This post was researched and written by Holly Rose, she is a writer, blogger, environmentalist, and Kiss The Ground accredited soil advocate. She writes about regenerative agriculture, sacred ecology, and rewilding on her blog HollyRose.eco / Instagram @hollyrose.eco
As I’ve worked through learning the circular stories of provenance behind the products and services I consume daily, I’ve become more aware of just how much we use and abuse the living world – which wholly supports all our lives, each moment of every day.
Not a shred of our collective reality would exist without the benevolence of our biosphere, and it is our disconnection from this truth that sits at the base of just about every issue we face.
For our entire lives, we breathe oxygen produced in an act of reciprocity through the carbon exchange of plants in our biosphere. Every morsel of food we’ve ever eaten was created through symbiosis with the elements, allowing plants to not only feed themselves but also offer up nutrients to us as well (and other heterotrophs).
The shelters we live in were built from the torsos of forests and ripped from the depths of quarries to protect us from the elements. Plant fibres frame our bodies too, whether our clothing is made up of natural materials, or Frankenstein fabrics derived from fossil fuels – which themselves were made from cycads (seed plants) that died millions of years ago – plants dress us too. Even when we find refuge or decoration in the skins, furs and feathers of fellow heterotrophs, their bodies were formed from plant persons also.
Potable water is a product of plants as well, filtered through soil, which when healthy is made up of living and decomposing plant life. If the soil has been cared for by plants, rainfall is filtered through its system, delving deep through its various layers until it reaches impenetrable clay, where it follows the flow of gravity leading it to escape into a spring, which leads to many of the streams and rivers which come our way. If soil isn’t healthy, because it is void of plants, then that soil turns to clay and the water cycle which brings us life never penetrates to be filtered, running off into our waterways to create brown, undrinkable water.
Worldwide, between 50,000 and 80,000 flowering plants are used medicinally.