December 27, 2011
A couple of years ago, I completed an on-line quiz about my footprint on the planet. It asked questions about how I live – house, vehicle, driving, food, waste and more – and then calculated how much land it takes to sustain my lifestyle. I was shocked when it told me that if everyone on the planet lived like me, we’d need four planets. I’ve worked really hard since then to reduce my footprint – but more recently I discovered that that ratio applies to all Canadians: if everyone on the planet lived like us, we’d need four planets.
Of course, there is only one: this fragile, beautiful, precious and irreplaceable planet.
So perhaps the best New Years resolution any of us can make is this: to strive to use less of everything, in whatever way we can.
March 6, 2011
Staying fit is a healthy choice – but the way we do it may not be very healthy for the planet. Consider the modern fitness center and its electric lights, electric fitness machines, electric air conditioning, electric televisions and electric sound systems. Plus heating; plus laundry; plus showers; plus bottled water; plus the emissions of clients getting to and from the gym. It all adds up to a significant strain on the planet’s health, just to maintain ours.
Perhaps there’s a better way. In some places, pioneering efforts are underway to reverse that equation by generating power from fitness machines – check out this link. But since that’s not mainstream yet, for now, maybe it’s worth bypassing the treadmill and… just going for a walk or run outside.
January 26, 2010
October 20, 2009
During this flu season, signs advising proper hand washing technique are posted everywhere: wet hands, apply soap, wash, rinse, dry. I’m no expert in the matter, but it seems to me that the process can be tweaked a bit to get the same benefit with a bit less soap.
Here’s why. When I wet my hands first then get a pump of soap, I find that much of the soap slips off my hands and down the drain unused – and so I need to get another pump of soap.
So instead, my hand washing technique has become: get a pump of soap first, rub it around a bit, then wet my hands lightly and carry on with washing as usual. Lots of lather, clean hands and a bit of soap saved. True, it’s just one pump – but if a million people do it…
In the news
Remember “Beds Are Burning”, the 1987 hit by Aussie rock group Midnight Oil? It’s back, with updated lyrics focusing on climate change. Supported by a “dream team” of 60+ international music and entertainment stars, the song is being promoted as a musical petition for climate change action in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit in December.