We all share a responsibility to protect and care for our environment. Increasing carbon emissions and pollution are some of the most critical issues we are grappling with and must face a greater sense of urgency. We owe it to ourselves, to future generations and to other species we share this world with.
This year Earth Day theme is “protecting our species” to encourage a reflection around the dangers threatening the natural order and consequently threatening a number of plant and animal species.
Extinction might seem hard to imagine in the Canadian context, but we are not spared. Many plants and animals in Canada face the risk of extinction, in part because of our behavior.
Addressing all those critical environmental issues can seem daunting and beyond our control, but there are small actions we can all take to make a big difference! To those that have decided to ditch disposables and commit to cloth diapers - a huge shout out to you. This is the step in the right direction. Just this single change, you already understand and recognize the impacts of climate change.
However, there is much more to be done. Bumbini’s resolution to recognize the impacts of climate change and pollution and the need to take action.
Today, we are seizing the opportunity to encourage all to adopt five simple habits that can help protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint:
1- Recycle: Make a conscious effort to properly dispose of your waste and encourage your neighbors/coworkers to do the same. If you think your neighborhood/workplace does not offer you adequate options, advocate for a better waste management policy. Work with your community and local recycling depot by organizing a weekend recycling day, where people can drop off their used computers, clothing, etc where they can be properly disposed and diverted from going directly into the landfill. It doesn't have to be boring either, get your local city councilor involved to see which area collects the most. Organize a community family day cleaning up your local park. This is an excellent opportunity to help each other to keep your community clean. Encourage children of all ages to help as this is also a teachable moment for their future, both as volunteers and the impact on the environment.
2- Go paperless: Digitize and try avoiding printing paper whenever possible. If you must print, do it on both sides of the paper.
3- Give up plastic and styrofoam: According to an article by the Canadian Geographic, Canadians use between 1.6 and 2 billion disposable coffee cups a year. To counter all this waste, opt instead for reusable cups, plates and utensils. You should also consider bringing your own utensils when eating at food courts. Say no to plastic bags.
4- Save energy: To reduce power consumption, enable the sleep mode and power saver features on your computers and other equipment when they are not in use.
5- Use public transportation or carpool: Chose environment-friendly modes of transportation to and from the office. Carpool, take the bus, or better yet bike or walk. Not only is it good for the environment but it's also good for your health!
Although these isolated gestures may seem insignificant, collectively, they can have an impact. Let’s work together towards a healthier planet.