Just clean that plate

Back in 1956, the notorious US prison on Alcatraz Island had this rule for all inmates: “Take all you want, but eat all you take.”

Most of us live in a world of plenty, so it is easy for us to take food for granted and to waste.  A report last fall estimated that Canadians waste $27 billion worth of food a year, the majority of it at home.  How we waste?  1) we load our plates up with more than we can eat; 2) we’re quick to discard things when they approach their best-before dates; and 3) food is cheap.

Food is a big part of our carbon footprint, and it’s obscene to waste it when nearly a billion people worldwide go to bed hungry.

So perhaps the easiest way ever to reduce the carbon footprint of our food is to simply do what prisoners at Alcatraz were asked to do: don’t serve up too much food, and clean your plate.

A resolution of resolve

January 8, 2013

Is climate change a problem of TECHNOLOGY or POLITICS?

Truthfully, it’s probably both – but these days it may be more of the latter.

These days, we have many technologies available to help us solve the climate crisis – from wind, solar, tide and wave energy; to high-efficiency buildings that produce more energy than they use; to real-time ridesharing via smart-phones.

But solutions don’t happen without political will, appropriate policies and strategic funding – all of which seem lamentably scarce these days.

That’s where you and I come in.  As astrophysicist Carl Sagan said, “Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water.  Don’t sit this one out.  You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.”

So – please make it your resolution not to sit this one out.  I can’t overemphasize how much your involvement, in ways large or small, is needed.  Here’s more on the ‘why’ plus some simple suggestions for ‘how’.

Happy New Year 2013 – may it be a pivotal year for climate change action.