When it comes to the environment, I’m by no means perfect. I recycle, I don’t use plastic bags, I don’t have a dryer or a car; and I buy as many organic/fair trade/Energy Star products as I can afford. On the other hand, I use way too much water, my clothes are made in China, and I could, if I really made an effort, try to find some way to compost. I even have an air conditioner.
Although I give money to Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund every month, and sign many petitions in the hopes of making the world a better place, I don’t go to demonstrations, walks or protests. I’m content to use my buying power to show corporations that I don’t want to poison myself with their products. If I buy organic instead, they don’t make money off of me.
Everybody could be “greener”. My reason? I’m lazy. You can turn the water off while you brush your teeth or shave, bring a reusable bag to the store or change a light bulb. But do you really want to clean that yogurt container full of mould in order to put it in the recycling, when it’s so much easier to throw it in the garbage and forget about it?
The easiest way to start doing anything for the environment is to start small: with stuff you don’t mind doing. There are a million things you can do.
It’s no secret that climate change is a very big problem. As temperatures rise, we’re hit with more storms, more floods and, last winter, more snow.
Animals are becoming extinct at a faster rate than ever before. Forests are being cut down to make everything from toilet paper to frozen-food boxes. Water, thought to be an inexhaustible resource, is starting to become scarce.
These things change our way of life. At this point, from what I hear, the problem cannot be fixed. So why do anything? Because we can make things better. We can’t control what every person around the world does, but the more people do things, the greater the impact. It all adds up.
In this column, I want to address the environment, but I also want to talk about the little things we can do in our everyday life to make the world a better place for us, our children and our grandchildren.
I was born and raised in Montreal so I don’t know about all the issues up north. I read a lot and know a lot of people who can help answer questions you might have, though. If you have questions, or environmental issues you’d like to read about, please let me know by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.