Rain is pouring down outside my St. John’s, Newfoundland home today and that may not sound strange to many of you but it is to us – it should be snowing. Here we call it Sheila’s Brush (which is a snow storm just before St. Patrick’s Day). Now I know most of you would take rain over snow any day but for us it’s a strange weather phenomena. And it tips the balance of our Earth’s ecosystem – again.
Here in Newfoundland warmer rainy weather translates to warmer oceans which translates to fewer icebergs which translates to a reduction of fish stocks (which need cold water to survive) which translates into fewer fish for fisherpersons which translates to a poor economy and so on and so forth.
We can point our fingers at corporate malfeasance, government inaction, but we should really point our fingers at ourselves. We are running ourselves into the ground and taking future generations with us. I happily take my “green” shopping bags to the grocery store, change out my old light bulbs to energy efficient ones, reduced the heat in my home, I compost and recycle, I’ve donated my old cell phone and computers to charity, and I’ve stopped purchasing water and use a water filter at home after listening to Dr. David Suzuki’s www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2007/02/01/suzuki-water.html commentary on water.
And, not least of all, I attempt to use my vehicle in an energy efficient manner by combining trips and appointments so that I don’t waste precious fuel that today is $1.25 per litre. I don’t watch Oprah very often but very recently Lisa Ling http://www.oprah.com/tows/slide/200802/20080227/slide_20080227_350_101.jhtml went dumpster diving in New York with a group that apparently does this on a regular basis. Literally boxes full of dated food was thrown away not expired - outside grocery stores in Manhattan. And, people were taking this home, I was hoping they could convince stores to donate these items to local shelters but I’m a dreamer. I’m sure many grocery companies do donate but that fact that most of this good food would end up in landfills boggles my mind.
Here’s my disappointment with being green hence the reason for feeling a little chartreuse (which green with yellow mixed in, really). We are chickens with a big yellow streak down our backs, we talk the walk but not walk the talk – at least most of us. Just take a quick trip to Google Earth and link to World’s Oil Consumption – its astounding! The U.S., China, Europe and population wise Canada are some of the largest oil consumers in the world. That petroleum product translates into my fuzzy pajamas that are made of recycled plastic, I rip my energy efficient light bulbs out of their hard plastic shell that winds up in my local landfill, and as I watch hundreds and hundreds of people in line, including myself at times, idling their cars to get coffee in a “recyclable” cup I feel “green” is an uphill battle.
We are consumers pure and simple and getting to any shade of green is going to take monumental action on the part of government through legislation, corporations by being good citizens of the planet and individuals like you.
Denise Brophy, ABR, ePro, CERC Relocation Specialist