Going Green this St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day is a day when a lot of people go “green”, however for our friends south of the border, green no longer seems to be a priority. 

Before the election of the current U.S. President, I wouldn’t have wasted much time explaining what climate change is… but since “climate-deniers” appear to be more prominent these days I think it’s important to briefly explain.

Climate change, simply-put, is the shift in long-term weather patterns, in large part due to human activities like industrial pollution.

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Industrial pollution (Flikr Creative Commons)

Oftentimes, it seems the climate deniers aren’t even climate scientists, but those supported by the fossil fuel industry. Cough cough Scott Pruitt. What’s more is Trump’s team claims funding climate change is “a waste of money,” gutting pollution cleanup efforts, energy efficiency measures, and slashing funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by more than 30%.

A question that I am hearing more and more is “What actions can I take to help fight climate change?” Understandably so, people want to know how they can contribute as an individual to help the planet. Some have taken actions ranging from changing to energy efficient light bulbs to selling their car and using public transit.

As important as it is for individuals to take action, we need to take a step back and widen our scope a little bit if we want to make any real change. We, as a society, need to demand change from our elected officials to push policy in a favourable direction for our planet. Some examples of this include: emailing/calling your local Member of Parliament (MP) indicating your commitment to taking action on climate change or giving your input on new policy affecting the environment, signing petitions to strengthen environmental policy, or attending provincial town hall meetings and voicing your opinion regarding the environment.

True change also requires a cumulative effort from individuals and organizations. Our consumption trends will prompt businesses to re-evaluate their operations and work to be more sustainable. 

What are your thoughts?

MK

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Flikr Creative Commons

 

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