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Everyday ecology: the environments of human life

Everyday ecology: the environments of human life

By Luis Alberto Ossa Patiño

Everyday ecology is a tender, humane, concrete and effective option to assume a healthy lifestyle for the benefit of all and especially oneself.

When we study the environment in relation to human beings, we find that people live in four different and complementary houses: Planet Earth, our local community, our family's home, and our body.

Planet Earth.


The human species has a common and unique home, warm and blue, stable by the laws that govern it and unpredictable by all that it has to offer us, resistant and fragile, wild and suited to our needs.

Of all that immense planet that is our home, people only inhabit a thin layer called the “biosphere” or sphere of life. A few meters below the ground or above it, it is impossible for us to live.

For the life of society, our planet offers us natural resources as an opportunity value, on which human creativity and social work build and create everything that people need to live and transcend.

Aware that we have only one planet and that to take care of it we must act as one being, nations have made agreements for the protection of the planet's natural resources and the preservation of ecological balances. At the global level, the United Nations Program for the Protection of the Environment, UNEP, leads the respective actions. Colombia has played an important role in UNEP.

Our local community.

People live in the biosphere in specific conditions, that is, in a place and time, which we can define as our nation (Colombia) or our regional, departmental, municipal, village or neighborhood community.

This second house invites us to “think globally and act locally”. The protection of natural resources and agreements to guarantee a healthy and prosperous environment commit us as a local community.

The use of natural resources will be mediated by the idea of ​​promoting social development in accordance with the collective needs of the local community and the limitations and possibilities of local ecosystems.

Official environmental policies must represent the collective interest of the inhabitants of a region. In Risaralda, CARDER is the State institution responsible for leading such actions. The GERs, the Autonomous Ecological Foundation, FEA, and some other community and popular initiative groups have been prominent promoters of environmental awareness in Risaraldenses.

The family home.

We relate to our community from unique conditions defined by our family. The environment inside our house, that place that we do not hesitate to define as our private space, is the collective responsibility of our family, but it is not isolated from the other two houses that contain it.

In our family home, environmental policies are not the responsibility of governments or institutions, but we often delegate them to third parties and thus we adapt our home more based on the whims and imperatives of consumer society and very little seeking the natural harmony of the lifetime.

The mistakes in the planning and adaptation of our third house, usually affect the environment of the other two because the relationship between these three spheres of our life is in two ways.

Our body.

People could be seen as the snail that carries its house on its shoulders to show the world what its life is like. Our body is the other house, the one we inhabit since we are born and from which we can never free ourselves and whose protection we cannot delegate even to the family.

As a living structure, this house suffers all the consequences of the ecological conflicts of the planet, but, unlike ecosystems, its sufferer is at the same time its beneficiary.

Seeing the issue of the environment from our body means assuming pollution from the most punctual sphere as it occurs, represents a value judgment and a review of our individual behavior based on what we eat, wear and wear.

The detergent we use affects rivers, but won't it also affect our body?


The use of fossil fuels (gasoline, coke coal, natural gas, etc.) is responsible for the greenhouse effect that threatens to dramatically modify the climate on the planet, but oil turned into colorants, flavors and preservatives used abusively in food, right? Will it also affect our body?

These are two small reflections that could serve as a starting point for you to also think about giving your body complete rest.

Everyday ecology is a tender, humane, concrete and effective option to assume a healthy lifestyle for the benefit of all and especially oneself.

Some tips to get started in environmentalism:

  • Prefer fresh fruits and natural juices to artificial drinks.
  • Prefer traditional homemade sweets to sweets with exotic colors, flavors and shapes, choose panela over sugar.
  • Make your own cereal soups; Buy the bread from the local baker and don't deprive yourself of our traditional arepa.
  • Think that an aguapanela with milk is an excellent moisturizer if you have sweated a lot and an aguapanela with lemon is a magnificent stimulant and antiseptic if you are stressed or very tired.
  • He prefers fresh and white meats over red ones. Use canned food wisely and in moderation.
  • He prefers cow butter to margarines and in any case use fats in moderation.
  • Choose cotton clothing over synthetic lycra, terlenca or similar fabrics.
  • Choose matte colored toilet paper, rather than colored ones, and reject white because for its manufacture the rivers and air are contaminated with chlorine and the life and health of the workers who manufacture it are endangered.
  • Go back to leg jelly (black or white) which is nutritious, healthy and encourages local micro businesses.
  • To wash clothes, insist on bar soaps made from cow bait, which do not damage clothes, are more easily removable by aquatic ecosystems (rivers) and cause fewer cases of skin allergies.
  • Forget the story that white is synonymous with purity, health and cleanliness. Chlorine and bleaches in general are very dangerous substances for people's health. Use limpid sparingly and, if possible, remember that grandmothers' best method of bleaching clothes was to expose them to serene, smeared with natural soaps.
  • A caged bird does not sing out of joy but out of boredom. Even in the center of the city the birds will come to your window if you usually leave there a banana, a ripe banana or any other fruit or seed that can feed them, then you will leave the bars for the gendarmes and bring life closer to your family.
  • The trees in your neighborhood are also part of your environment, give them a small reward for all they do for us, fertilize and deworm them once a year, and protect them every day from the aggressiveness of your neighbors.
  • Flowers are the closest thing to the love song of life, the best food for the soul and the favorite rest of the human eye. Grow flower plants in your front yard and your windows, it is incredible what is achieved with so little effort.
  • Separate the waste in your house so that you do not turn it into garbage and instead facilitate the rejection of some of it and the work of the recyclers.
  • Only a very clumsy and selfish being can come to consider that his home is clean even if it is in a dirty neighborhood, a polluted city or a sick planet. Do not throw garbage on the ground and encourage your neighbors, friends and children not to throw it. Perhaps there is some truth to that saying that "it is not garbage that is thrown to the ground but those who throw it."

* Ecological Groups of Risaralda
Contact the GERs at the following addresses:
A.A: 3205 Pereira Tels: (096) 3254781


Video: Humans and the Environment. Essentials of Environmental Science (May 2021).