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was just wondering really how buddhists engage and see the environment around them and whether or not there are consequences if one does shows a disregard for the environment

  • Hi John. Could you define what you mean by "consequences"? Thank you. – Lanka May 8 '15 at 9:26
  • when i say consequences i mean bad karma – John May 10 '15 at 3:19
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Answering one of the questions from a Deva, Buddha gave a discourse on the merit gained by planting groves.

“Those who set up a park or a grove, the people who construct a bridge, a place to drink and a well, Those who give a residence:

“For them merit always increases, Both by day and by night; Those are the people going to heaven, Established in Dhamma, endowed with virtue.
Planters of Groves (SN 1.47)

Although there are no rules for lay people, there are several vinaya rules for monks for harming the environment such as cutting down trees, burning forests. In one occasion, monks who were making some repairs, were cutting down trees and when Buddha heard about this he criticized them,

“How can you, foolish men, cut down trees and have them cut down? It is not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased … And thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

and imposed a vinaya rule,

“For destruction of vegetable growth there is an offence of expiation.”
Monks’ Expiation (Pācittiya) 11

In Aṅkura­peta­vatthu, it is mentioned that if one gets some benefit from a tree such as lying in the shade, he should not harm even a leaf of that tree.

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