February 7, 2007 at 5:56 pm (Fight the Good Fight)
When I heard on the radio this morning about a local store owner willing to “rent” the video An Inconvenient Truth free of charge to his customers, I was impressed. Apparently, the owner of FasGas in Whitehorse was so blown away after seeing the video about climate change that not only did he decide to “lend” the video instead of renting it, but he’s looking into bringing in biodiesel at his gas bar. I don’t know that the use of biodiesel will be effective in the north’s cold, but this guy’s sudden passion for environmental issues which has prompted him to action is laudable. If you haven’t seen this video yet, get to it! You won’t regret it.
A bonus feature of the video is Al Gore’s top-notch use of a Power Point type of software for his presentation. I always cringe when I see lights go out and the good old PowerPoint come on (or the overhead) because 9 times out of 10, people DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THEM EFFECTIVELY! The slides become a crutch, rather than adding to the content.
Getting back to the environment, when I visited my future mum-in-law over the holidays, I was a little surprised by the extent to which she re-uses everything: foil paper, coffee filters, saran wrap, bags; in short, anything you can possibly imagine gets washed, wiped, and put away. I don’t think my mother-in-law re-uses things for the specific purpose of “saving the environment.” From what I can tell, she has always done it. She’s from a generation where you simply don’t throw things out if there’s any possibility of life left in them. It was the waste not want not generation. My generation, on the other hand, grew up in the disposable era: diapers, water bottles, individually-wrapped everything and anything. Everything has to look perfect, new, and unused. We definitely need to change our way of thinking if we’re to save this planet.
So instead of rambling on, here’s my list of small ideas/suggestions to start with:
- How about gas bar owners or car manufacturers provide some kind of a discount for hybrid and Smart car owners when filling up with gas, say, for a specified time after purchase, such as one year? What about free parking for these vehicles? There aren’t enough of these on the roads yet for businesses/municipalities to worry about losing money.
- College/university instructors could allow students to re-use paper when handing in reports, papers, and other assignments – that is, using paper that already has something printed on the reverse.
- Why not use this “recycled” paper (printed on the reverse) in some of the printers at the college and at home? I’ve been doing this for two years now and rarely have paper jams. I keep a pile of “good” paper nearby, but my recycled paper is my default paper (always in the printer).
- Buy (or make) re-usable bags for grocery shopping. In Whitehorse, Riverside Grocery currently has nice big green cloth bags with handles for $1 each; I recently bought 15 to keep in my vehicle for my shopping. (Ask for them; they’re behind the counter.)
- Turn down the thermostat at night, when at work, and when on vacation.
Feel free to post a comment to add to this list.
May the earth be with you