In the first blog for this course (Ecofeminism), we were prompted to reflect on our relationship with nature. I remember struggling with this prompt and thinking should I be in this class? My relationship with nature was non-existent. In my blog, I spoke about not liking to be outdoors. I am allergic to grass, so as a child I spent most of my time indoors playing with dolls. It didn’t help that I lived on a street where the houses were close together, there aren’t many trees, and I barely had a back yard. The environment was not a big priority for me. My family recycled, and I thought that was my one environmental good deed.
I never would have guess how taking this course would change my viewpoint on the environment and what is important. I now know that while I may not enjoy hiking, still don’t like bugs, and am unable to roll around in the grass, I STILL can have a relationship with nature. In fact, I now realize that I am intertwined with nature, a part of nature, so therefore, the relationship I have with the environment can not be erased.
Reading Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber really touched me and helped me understand how I am in fact one with nature. I breath in air, and the food i eat comes from soil. If you think about it, when we die our body becomes one with nature more than ever, as we are buried. Steingraber not only helped me to understand how I do have a relationship with nature even if I didn’t realize or recognize it, but she also helped me to realize how important environmental justice is because all of the toxins in the environment are directly affecting me as well. I really enjoyed reading Steingrabers work and am glad that she shared her own personal narrative.
Soil Not Oil by Vandana Shiva and The Green Belt Movement by Wangari Maathai helped to really send the message home. Shiva discusses three crises: climate, energy, and food. She also discusses how these crises overlap. I now realize how one action toward the environment, affect it in many other ways. Maathai states that “little immediate and economic value is attached to soil per se, perhaps because the effects of losing it are gradual and have not been flet yet- at least by the masses (39).” After reading these three works and participating in our class discussions, I realize that everything we do does in fact affect the environment, and because we are one with the environement it in turn directly affects us. We can’t wait until its too late, we must realize the value of the soil and environment NOW. I now understand how all of my actions make a difference and also realize that ONLY recycling is not enough.
I really appreciate the fact that I attend a college who knows that preserving the environment is important and shows that it is a priority through its actions.
Although I will be graduating in a few weeks, I am glad that I decided to take this course. My beliefs and viewpoints have truly transformed. I will continue to educate myself and find ways that I can change my lifestyle to the greatest benefit of the environment.