I believe that humans, along with any other species, have a connection with the environment. How deep the connection is varies from person to person and is influenced by how that individual is raised. The way a person is raised affects his or her connection with the environment, whether it is through religion, or through the principles his or her parents instilled. For many people, however, these two things are one in the same. The majority of people on this planet are influenced by religion, which is why I think it is the biggest factor. No matter which religion, it still influences people and their ethics, which is then seen when people deal with their surroundings. However, I don’t believe that just because a person is religious, he or she will have a deep connection with the earth. I think it depends on how the religion was used to teach them about the environment, like the Buddhist did. Using religion as a way to educate people on environmental issues is a step in the right direction. Since so many people are tied to religion, they might have a greater chance to pay attention to environmental issues if it is paired with a religious idea or concept.
No matter what religion a person follows or how religious that person may be, it is hard to tell how he or she will interact with the environment. There are many people who aren’t religious that still respect the environment. What is there to say about those people? Speaking from personal experience, I was raised based on my parent’s values, not a religious text, and I still enjoy and respect the environment. Religion based or not, environmental ethics should still be integrated into society in a way that has the best chance of reaching and affecting the most people.