I first became engaged in environmental issues in the late 1980s, focusing on air pollution, habitat destruction, deforestation, fisheries exploitation and climate change. Being involved in environmental issues has not always been easy. Sometimes, it’s hard not to feel defeated, even helpless. However, the small victories and examples of people’s incredible determination to make a difference that keep me inspired.
Apparently I’m not alone. According to Earth Day Canada, more than six million Canadians joined one billion people in more than 170 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues on Earth Day. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity. The grassroots initiative that began on April 22, 1970 has grown to become one of the most celebrated environmental events in the world today.
Does it really matter? Yes
You may ask: does any of what we do really matter in the global scheme? Well, since our global environmental woes are a result of human wants and needs, I generally think that when we reach a true environmental breaking point, humans are innovative enough to use our impressive technologies for solutions (I hope). Until that time, I celebrate community efforts to make changes on a more manageable micro level, and one where we can actually see results.
What can you do?
Last week, we asked our Twitter followers for their sustainability ideas. Here are some of their suggestions:
- Save paper, tear up old towels and use them as rags around your house
- Sign up for e.bill at TELUS, your bank or any other paper bills you currently get
- Make a habit to carry your reusable mug around with you everywhere
- Drink tap water instead of bottled water
- Buying new clothes? Vintage shopping is recycling!
- Compost, compost and compost
- Plant a garden, it’s great education for your kids
- Use social media for social change and be an online activist
- Email your local politicians and let them know the change you want
- Donate to your local environmental groups. It’s a great way to support what you believe in
We would love to hear what you have to say. Have ideas for TELUS? For our community? Let us know!