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Biodiversity – How We Can Help

/ The Green Way

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves. –Mohandas K. Gandhi

Mocking Bird Hill GardensThere is little else that brings me joy than my garden and the planting of trees, flowers and shrubs.

Just yesterday we went to look for some ornamental grasses for the water landscape. I get excited when I can plot out the locations of new plants. I enjoy the walk with my “boys,” as I call them (the gardeners), as we ponder how they will fit in with the gradual development of the garden.

Choosing the right location, the combination and contrast of the different leaf shapes and shrub colors is all a part of developing the garden organically. The garden has evolved as we “discover” things, be it a rock outcrop, a stony patch, or a fertile flat piece of land. Working on my little piece of heaven on earth is my greatest joy. I realize that the satisfaction I gain from this far outweighs anything I can buy.

After a trip away, the first thing I do is hurry back to my garden. While I take in the latest developments, a new bud here, a blossom there, I enjoy the companionship of the dogs as they run free in the grass. Whenever the going in the office gets wearying, I take a walk through the garden and often come back with an idea or solution. It refreshes me, gives me a new perspective, and I come back rejuvenated and grateful for the miracle of my garden – a labor of love.

Above all I am grateful for what the garden has taught me – patience. You can’t rush nature, it takes its time. One has to work with nature’s cycles, the art of observation and respect for nature, whether it relates to the effects of climate (hurricanes and the awe of nature’s strength), or the symbiotic relationship between certain plants – and yes, how plants respond to love. My gardeners know not to “ignore” my babies. I nurture my plants and wait patiently for the first blossom or fruit…and nothing tastes so good like our home grown ackee, avocado pears, and otaheiti apples.

There is little work in the world that restores the five senses so completely as working in the garden. Gardening is an act of faith, it requires perseverance and dedication.

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of life that can be found on the Earth and all of the natural processes, including ecosystems, cultural diversity and the relationship between species and their environment.

Why is Biodiversity Important?

Biodiversity is essential to sustain all life on Earth. Ecosystems produce oxygen, food, clean water, soil production, shelter and a stable climate. If biodiversity is lost then there is a problem for us humans because we rely on these processes for survival. Unfortunately, climate change is threatening biodiversity, as greenhouse gases continue to be released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity.

Climate change has an effect on:

–          The length of seasons

–          Air temperatures

–          Ocean temperatures

–          Sea levels

–          Ocean and wind currents

–          Precipitation levels

Climate change affects the habitats of many animals that are forced to adapt to the changes. However, if they cannot adapt fast enough they will eventually become extinct.

What we can do?

There are many things that can be done to protect biodiversity.

In the garden:

  • Planting local trees
  • Use natural gardening processes instead of pesticides and fertilizers
  • Support local species in your neighborhood and welcome wildlife

In the home:

  • Use environmentally friendly products, such as water-based cleaning products
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Dispose of hazardous material safely to avoid contamination of freshwater and ocean ecosystems
  • Conserve energy – incorporate renewable energy of energy efficiency into your home
  • Do not use, eat or buy endangered species

Transportation:

  • Use public transportation, carpool, bike or walk whenever possible

Food:

  • Buy sustainable seafood – 80% of the world’s biodiversity lives under the sea
  • Compost – reduces the need to landfill space and is the natural fertilizer for your garden
  • Find out where your food comes from and buy locally grown whenever possible

Hotel Mockingbird Hill

At Hotel Mockingbird Hill, we always encourage people to think globally, and act locally – and globally! If everyone was a little more conscious of their choices, the overall impact would be significant. The best way to start being proactive is to evaluate every purchasing decision with your ecological footprint in mind. As keepers of this Earth we all have an important job to do, so let’s get started!

 

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