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April 3, 2012

You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

 Usually when we think about connection, we imagine our relation to each other or possibly our online links. But we can also consider our connection at a basic level, the atom. To continue our thoughts from yesterday, we are a collection of some of the finite number of atoms on this earth. Every day, we eat and excrete atoms, those that have been somewhere else before becoming part of us. What if we found there were no more atoms available to build our muscles, create our energy, or thinking our thoughts?

It is our responsibility to keep atoms cycling. In order for our system to keep working, atoms must accessible, not be locked up. If we tie up atoms in plastic polymers that last almost infinitely, we have taken them out of circulation. If this is done often, we will deplete the number of atoms available. Clearly this will impact everyone on our Earth. Therefore it is our responsibility to keep atoms cycling. This means limiting our consumption of non-biodegradables. This entails buying and using items that can be recycled and reused. This means repairing things whenever possible. This requires disposing of items in a responsible way. This necessitates composting and supporting programs that recycle the tough stuff, such as batteries.

Are you up for that? Do we have enough atoms that you don’t have to bother?


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