Waste Not Want Not
As I sat, overlooking the open plains of Botswana, I was in awe of the planet we live on and I find myself pondering what will be left of it in 1000 years. Animals find a way to exist in some of the most inhospitable places and without destroying the planet they thrive on.
I have never been a big conservation guy. I have never really thought of the resources I use in my day to day life. I have never been able to see the true destruction humans create on this earth, until I took this trip. I was sitting in the shade of a palm tree, one that wasn’t planted by people that like the look of palm trees, but instead one that was planted by an elephant. Elephants eat the ripe palm nuts and then through natures process the seeds are redeposited down the elephants path, in nutrient rich elephant compost. It makes me wonder if elephants didn’t exist, how many plants and animals would also die out.
I looked out over the plains and saw hundreds of acres of perfectly green grass but the Wildebeests, Zebras, Springbok and many other grass eating animals aren’t here eating every blade. The animals are moving North leaving grasses behind that will seed and naturally plant their food crops for the next migration.
It’s incredible to meet the indigenous people of these wide open lands and see how they sustainably use the resources available to them to, generation after generation. They are not taught conservation in the western way, they know it as their only way to exist. If these people took all of the resources the land offered them one year, they wouldn’t survive the next year. They don’t have electricity to store fresh food, they don’t build 5000 square foot huts for their families, they don’t plunder their land. They thrive off of what’s available and respect the land it came from.
I wish everyone could take a trip like this one, meeting indigenous people in their lands, seeing how animals interact with the land. I think it would change the way a lot of people think about resources and sustainability. I don’t know the answer of how to change the way we use our resources, but I can assure you I will think differently about everything I consume.