007. This amazing movement has grown over the years.
Gardeners and homeowners have a special role to play in reversing the scenario playing out before our eyes. Our efforts as native plant gardeners may seem small, but they help to restore biodiversity, which is essential to a healthy ecosystem. And since everything is connected in the web of life, healthy ecosystems matter to all life on Earth—including yours.
Here’s something you may not have known. We can’t be healthy if Earth’s ecosystems are not healthy. Healthy ecosystems can reduce the risk of infection. Repairing and restoring our ecosystems is an important public health intervention to help our world recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
To learn more about how human health is affected by the health of our planet, go to Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves.
A wonderful benefit of our efforts to restore biodiversity is that we’re spending time in nature. We need some exposure to nature on a daily basis instead of being on screens all day long.
How nature benefits us:
- Our immune systems are strengthened by exposure to microbial communities we encounter while gardening and when coming into contact with plants, trees and soil.
- Nature has a positive effect on the immune system by encouraging relaxation.
- Being in nature enhances health and wellbeing.
What you can do
- Find nature trails to hike or walk
- Plant a veggie garden
- Add native plants, shrubs and trees to your property.
- Stop using pesticides and herbicides.
- Keep learning about biodiversity and native plants.
- Engage your neighbors. Give them a tour of your native plant garden.
- Encourage kids to garden. They are our future environmentalists.
- Lead by example.
- Share this article with your public health department
- Join TTM’s Biodiversity Group (contact us: biodiversity@TransitionTownMedia.org) and volunteer to help with our projects.
- Follow our Biodiversity FB page.
Now that you know, will you help me beat the biodiversity drum?