Amidst the Election coverage, and breaking news that Jack Layton’s NDP Party was now leading in the Quebec polls, CTV News Montreal still made some room in their schedule (which I’m so grateful for) to have me on to talk about responsible consumption in time for Earth Day. To demonstrate my point, I had with me in the interview some locally-made, eco-friendly products by Ecojot, St.Geneve and Bio Spectra’s Attitude products.
Earth Day really is the world’s largest, most celebrated environmental event. Six million Canadians and twenty million Americans join a billion people worldwide in staging Earth Day events and organizing projects to address local environmental concerns.
But the question remains, what about the other 364 days? What will we have learned and incorporated into our lifestyles that have a positive and lasting impact on the environment?
Well, I think we should always go back to the basics. The Three Rs. And use them as a barometer to ascertain if we are doing enough in our lives and homes. Are we reducing our waste, our consumption? Are we reusing enough of the products we own, giving them a second, third or fourth life when we can? Are we recycling everything that should be, or are allowed to (depending where you live)? What else can we do? Here are a few others things to consider:
- Reduce the amount of meat products we consume. There’s this great movement called Meatless Mondays. The very first version of Meatless Monday was traced back to World War I, when Americans were encouraged to give up some of their staples foods, like meat, to aid the war effort. Then again, during WWII, meat was given up as a way to help supply food to war-ravaged Europe. Fast forward to today, and now it’s about decreasing carbon gas emissions. Did you know that if Canadian traditional meat-eaters, went meatless on Mondays, they would reduce their carbon footprint by approximately 28.5% for the week. Isn’t that something? And make it fun! It doesn’t have to be this big heavy-duty sacrifice. We’re talking about 1 day! Organize a vegetarian potluck lunch with your colleagues at the office every Monday. Split-up the leftover (in reusable containers) and voila! There’s dinner. You can find more information on Meatless Mondays here for Canada and here for the USA.
- Reuse first, then recycle everything that’s allowed in our community or borough. There’s no shame anymore in buying gently used things, especially things like furniture. Even vintage clothes! We could hold a garage sale or put our unneeded items up for sale on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace and make a few bucks. Better still, we should donate them to local charities. If we don’t decrease this kind of waste, far too many of our natural resources, like hardwood, wind up in landfills for nothing. And recycling… Are we really consistently recycling our papers, plastics and glass? Recycling should be a no-brainer in 2011, but we’re still not doing this to the fullest extent.
- And lastly, which speaks to the previous point and is my honorary 4th R. We seriously need to rethink how we shop and consume products. Do we really need these products or are we just blowing some cash to fill a void? As a society, we need to become more aware of where the products we buy are made and know what they’re made from. Are they made from sustainable materials? Are they made within our province/state or country or neighbouring country? Buying more locally made products should be part of our daily lives too… and incidentally, it changes lives because the ripple effect that occurs when you buy products made closer to home, is that it also positively affects the economy. That’s the bonus (here’s another post I wrote about how else buying locally made goods changes lives). And since Canada’s economy is intrinsically connected to the United States economy and vice-versa, between our two countries, we manufacture MORE than enough of what we need, so you never have to feel like you’re settling on something just because it’s locally-made.
Even when adopting these kinds of habits or making it into a full fledged lifestyle change, it’s still your hard-earned money that you’re spending at the end of the day. The point is to do so wisely, selectively and environmentally.
What’s your take on consumerism and this world of planned obsolescence we now live in?
- No public Twitter messages.
- Sarah on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Melissact on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Anne Thompson on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Vickie on Buying locally made changes lives
- Sarah on Buying locally made changes lives
- Eco-handbags.ca on Locally-made eco-friendly products on A Morning News Ottawa
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