Sakura Mentor

Sending your love to the world #4: care for mother earth
Ha Hoang Updated in November 2023

In light of science and technology, we have a comfortable and convenient life that no one in the past could imagine. At the same time, we trade these earth’s resources (forest, minerals, rocks, oil, water, soils…) to manufacture what we want, and we destroy our own living planet. Living in Japan for several years, recently I can recognize significant change of weather and climate. Summer gets hotter, winter gets colder, typhoons get stronger, unexpected rainy season pattern… I remembered that 5 or 6 years ago when I was a student, my friends and I were happy to enjoy Sakura blooming for whole 2 to 3 weeks. But this year, the blooming period in my area was just less than a week. I have been wondering what I can do to save our Mother Earth.

I observed the nature, and I found something interesting. Perhaps everyone knows about the cycle of water. In a simple explanation, water comes from ocean, then transforms to clouds, then goes back to the ocean through rain. In total, amount of water does not change, water itself just changes its form. It is true for others such as cycle of carbon, cycle of nitrogen, cycle of trees…

Image by Freepik

Then in physics, we all studied about the law of conservation of energy, energy can neither be created nor destroyed - only converted from one form of energy to another. The total energy does not change. It is true for other laws too─such as conservation of mass, conservation of charge, conservation of momentum…

However, let’s look at our modern society. A cycle of electronic devices is a typical example. We use raw materials via mining process to get metals, then manufacture electronic devices. When these products reach end-of-life, we just dispose without any recycling to completely finish the cycle. This is an incomplete cycle. As we continue consuming the earth’s resources, we create more garbage, causing ecological imbalance. As result, we suffer climate change, more diseases due to pollution, lack of food due to soil deterioration…

Image by Freepik

Even green technology like electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines… are still lacking recycling processes. Then, is it true to call them “green technology”?

image1Broken solar panels
Photo AC: くりぱら
image2Discarded solar panels
Photo AC: ネム0x0

When comparing complete cycle of nature and incomplete cycle of our modern life, it is clear that if we want to live in harmony with nature, we need to invest more on recycling and to complete the cycle. And sure, it will take many years until we could achieve it. So, what can we do right now?

Since the cycle of our modern life is incomplete, the best solution we can take at the moment is to reduce our consumption on the earth’s resources through reducing our consumptions on everything, reducing our demand for upgrading, reusing as much as possible… Controlling human population is also important, since more people will mean more consumption.

The first step to take care of our Mother Earth is from individual awareness and behavior. I cannot ask or force others to save the environment, I only can change my actions, and influence people around me. Mother Earth needs our help!

Illust AC: hirose