TED Conversations

Sydni Rucks


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What are ecosystem services that you rely on everyday? Are you willing to pay for them?

Ecosystem services are what we gain from an ecosystem, be it medicines, clean water, or any cultural and spiritual benefits we get from nature. Ecosystem services are not specific to the science realm and they are open to interpretation based on our individual views. What ecosystem services do you value?

Although ecosystem services have monetary value, determining pricing has proven challenging. For example, every time you shop for produce, you can choose to support the ecosystem services offered by organic farming. There has been a boom in the organic foods market due to the ever-growing assumption that organic farming methods contribute to ecosystem services including increased pollination (bee populations are higher due to larger production of flowers on organic farms), increased biodiversity, natural pest control, and natural soil fertility. Are these methods worth the extra cost at the grocery store? What factors do you consider when making your choice between conventionally and organically grown produce? What are ways to promote organic farming, or more generally the valuation of ecosystem services, so that more people will be inspired to pay for the benefits?


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    Apr 30 2012: Nature as a whole is what I value most. Whether that be the production of food that comes from nature, or whether that be the extraction of small amounts of individual allergens, such as small amounts of different types of pollen, dust and even bee extract. The small amounts of individual allergens kind of holds a high value for me specially in the spring and summer. Extraction of these allergens is what makes it so many can breath in the morning since they are extracted and placed into vials and injected depending on ones individual allergies and needs. So right now, nature as a whole contributes to the extraction of allergens to help individuals thrive.

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