Tag Archives: earth day

Stuff, stuff and more stuff

22 Apr

In honour of Earth Day 2012, I decided to write one more post, this time to tell you about the Story of Stuff Project. Maybe you have already heard about it or watched the video, but even so it’s worth a few minutes of your time to remind you that consumer choices are important and they impact our society and our world…our earth.

I first stumbled upon this video a few years ago and I realized I did not know much about the chain of events that lead up to the production and sales of the products I buy daily. I watched this video again today and it shocked me at how many of those details had slipped my mind and how materialistic I had allowed myself to become yet again. It’s like a drug or an addiction and that’s simply not healthy for me, or anyone else for that matter.

Recent events made me aware that we had accumulated way too much stuff in our home. When it came time to deal with the removal of the contents it was a conundrum about how to go ahead. What do we do with it? What do we get rid of and what should we keep? Where do we send it; dump, recycle, thrift store, family and friends? Purging the house felt good. But it was stressful. So many things had emotional sentiment and it almost felt like a personal betrayal to get rid of it, but yet it had to go. The clutter becomes overwhelming and unhealthy in so many ways. So how do we end up in this situation in the first place? Do we do it to ourselves? Did we cause our own crisis by our own consumer habits and reckless choices?

The short answer for most of us would be yes! Let’s accept responsibility for our actions. We shop for things we need, and convince ourselves that our ‘wants’ are also items that we need, we cannot live without. We life in a disposable lifestyle that tells us that we will not be happy without the latest and greatest, and that broken or outdated toy bought yesterday is better thrown away and replaced by a new one because it’s just not cost-effective to fix. Sound familiar? We are all guilty of that thinking…myself included. Where on earth does it stop? Where does it all end up? What is the impact on all of this in our world, environment, personal health, economy?

It changes when you and I decide to make different choices, better choices. Choices in our shopping habits about where we choose to shop, what we choose to buy and how we choose to live. Do the stores we frequent have healthy practices that support our environment and community, support those who shop in them and those who work in them? Do we know where the merchandise comes from or how it is made? Is it full of toxic chemicals that pollute our earth and our health? Can we source alternatives and find healthier products and live a happier and healthier life? Can our economy survive and sustain us in a less consumerist focused society? The answer lies with me and you. It comes down to our own choices.

Speaking from my heart, I know that I believe that it is possible to make change happen. I want to make better consumer choices that focus on ensuring that my choices make positive impact on my community and my earth and ultimately and most importantly my family.  It is important to me that I know where I shop and what I buy is supporting a sustainable earth. It is certain that I will make mistakes and sometimes sloppy choices, but committing to make a conscious effort is the first step. Following through on that decision is the second step. Informing myself of product and company knowledge is another step. All these little steps and purposeful choices add up.  Each person who decides to take these steps also makes a positive impact as well. Now the next important question is …what will you decide today?

Happy Earth Day my friends!

Earth Day 2012

21 Apr

Well it’s finally here, Earth Day Weekend 2012! I woke up this morning to the sound of chirping birds and knew I couldn’t stay in bed one more minute. I had to rise and enjoy a beautiful spring day (and yes, it’s 5:30am). The birds singing in the early morning is one of the things I miss most during those long winter months, perhaps when I need them the most. They seem to inspire me to get up and get going instead of rolling over and hiding deeper under the covers. 

As I am writing, I wonder what about nature inspires you to get up and get moving? Is it the sounds of spring, or the urge to get out and get your hands dirty in the garden? Maybe you are eager to push away the dead leaves that are covering the new plants that are already peaking out of the ground. I get excited to see that too. The trees and bushes are beginning to bud and colour is appearing everywhere. It is beautiful just to stand and look around. 

In Hamilton, people will celebrate Earth Day in so many ways, with family, friends and community. There are organized clean ups and tree planting and rain barrel sales just to name a few events. Yesterday I know of schools and daycare centers that organized grounds clean up and celebrated new water refilling stations. That is exciting news! It is important to get everyone involved and caring for our earth, from the very young to the very old. We can all make a difference and every little bit helps.

Last night, as I was browsing online Earth Day articles, I read a post on Facebook about the amazing David Suzuki and his decision to step down from the Board of Directors for the David Suzuki Foundation. If you wish, you can read his open letter on the David Suzuki Foundation page.  I was saddened to understand that, in short, it was political and societal bullying that caused him to decide to remove himself from his life’s work and passion in order to protect it.  In order to allow him to openly share his knowledge and understanding about protecting the environment, he chose to make a change, and a difficult one it was. 

Isn’t that what Earth Day is really all about? It is a reminder to all of us that we need to make changes in our lifestyle and the daily decision we make that affect our earth, our environment. Sometimes those changes can be difficult and require sacrifice, commitment and courage, but they can have long lasting impact…for our children and our grandchildren. If nothing else, this weekend I challenge you to think about what changes you can make around home, or work or your local community centre that can positively impact our world, our city, our neighbourhood.

 I was recently at a showing of The Lorax, the wonderful story by Dr. Seuss. It is a fabulous and highly entertaining movie about “environment vs business” and I highly recommend you watch it, or pick up the book for an inspirational bed time read with the kids. I must applaud Dr. Seuss for such forward thinking when he wrote this story many years ago.  Also inspired by the story is the Lorax Project and I encourage you to check it out with your kids. I want to leave you with a few of my favorite quotes: 

“I am the Lorax and I’ll yell and I’ll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!”

“I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”

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Happy Earth day my friends!  Celebrate the changes you will make for your life today and celebrate the earth around us that sustains us and brings us beauty and life.  Be inspired, and be the change needed today. Care a whole awful lot!