Plants’ Role for American Society

The Earth is commonly referred to as the green planet as it is the only planet that is known to contain plants. Plants are the primary producers in the food chain; thus, they are considered to be the root support of every organism subsequent in the chain. Over the years, the human civilization has shifted from hunting and gathering to industrialization, regardless, it is still heavily dependent on plants (Hiscock, Wilkin, Lennon, & Young, 2019).

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Human beings require plants for basic elements of life, such as food, water, and shelter. As an individual living in the modern American society, there are a variety of ways through which I am daily affected by plants, and this information can best be presented in a diary format showing my interaction with plants from sun-up to sun-down. This paper aims to explain the importance of plants in our daily life and society as a whole through the lens of my daily interaction.

As I prepare get into bed at sun-down, I change into my pajamas, then get into the sheets. Plants are known to produce both natural (cotton, ramie, and flax) and synthetic fibers (acetate and rayon, which are obtained from plant cellulose) that are used to make textile and fabric material, for instance, clothes and bedsheets that keep us warm. Moreover, the structural resources from plants are a source of timber, which is used to make household furniture, such as beds, tables, and chairs, among others.

After waking up in the morning, I take my cornflakes cereal breakfast, which mainly consists of whole grains obtained from the wheat plant. I usually mix it with the cow’s milk. It is essential to note that since cows are herbivores, they cannot live without plants. This consequently culminates to no milk. The cereal breakfast has a rich nutritional content as it contains proteins and carbohydrates that are essential for body building and energy production, respectively.

On the days that I do not take a cereal breakfast, my meal is a piece of bread and strong coffee. Coffee is derived from roasted and grounded Arabica beans, which are obtained from the coffee plant. On the other hand, bread is made from cereal grains, such as wheat and rye, and may sometimes contain sesame seeds. Bread is rich in carbohydrates that are used in energy production, while coffee contains antioxidants that enhance immunity.

Breakfast is followed by cleaning up that constitutes brushing my teeth and taking a shower. Brushing teeth entails the used of toothpaste that is made cellulose and cellulose gum, which are obtained from wood gum in trees. Furthermore, the toothpaste has been flavored using extracts from mint.

I then proceed to go to the shower, whereby I use soap and shampoo that are both made from plant material. The soap used comprises of hydrogenated coconut palm oil, which smoothens the skin in addition to cleansing its cleansing properties. Moreover, both the soap and shampoo have a fragrance, and this is derived from the cocoa butter plant. While bathing, I also use loofahs, a scrub that belongs to a cucumber-like fruit of the guard family, to wash myself.

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After showering, I finalize the morning preparations by applying both hair and body lotion, dressing up, and spraying my perfume. The body lotion is manufactured from plant extracts and is even flavored by the cocoa butter extracts. As mentioned before, linen, hence, clothing, is made up of plant fibers and derivatives. Moreover, since my clothes are usually colored, the clothing dyes used come from oak galls, coffee beans, and black walnut. Lastly, when it comes to my perfume, it is made from extracts from jasmine and rose type of flowers.

Depending on the class schedule, I proceed to either go to my lecture or the library to either do my assignments or read. Papers in books are derived from the wood pulp of the eucalyptus and the bamboo plant. Inks, pencils, and erasers are also obtained from plants and their extracts. The rest of the day consists of switching between classes and meals. Most of my meals are plant-based which comprise of fruits and vegetables. Plant-based food is essential for the body as it is helpful for nourishment and strengthening the body’s immunity. Furthermore, between periods of rest, my friends and I like hanging out in the school’s park. We sit on the green grass under the cool shade offered by the trees.

After getting done with my school work, I take a bus home. The bus usually runs petroleum products. Distillate fuels are obtained from crude oil that is formed from considerable remains of plant material that sediment beneath the Earth’s crust over a long time (Yang, Wang, & Tian, 2019).

After resting for a while, I start preparing dinner in which I use plant-derived cooking oil and gas. At home, I use gas as my source of cooking fuel. Gas is also derived from the compaction and sedimentation of plant material. Aside from the food being cooked, the primary ingredients in my dinner are usually cooking oil and various herbs and spices. The cooking oil consists of edible vegetable oils obtained from safflower, sunflower, and olives. On the other hand, the herbs and spices used to flavor food come from cardamon, parsley, cloves, and pepper, among others.

Furthermore, there are other several ways through which I interact both often and intermittently with plants that fall out of the daily norm. First is that plants provide us with clean air to breathe. During photosynthesis, green plants take in carbon (IV) and give out the fresh oxygen, which we human beings inhale. Second, most medicines are obtained from purified plant extracts, and some include colchicine, aspirin, quinine, and morphine, among others. Third, plants bring rain in several ways; for instance, plants absorb water from the soil and lose it to the atmosphere by the process of evapotranspiration. This, in turn, increases the relative humidity and saturates the atmosphere at a faster rate; hence, bringing rain. Fourth, timber from trees is a significant constituent of my house as it has been used to create its overall structural framework. Fifth, I enjoy playing the guitar during my free time. The wood used to make the guitar is obtained from plants. Sixth, I have plants in my home that give it the aesthetic beauty. Plants are renowned for their aesthetic appeal, whereby their colors and structures lend themselves to decoration. Lastly, plants are an essential component of my various laboratory experiments.

Writing this paper has opened my eyes to my “plant blindness”. Plant blindness is a term used to equate the non-visibility of plants to the multifaceted aspect of being blind (Sanders, 2019). In addition to being a human being, I am also a biology student, and this enables me to interact more with plants in my daily life; however, I barely notice them. Susan Yoder describes this as living in a moment of paradox, where plants are everywhere, yet nowhere (Sanders, 2019). This emphasizes on the need for people to remind themselves of their reliance on green plants; hence, protect the future of the plant species upon which our lives are dependent on.

References

Hiscock, S.J., Wilkin, P., Lennon, S., & Young, B. (2019). Plants matter: Introducing plants, people, planet. Plants, People, Planet, 1, 2-4. Web.

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Sanders, D.L. (2019). Standing in the shadows of plants. Plants, People, Planet, 1, 130-138. Web.

Yang, H., Wang, X., & Tian, J. (2019). Beautiful genes, beautiful plants. Plants, People, Planet, 1, 21–31. Web.

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