Generally, many of us are not aware that “garbage”; is not natural. The concept we use for the action of generating unusable material that is discarded, garbage, is not an activity valid for nature. Nature does not waste anything, everything changes, everything is transformed. The jungle of Latin America is the best neighbor in recycling. It teaches us all how to live in balance, and it sure knows how to do it!
Recycling, without going any further, is a word that can be divided into two parts: “re”and “cycling”; “Re”, “repeating and “cycling”, cycles. Repetition of cycles can be the extended version of the word recycle, which represents the processes that combine and overlap so that nature works. The lunar cycles, the seasonal cycles, the feeding cycles of a certain species and that of their predators, and so on up to the cycles of the same residues of all that process, of organic matter, that is to say, bodies that are no longer alive , at least in a visible way to the eyes, since they never cease to be, they are simply states that take matter, or nature, to continue and repeat their cycles, their sources of food, their sources of life.
The jungle of the Amazon, in all its extension, is an area of high recycling, with millions of recyclers and examples that we could follow today. Virtually every member of its flora and fauna are playing a role, balance on the balance. In all corners, the recycling of elements is key to the survival of all its members, as it maintains sources of vegetation and animal life in just measures to keep life in harmony.
Recycling is manifested through millions of forms in the jungle, its most visible means being its fauna and flora, which through a complex and vast chain of predation, are mobilizing the cycles of matter, from the simplest to the most complex. These recycling instruments, which mobilize the energy passing from one body to another, in perfect chains, make even what they leave as waste from their exchange, far from being what we call “garbage”; since transforms into inputs for the new.
Everything in nature is alive, each member is organic matter that is fully
utilized by mother nature, reusing it, nourishing it back in each of its circles. Bodies, tissues, bones as well as the remains of the fruits provided by the trees, are transformed into food for other more passive members, but no less important, as are the soils.
The jungle shows us a perfect model of inclusive recycling, since all the members of the neighborhood are the ones that participate, and their work, at the same time, is their food and source of life, like the 2,500 million insects, the countless bacteria, the colorful fungi, and the rains, who are engaged in separating, decomposing and dissolving the tissues and allowing them to become part of the soil again.
The leaves, apart from being also food and transforming into new organic matter, in nitrogen, in phosphorus, in potassium, among other minerals that nourish the soil and leave it ready to deliver life again, these serve another important process, of carpeting and protect the soil from heat, leaving different degrees of humidity that allow particular manifestations of life.
This is relevant because, according to humidity levels, as well as other factors, there are zones of the jungle that have unique species of animals, zones delimited by some river or tributary that are the only ones where a certain type of species has been developed. Parrots of particular plumages, rodents of unique sizes and shapes, among other millions of species that are transverse to many zones of the jungle.
The movement of water is another important mechanism to maintain recycling in the jungle. Each season the tropical climate and its rains, together with the increase of the rivers caused by the Andean melt, make their great contribution by flooding whole areas, then change seasons and empty them. This cleaning system no doubt helps the living recycling system that the mother forest has, removing, cleaning, adjusting all its beings for indefinite seasons. Areas of high flow, others more variable, where there are whole months of the year where an area is flooded, ie the soil and the roots of the trees are absolutely under water and the animals to the trees if they do not swim. Not only because of the humidity in the air is called jungle or humid forests.
Tree patients, apart from providing the shade and moisture necessary for the decomposition of tissues, have another primary function of recycling, both in the jungle and for the world. They are the main oxygen recyclers on the planet, who absorb the carbon dioxide emitted by animals, people and processes that occur within the atmosphere in general, they are the ones who take all the waste and return it in new oxygen molecules necessary for all the life that has been formed since time immemorial.
The jungle of the Amazon is today one of the last lungs in the world that recovers about 20% of the world oxygen.
Today at Napo Wild Center we ask why not all the planet is acting like the jungle, like nature, and we stop thinking of our waste as garbage, we stop giving an end to our matter. In comparison with the virgin forest without humans that takes place for millions of kilometers our refuge, we easily realize that without a doubt it is we, the human beings, who are interfering in this process of master recycling, and that is why we invite you to visit us and explore all who feel the call or curiosity of how nature works, how we can reinvent ourselves to live with more security about the future.
How can we replicate nature and generate less waste?