2018 has been an exciting year of enlightenment and growth on my journey to living a more sustainable lifestyle and encouraging others to do the same. Once we become aware, there is no going back!
In November I attended a 2 day conference on Zero Waste, hosted by the city of Vancouver. The theme was ‘Transitioning to a Circular Economy’. It was inspiring to see so many people actively working in environmental sustainability and to learn about how they are using their creativity to try to solve the mess we humans have made of the environment. Vancouver hosts this conference every year, I highly recommend attending.
Plastic pollution and climate change are two of the issues that interest me the most. I participated in three beach clean ups this year and attended several talks and films on Ocean Plastic Pollution, Living Zero Waste Lifestyle and Climate change.
I just got back from a quick trip to Kauai where the micro plastic pollution on the beach shocked me beyond belief. At first I thought it was beach glass but on closer inspection I realized it was plastic, and there was lots of it all along the shoreline. Larger pieces of plastic, that likely came from Japan and other parts of Asia, littered the beach, as did debris from the fishing industry. Our local beaches in Vancouver are pristine in comparison. It will take a miracle to get this mess under control. Images of seabirds with bellies full of plastic danced in my head.
We really need to curtail plastic our consumption and live more mindfully. It’s time to slow down. Sure, it is a little more work but convenience comes at a cost and planet earth is paying dearly.
These photos were taken on the beach in front of the hotel we stayed at on Kaua’i
In the fall I started a Green Group modeled after ‘Book Club’. Instead of reading books, 10 of us meet once a month to watch documentaries on the environment, discuss the film and share sustainability tips. We’ve seen: The True Cost, Before The Flood and Cowspiracy. More Than Honey, a film about the plight of bees, is next on the list. Every month we focus on a different issue. All have been very educational, inspiring and motivating.
Nothing got me more fired up than Cowspiracy. There is so much talk about reducing our carbon footprint by driving less, using less energy etc… all of these are good ideas but the results are minimal. No one talks about the number one most impactful thing we can do to slow climate change and that is to MOVE TO A PLANT BASED DIET. Animal agriculture, particularly beef and dairy are the main contributors to climate change by a significant amount. Buying organic and consuming less animal protein, especially mass produced beef, is the best lifestyle change anyone can make to reduce their carbon footprint. The Vegans are onto something after all!
The highlight of my year has been to hear from friends and family, young and old, that they are choosing more sustainable options because of my influence. This is so rewarding and brings me so much joy. My hubby George has become my uber enthusiastic beach clean up buddy! I look forward to learning more about sustainability and getting even more involved in 2019.
Wishing you and yours a Healthy, Joyful, Sustainable New Year!