By: Christine Samwaroo, Founder of The Breadfruit Collective
When you love something, you hold it dear to your heart and endeavor to protect it at all cost. My love for the Earth holds a special place in my heart. Growing up in Guyana, and being close to nature has influenced many aspects of my lifestyle. Whenever someone asks about my career, I am excited to share that I work in the environmental field and my work involves projects aimed at bringing about positive changes to the environment. When I first began my studies, I was drawn to Environmental Justice because it offered a way to serve Guyana. Guyana, unlike many other countries, can boast about its lush, green forest; its various wildlife and its many water bodies. Although small in size, I am proud to share that my country is a carbon sink, Guyana’s forests can take in large amounts of carbon and other Green House Gases.
The more I learn about the Earth, the more I can see my connection to the environment. Caring for the Earth is directly linked to caring for humanity. The environment provides for all our needs, therefore it is not separate from us. Quite a lot of our current environmental issues stem from issues such as capitalism, labour exploitation and commodification of nature. Over time, humanity lost its connection to Earth and began viewing it as a commodity to be used for the benefit of humans. However, the science is clear, climate change is real and it is an emergency. The climate crisis is one in which vulnerable groups such as women, youths, and black, indigenous, and people of colour will face the greatest threats.
Environmental justice ties into other social justice issues such as gender justice, racial injustice, and overall human welfare. As a custodian of the Earth, we must appreciate the many ways in which the Earth provides for our daily needs by providing clean water, clean air, and healthy foods.
The Breadfruit Collective believes that we cannot have a functioning society until we form a healthy, positive relationship with the environment. This Valentine Day, I challenge you to take time out to list the many ways you depend on the Earth for your needs and remember to love the earth and treat it well.