If the survey says ‘yes’
Would you be willing to make changes in order to reduce your negative impact on the environment?
It’s easy to answer ‘‘yes’’ to this question, the hard part is figuring out how to do it. You’ll have a chance to register your response – yes or no – at our website (cityparent.com) in this month’s poll. Let us know what changes you will make by joining our forum and if you’re looking for ideas, you’ll find them in the April issue of City Parent and on our website.
Even if what you see out of your window this month doesn’t look so green, April is the greenest month of the year. Earth Day is on April 22 and unlike other special occasions; celebrations are low key and non-commercial but they can be meaningful and important.
It’s really up to individuals to green up their lives and Earth Day should remind us of our connection to the planet and our responsibility toward it. If you’re reading this on or before Saturday, March 29 at 8 p.m., you can take part in Earth Hour. It’s a symbolic event that began last year in Sydney, Australia and it requires that we turn out the lights for one hour. Save energy, let the night sky shine and contemplate our wasteful ways by candlelight. Find out more, or register your participation at www.earthhour.org.
Children will like the candle ritual, something that can be done any evening. They also might want to help you determine your environmental footprint. Take the brief quiz at www.myfootprint.org to receive an estimate of your own Ecological Footprint. It’s a measure of how much land and water we need to produce the resources we consume and to absorb the waste we make. The Earth’s biological capacity can accommodate 1.8 hectares per person. My lifestyle requires 5.5 hectares according to my quiz score. I drive too much, fly too much, eat too much meat and create too much waste. My footprint is kind of like my shoe size, a little smaller than average compared with my neighbours.
It’s obvious that we’re trampling all over what’s natural in this world. We’re natural resource gluttons. Just look at what we throw away! So how can we tread more lightly? These are recycled ideas but ones worth implementing in our lives.
Start by saying ‘‘no’’ to plastic bags. If you purchase an item or two, just take the receipt and carry the stuff to your car. Ask yourself if you really need that bag. It’s going right into the garbage minutes later. Keep reusable bags in your car for those bigger shopping trips. Consider purchasing items than don’t require batteries and take into account the lifespan of a piece of baby equipment or toy. If it will be outgrown in a matter of months, is it really necessary? Can you borrow it?
Eating less meat will green up your footprint and so will using public transit and using your own energy by walking and cycling.
April is also the month during which TV Turnoff Week falls. In our March readership poll, we asked if your family could go screen-free for a week. About half of you say you could do it. For information and support or to register for Turnoff Week (April 21- 27) go to www.tvturnoff.org. You’ll conserve energy and have time to celebrate Earth Day.