The world, a GIANT terrarium

The planet we live in is in fact a giant terrarium. To understand why, we have to first understand what a terrarium is. A terrarium is basically a miniature garden enclosed in a bottle. And just like the earth, there are distinct layers in a terrarium that represent the soil on which plants grow on. The bottled up air represents the atmosphere through which plants breathe. Hence similar to the earth, ecosystem processes (e.g. photosynthesis, respiration & transpiration) also occur within the bottle. The picture below is a terrarium made during one of our terrarium workshop.

Source: www.ecoponics.com.sg

Thus apart from being self-sustainable, every single one of the processes that occur in a terrarium are interrelated. Here, we will explore 3 quotes that depict the world as a terrarium:

 

Quote #1: “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

 

The animals in a food web & the environmental processes that occur within various ecosystems form a gigantic interconnected biome. What exactly is a biome? A biome is even larger than an ecosystem. Basically it is a geographical area that consists of animal and plant groups that have adapted to the biome’s environment. Examples of biomes are grasslands and rainforests. Hence we can think of the earth as being made up of multiple biomes.

This interconnectedness can also be observed in a terrarium where:

  1. Plants release oxygen and carbon dioxide at timely intervals to allow for gaseous exchange to happen.
  2. The humidity level is also kept in check by the terrarium’s water cycle.

 

Quote #2: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb

 

Image result for earth's resources

Source: https://financialtribune.com/articles/world-economy/47132/earth-s-resources-used-up-at-quickest-rate

As much as we would like to believe, we do not own the earth. We are merely guests on a 4.5 billion year old planet. Besides, our actions have long term consequences on every extended neighboring ecosystem. Thus we ought to be mindful about the way we treat our environment if we do care about the future of preceding generations.

 

Quote #3: “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi

 

Image result for mass fishing

Source: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/fit-for-the-future/tuna/Fishermans-Story/

 

From 148,300,000 sq km of land space to 361,800,000 sq km of sea space, mother nature has provided us with enough resources all these while! But the aforementioned fact may not hold over over-consumption.

 

As a relatively good estimate, over 90% of global fish stock is either over farmed or depleted. (source: https://www.ecowatch.com/one-third-of-commercial-fish-stocks-fished-at-unsustainable-levels-1910593830.html). Thus the impact of over fishing isn’t isolated to just the seas. The stark depletion of marine food sources has adverse effects on the biodiversity of our planet.

 

Now that you have learnt a great deal about the earth, would you like to hold a piece of it in your hands? If so, you should give terrarium making a shot! Be sure to look us up as we do often conduct terrarium making workshops. In addition, if you’re curious and want to learn more about the various processes that occur within a terrarium, check out our post on David Latimer’s terrarium (one of the longest surviving terrarium: https://www.ecoponics.com.sg/terrarium-lifespan/),