"The purpose of conservation: The greatest good to the greatest number of people for the longest time."
- Gifford Pinchot, first Director of the U.S. Forest Service
What is conservation? In simple terms, conservation is conseving what we have, preserving it for future use, and restoring what has been. If we think about our natural resources as being finite (they are!), then we will only gobble them up and deplete them, leaving none for future generations, if we are short-sighted, ignorant and greedy, leaving future generations in quite a pickle. We are today a far cry from living the Haudenosaunee philosophy of making all decisions based upon how it they will affect the next seven generations. Industry looks at The Bottom Line... what were our profits today? This short sighted thinking is affecting us all, and it's time to do something about it.
What can one person do to affect change? It's common for people to think that they are but one person and how can one person's contributions possibly make any difference. The truth is, we are ALL just one person each, and each of us truly can make a difference, collecgtively. Thankfully, more and more people are waking up and realizing that if we want something wonderful for our chidren and our children's children, then we need to save and protect it now. All little steps add up, and we have today more resources and tools than ever before to both live comfortably in a modern world AND lightly (leaving a smaller footprint on our piece of Earth).
To find out what your current footprint is, check out The Nature Conservancy's little quiz.
How to conserve? Starting with these small and simple changes can make a big impact.
* Start recycling and purchase only those products with at least some portion as post-consumer recycled material
* Limit trips in the car, carpool (if you can), use public transportation, bike or walk
* Replace standard light bulbs with more energy efficient flourescents, and turn off lights when not in use
* Conduct an energy audit on your home. A simple job of weather stripping can improve energy savings dramatically. Add or replace insulation. Use power strips on appliances that have a constant energy drain (televisions, VCRs, etc.) and turn the power off at the strip to stop the constant trickle of energy lost.
Why is conservation important? Most (if not all) resources on our planet are finite... in other words, they won't last forever. Conserving them now not only means we'll have the benefit of them for longer periods of time (hopefully for our lifetimes), but so will our children and our children's children, et cetera.
'You're in charge of the last of the truffula seeds. And truffula trees are what everyone needs! Plant a new truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water, and feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax, and all of his friends may... come back." Once-ler from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss