There is a part of ADF Druidry rites where we return the Waters of Life back to the Earth. This is the unused portion of the Blessings which are not consumed by the people. For me the following words have great meaning, it's why I use them in my rites:
Return the Waters of the Earth: We return the Water of Life so that the land will be better for us having been here. Hail great giving Earth! Keep safe always the sacrifice, keep it ever holy!
I have always believed that it is our sacred trust as human, as Pagans, and as Druids to live in harmony with the earth. That we were to be aware of the environment around us so that we can move through this life with as little impact as possible. There are so many ways in which we can do this. I wanted to share just a few of my thoughts with you here.
Beyond the idea of recycling everything we can such as plastic, glass, papers and metals there is something else we can do which improves the land. Modern technology allows us to have under the counter composters. These are garbage sized containers that seal and allow anaerobic actions to break down our food waste. This can be the remnants of food prepping, unused portions of food such as bones, coffer and tea grounds. All these can be broken down into a compost which can be used in house plants, gardens, and yards. They great a 'tea' which works as a natural fertilizer to feed plants and the environment. Even if you can not grow a plant to save your life, you CAN create this compost. You CAN pour the 'tea' outside for trees and bushes. You CAN give the compost to those you know who do grow plants. What would have been waste in your garbage now becomes productive useful food to help lessen our impact. It helps plant life grow and thrive to help clean the air that human society pollutes.
I so often hear friends say that they have a black thumb so they can not grow anything. This just is not true. Anyone can have plants if they just take the time to learn what they need. Take peace plants for example. All they need is enough natural light to read by, heck they will even grow in a windowless office! Water them a little each week so that the soil does not get dry and you have a living thriving plant. This plant then cleans the air which you breath. The takes in the toxins we breath out, the pollution of our daily lives within our homes and work places, cleaning them. They return fresh clean air to us. The more you grow the more air you clean. The more you clean the air the more you are giving back to the earth making it 'better for having been here.' Instead of feeding them toxic plant foods, feed them the 'tea' from your under the counter composter. There are so many house plants that only need a minimal amount of light and water to grow. Find something you can grow. Find something that you like. Again you are making the land 'better for having been here.'
Lessen the energy you use. Instead of buying traditional or compact florescent light bulbs (which btw are extremely toxic to the land as they contain mercury) switch to LED lights. Yes, they are a bit more costly but they last thousands of hours longer and use less energy by fractions of the amount. No they are not perfect. No they are not totally 100% environmentally friendly but they ARE far more friendly than what we currently use. Plus they require less energy to operate which means less of a carbon foot print you create.
These are just a few of the ways daily we can leave the land better for us having been here. Just do them. We are a part of the ecosystem not apart from it. What we do not only effects nature but ourselves. When we take the time to live more mindful of the land and ourselves we create a world where all things can begin to live in harmony with one another.