Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Action 2009, Climate Change

October 15 is BLOG ACTION DAY 2009, CLIMATE CHANGE is this year's subject.

Climate Change. This is where I loose some of you, and engage others. The debate around Climate Change (yes, with two capital "C"s), came of age a few years ago. I knew it had when my son, Scott came home one afternoon after seeing the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and said to me "we need to do something to make this stop".

I have always been a "greenie". I have recycled forever. My kids reveled at the thought of dumpster diving with my boyfriend back in the 80's (they were 7 & 8 at the time). There has been a blue box program at our house since I left hom in the 70's. I have recycled more than my fair share of bottles, cans and paper. I have been conscious of the waste I create. I often shop at thrift stores and second hand places.

So when Scott made this statement, I thought: I'm doing everything I can, what more can I do?

The answer, of course, is LOTS. I can tell you. I can discuss the merits of alternative energy sources. I can try to bring awareness to the issue of climate change and the environment.

I remember as a kid back in the 60's and 70's, thinking that I am going to stop littering. We were traveling through Oregon, and they had these garbage cans called garbage gobblers on the highway. I thought they were cool and took up their cause at once.

Now that I'm an adult, and well into middle age to boot, and in a new century, I need to think about what kind of shape I'm personally leaving the planet in for my children, their children, and their grandchildren.

What more can I, as an individual do?

It is second nature for me to reuse something. I try not to buy things that can only be used once. I have a personal cup that I take to the coffee shop (when I remember). I make my own soup. I cook from scratch when I can. I buy local produce, I go to the farmer's market. When I lived in the West End, I choose not to buy a car and bought an electric bike instead. I put on a sweater rather than turn up the heat. I support wind and solar power whenever I can. I learned to sail so I could enjoy the oceans without an engine.

What else? I can tell other people that we need to be more conscious about our garbage production. I can say "We need to remember to turn off the water when we brush our teeth. We don't need to flush the toilet every time we pee". We need to change our mind set around waste.

For instance, community gardening: Its not just about having a little plot of ground in your neighbourhood. If you are not planning to take the fruit off your trees, let someone else have it. Give it to the food bank. Let someone have access to your backyard to create a victory garden. Make something from recycled material only (I made a potting shed once). Participate in clothing exchanges.

Ok, I've had my say. Now you have yours. Tell someone else about what you do to make a difference. Tell them what you don't do. How you are conscious of your waste. My mom makes her own bread.

What condition will you leave this planet for your children to inherit?

Happy Blog Action Day. Make a difference.