Where did this craze for protecting the planet start? When did the journey that led to refusing fossil fuel products start? Let’s go back to 1993.
When I was in grade school I was assigned to do a project on polar bears. When I approached my uncle to help me with this, I was not expecting to be bewildered by the concept that the polar bears’ homes were melting! I would have said, “wtf” if I knew what that even meant in my tween years. Fast forward a few months later, that pre-teen was moved after seeing Free Willy on the big screen. At the end of the film a call-to-action popped up as Willy swam with his reunited family.
It was a pull-at-the-heart-strings PSA to help the whales. It was backed by Michael Jackson’s tear-jerker, “Will You Be There” playing along the credits. Man, was I crying! But, I was happily surprised… I didn’t know that I had power to do anything. Being fuelled by the concern for the polar bears, the meting North Pole, and now the orcas, my drive to help was strong. I came home and begged my mom for all the money we had to just save the whales. Like myself, millions called the phone number.
All of us can make a difference. Update your lifestyle choices. Make brass, bold changes. Live simply and small. Refuse plastic products. Reduce waste. Reuse goods you own. Shop seasonally. Support local. Bike. Walk. Take public transit. Use your time and talents. Volunteer. Read politicians’ platforms. Vote! Share social posts for the good.
Most of us reading this are privileged enough to live in a first-world country like Canada, so believe it or not, you’re capable of great change! In fact, it’s your responsibility.
Here are the non-for-profits I support:
- Council of Canadians: local chapters fighting social and environmental issues in your community
- David Suzuki Foundation: national, non-for-profit helping protect and conserve the natural environment, and creating a sustainable Canada
- Environmental Working Group: empowering people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment using research and education, they drive consumer choice and civic action
- Greenpeace: non-partisan, global organization fighting for sustainable future
- Nature Canada: Nature Canada is one of the oldest national nature conservation charities in Canada. For 80 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species.
- Nature Conservancy of Canada: It works to protect our country’s most precious natural places. Proudly Canadian, we empower people to safeguard the lands and waters that sustain life.
- The Gold Standard (where I offset my carbon footprint): Gold Standard was established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions featured the highest levels of environmental integrity and also contributed to sustainable development. (I made sure to do some research and vetted this with other NFPs. I track (on my phone’s notes) any trips I do that are not part of my regular grocery/errand run (think travelling for a camping trip or a flight), and then at the end of the year I donate to The Gold Standard to offset the excess driving I did.)
- Wellington Water Watchers: Wellington County and area non-for-profit protecting, restoring, and conserving drinking water
Instagrammers that I love, support, follow and learn from:
Here are movies that will change your life, for the better: