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To Be Eco-Conscious

hands grasping sunOur planet. It provides water, shelter, food and life as we know it. The splendours of the earth include the mountains, reefs, blue sandy beaches, an array and diverse wildlife, all the edible plants and flowers, hundreds of species of trees, I could go on and on and on. We are so blessed as a species to inhabit a habitable planet that affords us everything we need and more!

Recently in the news you may have read about climate rally’s going on around the world, the state of the planet is in danger and is suffering the effects of climate change, people are taking note and are definitely concerned. As they should be.

How did we end up where we are?

The dawn of the industrial age allowed us to refine oil, make products out of metal, travel with ease by way of cars, airplanes, boats and trains, and streamline agriculture etc. But with these innovations we have seen the destruction of forests, water, land and wildlife. Our consumption has led to all kinds of pollution and we create of lot of by polluting by products such carbon dioxide, chemical wastes and tons of plastic that takes a long time so disintegrate. The planet is no doubt suffering, water is rising, climates are erratic. But. It’s not too late! Nature has an impeccable capability to regenerate and adapt but we as its inhabitants have to take action because if we continue the course we are on then the planet will never get a chance to recover.

What can you do? Plenty!

Recycle: make use of those blue bins! Recycling is probably one of the most easiest ways to do your part. Instead of having manufactures use raw materials to create their products, it’s best if they use recycled materials that can be used again. Many plastics, paper products, aluminum, tin cans and glass can be re-used.

Buying local: It can be tricky getting fresh fruit and veggies during the winter months but in the summer, we are blessed with a smorgasbord of local vendors that offer up vegetables, fruits and meats from their farms. I love heading out to Crampton’s out in Headingly so check out their produce and I buy my grass fed and pasture raised meat from McDonald farm (they also make deliveries in the winter). There is also the downtown farmer’s market as well as the one in St. Norbert’s, I have also noticed that some large grocery stores such as Sobey’s and Safeway offering up some local produce as well. CSA boxes (community supported agriculture) are farms that will supply you with a box of produce weekly where you pay a sum of money per month. Manitoba has a bunch of these types of farms check out csamanitoba.org to find a farm that suits your needs.

Fast fashion: the emphasis of fast fashion is to produce clothing quickly and cheaply to keep up fashion trends as seen on the catwalk or by celebrities. This type of clothing uses cheap toxic dyes and chemicals and creates a lot of textile waste. Yes, fashion is used to create our identity and some people like to stay on top of fashion trends, however feeding into this industry is wasteful. Instead of throwing away garments that you haven’t worn in awhile consider finding ways to add them back into your rotation, you can always donate old clothes or offer them up as hand me downs. When purchasing clothing try your best to buy organic cotton and eco friendly fabrics made with natural dyes or head on over to your local thrift shop or consignment shop to freshen up your wardrobe.

Grocery Shopping: Oh those dreaded plastic bags! Thankfully many people have adopted to bringing their own reusable bags now, to take it one step further; instead of putting your fruits and veggies in those small clear produce bags, why not bring your own? You can buy fabric produce bags now and reuse them over and over!

Cutting down on meat consumption: Some people hate to hear it but the meat industry uses up a lot of resources from farm to table. Vegetables and legumes do not. There is a plethora of meat alternative these days that may satisfy that carnivorous tooth of yours, Beyond Meat has seen a huge success with their plant-based meat alternative. I have tried them and I must say, the texture has meaty mouthfeel and the taste is very comparable to meat. There are also many vegetarian and vegan recipes that are filling, high in protein and delicious!

It may not seem like much, but if every citizen adopted a more eco conscious mindset then we could revers and maybe completely undue the damage we have caused the planet. It’s all about the small steps!

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