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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Oak Bend Park (Stream), Lewisville, Texas, USA

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Oak Bend Park (Stream), Lewisville, Texas, USA
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Registered: December 2010
City/Town/Province: Denton
Posts: 2
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How should we treat nature?

As a college student who is immersed in environmental philosophy and human ecology courses, much of my time this fall has been spent thinking of the concept of a land ethic. An ethic is a sort of rule that helps us determine what the appropriate way to act towards something is. We have many ethics to protect and honor human rights but few to guide us on how we should act towards nature. It seems that in 2010 an ethic towards nature is something that must be crafted personally rather than inherited through our culture.

Ever since I was aware of the current ecological crisis, I have changed some of my actions. I now use public transportation to get to school and practice reduce, reuse, recycle at every opportunity I get. I thought this good enough until one morning when I was on my way to the bus, I happened to look down into a nearby forest to see that the small stream was clogged with trash and debris from the nearby residential and commercial zones. This forest was cut through by roads for humans and, instead of thanking or respecting the area for its sacrifice, we had used it for a trash-heap. After gathering the necessary supplies to clean a stream, I returned to clean the area. I attempted to recruit a larger number of people to help with the project, but I could only garner aid from my faithful girlfriend.

We spent two days on the cleanup and during this time we had time to philosophize about humanity. I saw many things out there: Milk jugs, thermoses, cans, glass bottles, fast food packaging, countless plastic bags in all stages of deterioration, hoses, hubcaps, and toys. Some of the items no doubt washed down there in storms but most, I feel, represented individual human choices. The plastic bags and the fast food packaging/cups really made me think; what evidence could I find out there from the people who consume fresh fruits or nuts rather than fast food? The pollution that gleamed on the water surface in some areas made me wonder how many animals and plants had died so I could have a shorter path to the bus stop. My partner theorized that because the area was hidden that people didn’t connect driving through the area with pollution there. Furthermore, in the “concrete jungles” of the city, the average person is so disconnected from nature (because they can’t see any plants) that they don’t connect driving, buying, or eating with damaging environments somewhere on Earth.

My basic premise for the cleanup was that if I intended to use the area as a path I should pay respects to it by cleaning it up. We all owe the land and to keep using the area without giving back is akin to slavery. This was the start of my new land ethic. I hope that by publicizing this project I can help others to see that we have no right to take and take from nature and never give back. If you are a person reading this and feel the way I do, don’t let the fact that few others feel the way you do stop you from ending the cycle of domination of nature.
Date: December 27, 2010 Views: 6390 File size: 46.7kb, 167.1kb : 319 x 480
Hours Volunteered: 12
Volunteers: 2
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 21 & 23
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 58.5
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