Every day should be Earth Day, no? I really enjoyed this recent opinion piece in The Globe and Mail, in which Margaret Wente argues that the way we talk about climate change is unhelpful. "I no longer think climate change is a hopeless problem. I just think the way we currently talk about it is hopeless." We're relying on people to change their behaviour by giving them doomsday scenarios, as opposed to finding ways to truly motivate and empower individuals. Although I strongly feel that governments need to take a much greater role in dealing with climate change, I also realize that change can be small. We can start with our own children and families, and work our way out from there. I heard a quote recently, and it really resonated:
"If you can't do great things, do small things in a great way" - Napoleon Hill
So I compiled a little list of ideas for you and your family this coming Earth Day:
1) Tim Hortons' Cleaning the Capital- choose a local park and register with the City of Ottawa for all the cleaning supplies you'll need!
2) Adopt an animal- every time my husband turns on a nature show, I have to leave the room. Inevitably, there will be a shot of a polar bear swimming and swimming (and drowning) because he can not find any ice. Why not consider donating money to "adopt" an animal and support conservation work?
3) 24 hour Earth Hour - I'm not an Earth Hour participant. I totally understand the event and its significance. I just try to conserve energy every day, by turning off lights when I don't need them, shutting down my computer, and unplugging unused appliances. But why not try a day-long electronics cleanse? Shut off your TV, Iphones/pads, and computer for one whole day and see what happens (no, the world will not collapse in on itself ;) )
4) Foraging - ok, let's pray that the snow has melted by Earth Day. If it has, you may see lots of edible plants popping up from the muddy ground. You may have to wait a few more weeks before you can actually collect and eat them, but educate yourself on how to spot yummy spring edibles such as watercress, ramps, dandelion, clover and wild strawberries. This YouTube video is a great start!
5) How about a visit to the museum? We're so lucky here in Ottawa to have the Agriculture Museum! What better way to teach our children about animals and habitats? And of course, spring baby lambs have got to be the cutest things in the world!!
How will you be celebrating Earth Day?