Thinking Deeper About Resources

Thinking Deeper About Resources

If we look around us, the majority of the objects we are surrounded by were produced in a factory. Our clothes, makeup, furniture, appliances, electronics, medication, food, and just about everything that the modern American utilizes on a daily basis in order to maintain their quality of life. Humans have become so reliant on technology that it is ingrained in almost every part of our livelihood. And while it is incredible to think that humans have evolved to have such amazing capabilities, it is easy to forget about how all of these advancements in how we live our lives affect all of the other parts of the enclosed system in which we live. Everything on this planet is interconnected and everything works together.

Our Earth may seem huge to us, but if we consider its size in comparison to the rest of the universe, we realize that it is actually very small and very vulnerable. And within our earth are many systems working together to keep it functioning, allowing us to have all of the things we need to sustain life on this planet. It is actually very unique that our planet has just the right conditions to support the existence of life as we know it. So many scientific laws and principles apply to our planet that give us just what we need to live, breathe, survive in danger, reproduce, and continually advance. 

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, humans were faced with many more challenges, which meant necessities were less readily available. Humans had to be more self-sufficient because there simply were fewer options. This way of life meant that humans relied on the Earth to give them what they needed. But in order for this to happen, humans had to give the Earth what it needed first. During these times in our Earth's history, humans had a transparent role in the ecosystem. Using more than what they needed was an obvious bad choice because it meant less of what they needed in the future. Polluting their environment meant less food, fresh water, and other natural resources necessary for survival. Making new materials to replace already useful objects meant less energy and fewer resources available for things that were actually needed at the time. Resources were invaluable. They were necessary. 

And while today we have infinite options of resources available to us, we are not often asked to think about the cost of using them. I am not talking about monetary costs. I am talking about undeniable, unfailing scientific laws. For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. Matter is not created or destroyed. For every resource used, something has to be taken. Actions have consequences. We learn these things all throughout childhood and into adulthood, but how often do we apply them to the things that we buy? 

As you think about this article later, I want to challenge you to apply this concept to the items you use on a daily basis. Think about where your everyday items come from. Where were they made? Who made them? What materials were used? What waste materials were produced and where did they end up? What will you do with those items when you no longer use them? Is it worth the cost if the answers to those questions meant that someone or something else's ecosystem must have less of what it needs in order for you to have what you want?

The message here is to be mindful of your resources. Realize that they are precious and that something gave a little bit of itself in order for you to have it in your hands. We cannot change how we live overnight. Change takes time. But it starts with understanding. 

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