Deer hunting. I’ve been a deer hunter for a few years now. Deer hunting, and especially bow hunting, requires great skill and meditative patience. More important than the skill, is the ability to know everything about the deer. This includes what it’s eating this time of year, where it sleeps, where it has marked rubs and scrapes. In effect, the best deer hunters are those that become skilled biologists. The most beautiful part of hunting is the wait. You can sit in a tree stand in autumn and see the orange red oak leaves and the frost burning off the ground, maybe you’ll hear a beaver working on his lodge before winter. I’ve even seen a few spruce grouse land a few feet away without noticing me. Most importantly, I have gained an understanding that all components of the ecosystem constribute to the wellbeing of the deer, and the deer contributes to the wellbeing of the hunter, but only if he or she understands the deer’s world well enough.
Myself, I live in Los Angeles on a busy intersection. Being in the midst of such a humming hub makes me realize that the small everyday actions that I perform are multiplied by those around me. Knowing that change begins and ends with the individual, I’m spurred to make smart, eco-friendly decisions. My living space isn’t filled with harsh chemical cleaners or abrasive soaps, I don’t want to expose myself to those chemicals and I don’t want them going down the drain. This is the same reason I bike, I don’t have too much time for exercise but by using a bike to get to destinations within 10 miles, I get a work-out and my only CO2 emissions come from my exhalations.
You’re asking “who” inspires you as in “what person” inspires you, right? He’s dead now, but Masanobu Fukuoka. He was this microbiologist in Japan who one day realized that we make life way too complicated for ourselves and destroy ourselves and nature in the process. Despite the money and prestige he was gaining as a scientist, he gave up his career as a microbiologist and returned to his father’s land in rural Japan where he developed a system of farming that used no weeding, no chemicals, and increased the fertility of the land. He called the system “do nothing” farming because he set up a mixed system of plants that after a few years seeded themselves, so within seven years all he really had to do was harvest. He explains what he did better than I can in his book The One Straw Revolution.
My mom is who inspires me to be eco friendly. Growing up she taught my brother and I to be very conscious on how we affect the planet, always reminding us of our family motto “Make the world a better place”. We spent a ton of time in nature as a family, hiking and camping, learning to appreciate nature. She was also the “go-green lady” at school, introducing environmentally friendly policies in the schools in our district and raising awareness of the problems. The lessons she taught me and the awareness she opened up in me about the world inspired me to learn more about the planet and what I can do to keep it beautiful.
I don’t think anyone specific inspires me. I read a lot of blogs and articles about living a sustainable life and being eco-friendly, so I suppose journalists have inspired me. It’s just sad seeing the Earth taking a turn for the worse and few people are actually doing anything about it. Some people say that they recycle and what-not so their children will have a clean place to live. I don’t know if I want to have children in the future. If I do, of course I want them to live a life free of worrys about global warming, but if I don’t, I want a clean place to live when I am old. The Earth has given us so much that it’s about time we do something to take care of it.
I know that we are the future and any little bit of eco-friendly behavior makes a better tomorrow for future generations. I don’t want my children to grow up in a polluted world full of all the mistakes that past generations have made. I want my children to be able to go to the beach and see the beauty of the forests and nature in general. At the current rate that we are polluting our planet, nature is in danger and needs to be protected. This is what inspires me to be eco-friendly and live a sustainable lifestyle.
Honestly, people who do nothing to help the environment, even though little everyday things are so easy. It reminds me that there are a lot of people who don’t care and that makes me want to do extra to make up for it, even though that’s not realistic. It also helps me to realize that the way I live and the people close to me live might not be the norm, which makes the things I do feel a little more substantial. Feeling like that makes it feel like the way I live makes a difference which makes me want to do more.
The children I may one day have, and the children I see growing up inspire me to be eco-friendly. I don’t want my kids or anyone else’s to grow up in a world learning about species that used to exist that they will never see. I don’t want my kids to only be able to see polar bears or tigers in zoos, if at all. I don’t want to have to tell them that we destroyed the habitat of countless beautiful species to build ugly buildings. I want future generations to be inspired by the beauty of the natural world like I have been. I think we owe them that much.
I think that other species that inhabit this earth inspire me to be eco friendly. Other animals live in a natural rhythm and balance with the world. If we humans could learn to do that maybe we wouldn’t have such ecological problems. I think that we can all do our part to leave the Earth in a better way than when it started because it is our only home. Whether its through recycling, cutting back on meat consumption, or just being more mindful of the waste we produce, everyone can do something everyday to contribute and that simplicity inspires me as well.
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