Is it about being cost effective or simply something natural? “We’ll go down in history as the first society that wouldn’t save itself because it wasn’t cost-effective.” —Kurt Vonnegut
Money often guides us, distracting us from what really matters. We fret over spending on things that don’t appear to offer a return. But nature could be different. Investing in nature might be like contributing to a communal savings account.
Think about planting a tree. It costs a little at first, but it grows. The tree gives us shade, clean air, and sometimes even fruit. And it’s interconnected as part of the woodwide web. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving. But it’s something natural, real and raw.
Our economy, entwined with the tendrils of nature, draws over 50% of its strength from the roots of our environment. Industries, jobs, and livelihoods are the fruits borne by this connection. Neglecting this relationship means depriving ourselves of nourishment that sustains billions of us.
People talk about making money by investing in the stock market. But what if investing in nature gives us even more? For example, for every dollar spent on restoring a degraded forest, we get back $7 to $30.
Many people depend on nature for our jobs and food. Look around you and ask yourself where the root of everything around you comes from. Over half of the money made in the world comes from things that nature provides. If we take care of nature, it takes care of us.
When we focused on the coastal areas in the U.S. in 2009, 17 new jobs were created for every million dollars spent. That’s more jobs than old industries like coal and gas.
Not caring for our land has a high price tag. In 2016, we lost about 8.3% of global GDP due to land degradation and erosion. It’s like a tax we pay for not paying attention. But we have the power to stop this loss through our choices, investments, and values.
Consider mangrove trees near the ocean. They shield us from major storms and save us a lot of money—ten times what it costs to protect them.
People often invest in the stock market, like the S&P 500, which grows around 11.88% a year. However, the value of nature’s returns matter more for our shared future.
Investing time and resources in planting trees or starting community gardens cleans the air and strengthens the local ecosystem. These actions make the world healthier for all of us. So, do we care enough to create a positive impact?