Waste Not

attempting to waste less and live more deliberately

What is nature? What are we?

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As a result of our make-less-waste journey, we have learned quite a bit more about our stuff; what it’s made of, who made it, where it came from, where it’s going, and so on. One piece of the puzzle I have found particularly interesting is what our stuff does.

I don’t mean this in the sense that my deodorant inhibits my naturally stinky nature; anyone who has ever picked up a magazine or turned on the TV can tell you what products are advertised to do. What I mean (and what I find extremely interesting) is taking a very close look at ingredients and production methods to determine their effects on the world as a whole down to the cells that make up our bodies.

Through this exploration, one concept has continually arisen in my mind; mans relation to nature.  I had never given much thought to this idea in the past; I knew I loved nature, but had never set out to answer the questions, what is nature and what is my relation to it?

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What is nature?

Sitting in the garden during a lunch break, I look around and decide that I believe flowers are nature, spiders are nature, lizards are nature, water is nature, trees are definitely nature, coyotes are nature, and I am like them.  I started as an egg, was born like other mammals, I am cut and I heal like a scarred tree, I commune like a murder of crows, and one day I will rot and decompose like an apple core.

Am I nature?

This question has since occupied my mind daily. When I learn the effect a particular chemical or ingredient (think polyethylene beads) has on the environment (what I would call nature), I find humans are not immune to the consequences. This leads me to believe that we are not separate from nature; rather, we are nature.

Embracing this idea has led me to the conclusion that what we do to nature, we do to ourselves.

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I would love to hear more opinions on this matter.

What is nature? Are we a part of it nature? Are we nature itself? How do our answers to these questions impact the way we interact with our environment?

♥ ali

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