Sunday, October 4, 2009

They Created An Impact

They braved the mud, sand flies and took up the challenge of walking barefoot in the swamp. With a single mission, the aim was to plant a hundred mangrove seedlings in the polyethylene bags (poly bag). These young seedlings will be sitting in the bags for awhile until it is time to be released into the wild. At the meantime, there will be on-going TLC (tender loving care) tasks.

What that team had done was more than just planting the seeds into the bag. They created an impact to the environment. So, what does impact to the environment mean?

Most of us know the definition of impact and depends how is being used. In short, impact to the environment means having an effect to your surrounding. I like to use a ripple effect as a metaphor in relating to the impact to the environment.

Imagine droplet of water is dropped on to a calm pool or lake.
What will happen? It creates a ripple effect. Any action from a source will create changes to the surrounding or will create a reaction in others. Depending on the size of that droplet, the bigger it is the larger the ripple effect. Here is an example on how our daily life is a ripple affect.

From the day you were born, you have already made impact to the surrounding. You cried. The affect was noise pollution. Then baby diapers and all sorts of baby accessories have to be used and that will take up some space in the landfill. And so on as the human society continues to exist on planet Earth, the impact to environment continues yet this is unavoidable.

Nature has it's own way to heal itself. If the impact is minimal, the affect will reverse to its original state. If the impact is too much to cope, the effect will become irreversible. In another word, the surrounding has been destroyed from the impact of an action. Here is another example. Imagine 100 people walking into the rainforest on a trail as compared to a bulldozer on that trail. Both activities will have an impact to the environment. But which one has a bigger impact to the environment? And which one will create an irreversible affect?
So, back to our team of eco-planters that had created two impacts. They have stomped on the mudflat and may have crushed some of the microscopic creatures living on it. The impact was minimum that allowed the condition to be regenerated at a short period of time. The second impact was greater and is a positive impact. By planting more trees would mean expanding the forest and allowing more microscopic creatures to breed. The ripple affect will also include creating awareness to others.

In summary, there is no right and wrong in an impact to the environment. The ripples affect will still happen. The questions will be “How much? How big? Good or bad?” It is all up to us.

How is your ripple affect today?

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