I am a culprit. I admit it. I’m not proud of it, but it’s a fact, and one I have to recognize before I can actively work towards change.
Here are my largest consumption challenges, and my approaches to change.
We are so dependent on fossil fuels. It’s to the point that a delay at the refinery stage causes gas stations actually run out of gas. Not to mention, the cost of gas is INSANE right now, with prices hovering around $1.30 per liter across Canada.
This summer has brought almost constant rain to Halifax. I always allow the rain to justify driving places. Squishing along in wet shoes gets old fast. Also, I’m pretty sure I don’t know how to correctly use an umbrella because, despite having paid a range of $2 to $40, they never last me longer than a couple of months.
To do: Suck it up. Walk. Ride your bike. Skateboard. Scooter. Remember, this is about more than being active.
Honestly, I’m a little afraid of the dark. Being alone in my apartment at night, despite the company of two brave protectors, can be a bit creepy. To ward off the ghosts, I usually ensure my space is well lit, and filled with noise and activity. This generally means lights are on, radio or tv is streaming some noisy programming, and my computer is buzzing away in my lap.
To do: Just lock the door. Keep on the lights in the room being used and turn the rest off. Multi tasking is great but multi media is not always necessary. If you’re not actively paying attention, turn it off.
Despite being hyper-aware of the amount of waste produced by my household, workplace, etc., it’s always there. At home, when containers are full or dirty, a roll of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or a plastic bag is always in-hand for the tidying up, and putting away, of food and ingredients.
To do: Plan ahead. Stop preparing extra food for leftovers unless there is a reusable container available in which to store it. Or, get off your ass and wash a few. I know you have enough of them. I sure do.
At work, I try to only print when necessary, yet my desk continues to pile up with hard copies, post-its, note pads, and newsletters.
To do: Be paperless. This one is WAY easier said than done. I always have to take notes when I attend meetings or else I literally cannot recall a single action I’m supposed to take afterwards. I also just prefer to edit on hard copy as opposed to electronically. I just seem to catch more. So, if any of y’all have any ideas to keep paper waste to a minimum at work, I’d be very interested to hear suggestions.
I know I’m not alone in these practices, and I can’t be alone in the want for change. This is my plea. Our practices are unsustainable and harmful. If we continue to be ignorant and apathetic, we all lose. We have to change.
Let’s do it together, Halifax. It’ll be worth it. I promise. (Everybody wins!)