Blog: Flower Power – by protecting nature we protect ourselves
To mark the International Day of Plant Health (12 May) and World Bee Day (20 May), Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) from Georgia held a team-building and environmental activity on “Zero Waste Lifestyle” in Tsodoreti on 14 May, organised by young professional and YEA Dea Magalashvili.
Apart from the YEAs, one of the most active participants in the activity was a representative of the even younger generation, 9-year-old Gogla Magalashvili. Not only did Gogla enjoy the flower planting, he also got to learn scientific facts about the importance of caring for the environment. Raising awareness of the importance of protecting nature among the youngest in society is one of our most important duties.
During the meeting, YEAs discussed the importance of planting seedlings, the impact of bees on the cycle of nature, and other environmental issues. One of the most significant problems we face in the modern era concerns global warming, which is gradually eroding mother nature. It is therefore our responsibility to take care of nature through actions like planting, which represents the most accessible and easy way of releasing oxygen and improving the quality of air we breathe. On the other hand, the influence of hard-working insects such as bees are vital for multiplication and fertilisation of plants by actively transferring their pollen, which keeps the cycle of nature alive. The disappearance of part of green spaces caused by increased urbanisation increases the risk of extinction of bees, since they lack the appropriate resources to do their work.
Fortunately, we have plenty of lands in our beautiful homeland, Georgia. These spaces represent the best possible resource to create more and more green areas, which will result in improved air quality and stunning nature, as well as increased tourism and long-term economic development. Tsodoreti, a small village in eastern Georgia, which is 5 kilometres from the nearest city, is the perfect example of such a space in which to implement “green projects”, such as the YEAs’ recent Zero Waste Activity, which involved planting flowers, cleaning the environment from plastic waste and raising the awareness of young leaders about the threats of air pollution, the rapid growth of urbanisation and the massive reduction in the number of plants and green spaces.
In 1982, singer Michael Jackson released his “Earth Song”, in which he rhetorically questions the worth of nature: “What about nature’s worth? It’s our planet’s womb.” His words reflect the sad modern reality, which is the result of man’s complete domination over nature since the industrial revolution. As Michael Jackson adds: “I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the Earth and with the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain, and she has wounds” – our mother nature needs us to get closer to its original state, which is a tough thing to do, since our whole life is projected on the factories emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, leading to global warming.
Nevertheless, we can at least try to do what we can. Anyone can plant flowers or other plants. With small but firm actions, we can collectively slow down the nature crisis. Planting brings benefits both for us and nature, starting from the improvement of air quality by actively emitting oxygen and absorbing CO2, cleaning the soil of harmful substances such as contaminants, absorbing the radioactive material which would result in reduced risk of illnesses caused by living in places where radiation is high. Moreover, the psychological benefits of planting flowers cannot be ignored. Whoever has experience in planting would admit that being surrounded by plants and flowers has a positive impact on their mood, attitude and relationships. Not only can flowers cater for our mental health, but they tend to cultivate feelings of compassion within us. That is one additional reason why we decided to plant flowers in the colours of the Ukrainian and Georgian flags, as a symbolic gesture to express our support and empathy towards our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.
Taking care of our mother nature is what should drive each one of us to let future generations see and value our most precious home, which keeps us alive. We should be able to promote life in rural areas such as Tsodoreti in order to transform them into greener and more prosperous spaces. Being a Young European Ambassador creates the opportunity to turn those plans into actions. Planting flowers is an underestimated activity, and it has much more power than we might realise. Historically, Flower Power has symbolised the pacifist movement promoting nonviolence and conflict resolution through peaceful means. We should apply the same values to our relationship with nature by being less oppressive towards it. One of the simplest ways of doing so can be planting flowers for creating a much healthier, more aesthetic and peaceful environment, which positively affects not only mother nature, but our own lives. We live in a symbiotic relationship with nature, where both parties either benefit or harm each other. It is up to us which way we choose.
For more information about environmental issues and the consequences of human actions toward nature you may visit the links below:
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