Why the wilderness needs our help now more than ever
Whether you’re a thrill-seeking backpacker or you prefer to admire wild places in coffee table books, the wilderness is a treasure of Mother Earth. And no matter what kind of unique relationship you have with the great outdoors, it’s no secret that nature should be cherished exactly as it is.
Why we need to protect the wilderness *now*
Unfortunately, thousands of acres of wild spaces get harmed every day due to developments like logging, mining, and drilling. And with the additional threats of climate change and pollution, the wilderness needs us to do more to protect it. Now more than ever.
Here are some of the many reasons the wilderness is a vibrant haven that nourishes life for all beings:
- Wild places produce clean water for communities
- The wilderness provides homes for all kinds of wildlife
- Wilderness filters and cleans the air we breathe
- Nature-walking, wildlife-watching, hiking, canoeing, and camping are just a handful of recreation activities that depend on wilderness
Millions of species depend on the ecological balance of the wilderness. Therefore, migratory birds, fish, mammals, and pollinators (among so many others), suffer when wilderness is destroyed. And devastatingly, the destruction is happening before our very eyes with the Australia bushfires and the floods in Indonesia.
A report from the WWF shows that population sizes of wildlife decreased by 60% globally between 1970 and 2014. The statistic begs the question: how do we make this stop? Changing the way we eat (aka eating less meat) is cited as an essential component to reverse the process, along with ending plastic pollution and reducing fossil fuel emissions.
And not to mention, the wilderness teaches us lessons in gratitude, selflessness, and kindness. One look at the vastness of the desert and jaw-dropping mountain views, and it becomes so apparent that Mother Earth is something we belong to — rather than something that belongs to us.
How we can make a positive difference
Nearly 70 percent of the global population is projected to be living in urban areas by the year 2050, according to the United Nations. And research shows that less than one quarter of Earth’s land surface now survives as wilderness.
So, it’s increasingly important to not only recognize and savor wilderness, but also use our voices to prevent further destruction of wild places before more life suffers.
Here are some tips from our partner at The Wilderness Society — a nonprofit working relentlessly to protect wild places:
- Contact your Congress members to share your concerns and praise them when they made good decisions for Mother Earth
- Attend town halls and public forums to speak up about environmental issues
- Help environmental rallies and protests succeed
- Organize your own event in the name of wildlife protection
- Engage your social network to spread the word about why wild places matter
- Contact your local media to let them know about issues you care about
And find out more ways to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle with these posts:
- 11 easy eco-friendly habits you need to adopt now
- Palm oil is destroying the planet – what you need to know to help
- How you can help people and animals impacted by the Australian bushfires