While the Earth’s ecosystem is certainly fragile, it is also incredibly resilient. The ecosystem, on which we all depend, has the most uncanny ability to adjust and react to what is happening inside it. While the Covid-91 pandemic spreads across the planet like wildfire, and societies go into lockdown to mitigate the effects of the disease, nature has breathed a sigh of relief. There are endless articles in the media about how nature is showing signs of unprecedented healing.
Life is very fast, society is brutally demanding, and we are laden with complex expectations in all aspects of our daily routines. Because of this, we tend to make choices based on convenience and speed, which are not always the best for the long term. Decisions such as bringing chemicals into our homes for cleaning, using weed-killer in the garden, consuming refined, nutritionally empty food, may provide quick fix solutions to the daily grind. But have you stopped to consider the great price these small decisions come at for your health and the planet?
Now that the country, and large parts of the planet have gone into lockdown, the Earth is showing encouraging signs of healing because the pandemic is stopping our destructive ways in their tracks, with trade and industry being forced to stop production. Seismologists, who study earthquakes and planetary activity are able to pick up sounds and vibrations with a far lower intensity than ever before. Movements in the Earth’s crust that were previously undetectable can now be measured.
Because of the significant decrease of pollutant nitrogen dioxide, which enters the atmosphere from cars, trucks, buses and factories, the air is cleaner. Can you imagine the positive effects this is having on people with respiratory diseases? With less noise from traffic, trade and industry, our city soundscapes are changing, reducing noise pollution tremendously. And best of all, our oceans are quieter too. Scientists have long reported on the traumatic effects of noise on ocean life, which has in some instances gone as far as affecting the migration patterns and reproductive habits of certain species. Halting the traffic of cruise and cargo ships has reduced noise in the ocean significantly.
Wouldn’t it be a great shame, if after lockdown, we undid all this good and returned to our consumption driven, thoughtless ways? What if we could take something good from this time, knowing the great relief it has been for nature, and hold onto that for a while longer?
There is a way for it all not to go to waste, and every person can make a difference. Let’s go back to the laws of ecology quickly. Firstly, everything is connected to everything else. Secondly, everything must go somewhere. Thirdly, nature knows best. And lastly, there is no such thing as a free lunch, meaning, every action causes a reaction. So, bearing this in mind, think about your own choices for a moment.
Have you considered how many toxic ingredients are hiding in the everyday products you use in your homes and on your body? Everything you wash off yourself, off the surfaces in your homes, or on your car, for instance, ends up in our rivers, the sea, or in our water supply. Everything that goes down your drain from detergents to excreted medication may be out of sight, but it lands up somewhere else in nature. Dumping these toxic chemicals into the environments has led to the destruction of many species, who for example, can no longer drink or survive in that water.
The cold hard truth is that is that skincare products and cosmetics are full of chemical ingredients, which not only affect your body and your natural microbiome, but also the environment in which you flush them away. Never mind the after-effects, have you considered the before-effects? Think of the immeasurable cruelty and suffering that takes place as cleaning, body and beauty products are tested on animals.
Every one of us can take the initiative to change our daily routines, and there has never been a better time to do so. It has also never been easier to look good and make environmentally friendly choices than it is today. Earth and animal friendly products are available in abundance. Look out for certified cruelty free product ranges, knowing that animal rights organisations not only ensure that no animals are harmed, but also that the product has no adverse effects on the environment. Our range at The Victorian Garden contains healthy, biodegradable, natural and organic skincare products and personal cleaning products which do not contain animal-derived ingredients and have never been tested on animals. We only use ingredients that will not harm you or the planet and we are South Africa’s only company accredited with the Cruelty Free Leaping Bunny (UK/USA) organisation.
What’s more, our products are rich with natural and organic ingredients that will nourish your body and enrich your health. Making small decisions such as which products to use, and what to allow in your home, is an easy way in which you can make a positive impact on the world around you.
Your body isn’t just a body. It’s an ecosystem. When we heal ourselves, we help heal the planet. And when we heal the Earth, we heal ourselves. The lockdown is teaching us all many lessons. Let the role that we play in the environment be one of them. May the fact that each one of us can make a positive difference be another.