Thursday, November 01, 2018

The World Outside

I watch the news with growing despair. Every day there’s a new heart-wrenching mass killing motivated by hatred, a never-ending stream of vitriol and excrement from the mouth of the president of the neighbouring country to the south, and in two successive days news that 60% of the world's population of vertebrates, from fish to birds to mammals, have been wiped out since 1970, says a new report from the World Wildlife Fund, and that in the past 25 years the Earth’s Oceans have warmed 60% more than previously thought.  

What the hell are we thinking? And what can we, as individuals, do about it?  Nothing slows hatred except complete rejection. People who spew hatred reveal more how about they feel about themselves than how that feel about others. Anaïs Nin said: “Unless you learn to face your own demons, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside is only a reflection of the world of the world inside you”.   

The newest information about the havoc we have visited on the rest of the world’s inhabitants is nightmarish. Who gave us permission to destroy the very ecosystem we depend on for life? 

The trees in the Amazon Basin are called the lungs of the planet for good reason, and they are being razed to grow 10,000 acre fields of soybeans to feed pigs and beef, which will be exported to feed the insatiable demand for more and more meat. 

There is an appx 25 meter (about 80 ft) by 122 meter (400 ft) space between the fence that divides our parking lot and the busy four lane street. Three years ago the city said, “Here, you take care of this land.” So we have to mow, water, and otherwise care for it. There’s a bus shelter on the corner. 

I think it would be a great spot for an urban forest. You can get free compost from the city and I’ll bet we could bum a couple hundred trees of all kinds from the city too. The city has a huge nursery where they grow all kinds of natives trees. They are building out a new rapid transit line which will come almost to our door. So we’d have a nice carbon dioxide sink, which would produce clean air. 

But some other ideas you can use to help save the planet:

1. No one-time-use plastic

2. Turn out lights you’re not using. As my Dad used to say, “We don’t own the power company”!

3. Put the TV and other “instant on” appliance on a power bar which you can turn off at night or when you’re gone. That “ready” posse uses 40% of the power it uses when it’s turned on.

4. Drive less. Try to consolidate errands. My 2013 KIA Soul has 11,000 kms (6,835 miles) on it, and that’s including the two trips to Vancouver our son took in it. (750 kms/466 one way). 

5. Grow your own vegetables if you can

6. Buy locally if possible

7. Eat one vegan meal a day

8. Buy what foods you can at bulk stores using your own containers.

9. Instead of buying crap clothes made by slave labour in Asia, choose a classic pattern you like, buy high quality fabric, and hire a local seamstress to make wardrobe you can wear interchangeably for years. 

10. Shop at thrift stores for clothes. Billions of tons of clothing end up in the landfill every year, because of fads and cheap fabric and construction.

11. Buy the best quality tools you can afford. They will make you work easier, safer, and more quickly accomplished. 

Do you have ideas to add to this list? Please share. There is so much I’d like to do, but due to age and disability I can’t. But other readers might. So let us know.