Three keys

April 28, 2015

The three most important things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint

If you’re like me, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed with the complexities of climate change and our other environmental challenges. And, amid a flood of information, you might be wondering, “Really, what are the most important things I can do to make a difference?” In the spirit of last week’s Earth Day, here are my nominees:

  1. Drive less: every litre of gas we burn is one litre less we can burn if we wish to limit climate change. So walk, bike, take transit, carpool – anything to drive less.
  2. Strive to think ‘Reduce’, the most important of the three Rs, every time you flip a switch, turn a tap, touch a thermostat or operate an appliance.
  3. Contact your elected representatives via phone, mail or email to demand action, because climate-friendly laws and policies are absolutely essential to global solutions.

Why not organize a neighbourhood (or beach) cleanup?

It’s April, the glorious time when new life emerges from under the melting snow.

It’s also the perfect time to clean up the winter’s litter – easy to spot against the melting snow, and not yet obscured by new growth of roadside plants.

So why not organize a roadside cleanup in your community? (Or a shore cleanup if you happen to be lucky enough to live near water?) It’s fairly straightforward: organize a team, set a date, get some basic supplies (gloves, bags, safety vests), determine how collected trash will be disposed of, and then DO IT!

Bonus: if you can, find local sponsors to help cover the cost of supplies, and get a bit of media coverage to recognize your team’s good efforts! And be sure to think safety every step of the way.

For inspiration, visit or watch how Estonia was transformed in an incredible five-hour blitz!

For more inspiration: a few years ago, I came upon this man cleaning up a rural NB roadside – on his own accord, and undeterred by his cane. He kindly allowed me to take his picture.