Earth Day was created on April 22, 1970, in the United States, for the purpose of the world discussing solutions for the problems that affect the biodiversity of the planet. Today, after 51 years have gone by, humanity has triggered an unprecedented environmental imbalance, the containment and resolution of which require unavoidable measures.
In the face of this situation, what is the outlook for humanity?
The philosopher José Trigueirinho Netto (1931-2018), founder of the Light-Community of Figueira, affiliated with the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), extensively addressed this subject in his works and sharings. He maintained that at the most acute moment in the current planetary crisis, an awakening awareness in a portion of humanity would cause the world to enter into a process of profound regeneration.
Cooperation of humankind with nature
Figueira was established by Trigueirinho in Carmo da Cachoeira, southern Minas Gerais, Brazil, with the intent to disseminate new patterns of behavior based on love and universal fellowship, which will give impulse to the emergence of the restoration of Earth.
For this reason, everybody that comes to the community to experience a life of prayer and of altruistic service are led to consciously practice, among other attributes, unity and gratitude in their daily contact with the environment.
In practice, this proposition becomes projects that create the conditions for the Kingdoms of Nature to express the beauty of their essence and develop their latent potential without the harmful interference of humankind, but rather, with their cooperation
These work fronts include organic agriculture, the growing of pure seeds, the manufacture of environmentally friendly products, the sustainable management of water, the use of alternative sources of energy, and reforestation with native species.
Besides that, the community carries out various ecumenical spiritual activities focused on balance and treating both individuals and the planet as a whole.
Concerning the health standards for containing the pandemic, the Light-Community of Figueira is temporarily closed to visitors and to lodgers. Meanwhile, the principles that are the foundation of their activities continue to inspire thousands of people to adopt alternatives that contribute to restoring the health of the Earth.
In Figueira, the Plantings Sector handles a laborious process based on organic agriculture that involves the selection of seeds, maintenance of the fields, harvesting, storage, processing and distribution of the food.
The department is coordinated by Friar Renatto del Casto Corazón, a monk of the Grace Mercy Order. He explained that, besides the production free of pesticides and transgenics, the work with the crops is supported by the multiplication and improvement of pure seeds that go through a selection for planting seeds at each harvest.
Production of food
According to Friar Renatto, the production of rice, beans, corn and soybeans already covers annual consumption on the part of the community. The goal is to reach the same results with sesame, sunflower and wheat. In a similar way, there are experiments being done with large scale cultivation of peas, flax, millet and sorghum.
Areas of Figueira are also dedicated to the cultivation of organic orchards and agroforestry. The objective is to become self-sustainable in the production of a great variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, unconventional food plants (UFPs), as well as aromatic and medicinal herbs.
Just like other examples in the community, the Plantings Sector practices the principle of the giving of self, positioning itself as an intermediary so that the wisdom and the abundance of the Kingdoms of Nature may come to those that need them. For this reason, the pure seeds are shared with other growers, and part of the production of food is donated to needy local communities.
Also, the sector gives completely free courses with the intention of disseminating knowledge of agroecology. But due to the pandemic, at this time these projects have been suspended.
“One of our functions is to experiment with and disseminate methods with the goal of establishing a respectful and pure relationship with the environment, opening up the possibility for a real integration between the human being and nature,” affirmed Friar Renatto.
In effect, these actions are also an effort to repay the providence and the constant giving of self of the Kingdoms of Nature, which represent a model of selfless surrender from which we have much to learn.
Many industrialized cleaning products contain chemical substances that are harmful to human health and the environment.
To avoid the impacts generated by the use of those products, some farms on Figueira already have an Ecological Cleaning Sector, where more natural options are made that are equally effective.
These homemade recipes use, among other ingredients, various plants with antimicrobial and antifungal properties that are found in that region. Besides this, they are bottled by reusing packaging that would be discarded, which reduces the generation of solid waste.
“A cleaning job should not leave residues that cannot be absorbed by the environment. In the end, trash ‘out there’ does not exist. Everything we produce and throw away continues and will continue on the planet. For this reason, cleaning must be done in the most natural and sustainable way possible,” affirmed Samanta Fioravante, collaborator in the Florianopolis Light-Network (state of Santa Catarina, Brazil), and responsible for implementing the project “Live Cleaning” in Figueira.
In a gradual way, the community also is substituting plastic sponges for plant loofahs. Sponges release microplastic into the oceans, the soil, the atmosphere, and even take hundreds of years to decompose. However, the loofahs, which are of dry fiber from the fruit gourds of the climbing vine, Luffa Aegyptiaca, can be put in the composter, in with the solid residues, or returned directly to nature.
The use of water
In Figueira, use of water for daily tasks and personal needs is done with care and thrift, because the awareness is always present that it is about a vital substance, healing and sacred.
The potable water that is consumed in the community does not come from the public supply system, but rather is collected in the artesian and ground water table of the farms. The non-potable water comes from artificial reservoirs and is used for irrigation, flushing toilets and cleaning vehicles.
Rainwater is also collected, stored and directed to infiltrate the subsoil. This is done to raise the ground water table, which diminished significantly due to the changes in the water cycle caused by human interference in the environment.
So that this alternative supply system may function in a proper way, the Water Sector of Figueira performs extensive planning and also permanent maintenance.
The expansion in the use of alternative sources of energy is another goal of the community. There are photovoltaic solar panels that convert solar light into electricity, installed at various points on the farms.
The energy generated by those systems, considered inexhaustible, clean, economical and sustainable, is used for lighting, heating water and operation of electrical appliances.
Figueira does reforestation in various areas with native flora, especially around the water springs. As has already been said, the majority of the farms also cultivate agroforests, allying the planting of food to forestry recovery and conservation.
Find out more
By showing that it is possible to live in harmony and collaboration with the Kingdoms of Nature, always investing in sustainable solutions to maintain its activities, the Light-Community of Figueira nurtures beings with love and peace and helps to regenerate the Earth.
To find out more, access the official site of the Light-Community of Figueira.