Disaster and extreme weather are becoming more common nowadays due to global climate changes, as a result of humankind’s irresponsible actions against nature. Environmental Protection could be the only solution to solve this problem, and it should be promoted to inspire everyone’s participation.
In 1990, Garbage collectors staged a work stoppage in garbage collection. Master Cheng Yen was on her way to a speaking engagement and saw the files of uncollected garbage rotting in the streets. After her speech, she called for the public to “do recycling with your clapping hands,” and encouraged everyone to recycle and love the earth. Over the years, Tzu Chi has established recycling education stations, where regardless of age, tens of thousands of Tzu Chi recycling volunteers bend humbly, and give themselves selflessly no matter how tedious the work.
Aside from recycling, Tzu Chi also incorporates environmental protection concepts in every construction of its buildings and recycling centers. Grass and trees are planted in abundance, and floor bricks are used to allow water to seep into the soil and allow the earth to breathe. Water resources are also recycled and reused, with rain water recycling systems, and water conservation systems used in every building.
Solar energy is used for street lighting to conserve energy, and natural light and ventilation are incorporated in structural designs of Tzu Chi buildings, not only to reduce or eliminate the use of air-conditioning systems, but also to bring us closer to nature.
From caring for our earth to caring for our heart, Tzu Chi promotes a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables over meat, as well as a simple lifestyle to reduce our carbon footprint and incorporate recycling into our daily lives. Choosing a vegetarian diet helps in the promotion of environmental protection, and can lead to a decrease common illness.
A vegetarian diet also avoids raising more livestock that may lead to the imbalance of the earth’s bio-diversity. Furthermore, it reduces air and water contamination in the process of raising livestock. Most important of all, large quantities of grains used to feed livestock can help solve world famine.