Weekly editorials from the CEEC Executive Team
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Longspell Point farm covers a cliffed section of the Bay of Fundy coastline. A winding dirt road borders the farmland, and across the street small cottages and summer homes dot the steep cliff down to the beach. If you stand in the right spot in one of the upper fields you can look one way and see the Bay of Fundy stretching out before you with the picturesque outline of Blomidon marking the horizon. On the other side the Annapolis valley spreads out, like a quilt made of green and brown patches. This view ceases to amaze me each time I go out to the farm; regardless of my mood.
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day to remember his brave actions and those of others, actions that have allowed marginalized peoples in the western world to have a better chance at prosperity and the pursuit of happiness. It is crucial to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go. As we reflect on historical discrimination and injustice, a new age of discrimination is being erected, the age of environmental discrimination.
We cannot ignore that large-scale change is necessary to mitigate the effects of climate change, but the reality is that we can’t all be full-time environmental activists. What we can easily do is make informed decisions about the products that we choose to engage with on the daily Because of this, I want to share some of my favourite eco-friendly products that are simply incorporated into daily life.
I have decided to write this blog as more of a personal reflection, one that can hopefully provide some food for thought. This narrative will very much represent my own perspective and a reflection on some of the experiences that have shaped my mindset around environmentalism. As such I’d ask that you take it all with a grain of salt, as I’m only 21 years old and have still much to learn.
At the beginning of the semester, my professor challenged the students in my Ecological Economics course to an optional assignment: go one week without purchasing anything other than food and school supplies. I would consider myself to be fairly thrifty to begin with; I try to cut down costs where I can and usually only buy things when I need them. So, thinking that this challenge would be easy, I confidently walked to the front of the class and wrote my name on the chalkboard alongside about 20 other students.
Just this month, Google has announced that they will be powered by 100% renewable energy by the end of the year. The green industry is accelerating rapidly and major corporations are taking major notice. But let’s not forget about the small guys. Here is my list of the Top 5 Green-Tech start-up companies of 2017.
I would like to preface this post by first introducing myself. My name is Henry Gould, I am a 20 year-old white, cis-, heterosexual male Queen’s student. I grew up in Toronto in an upper class neighbourhood, where I attended a preposterously expensive private school. I have full financial support at University, which has allowed me to spend my summers tree planting and leading canoe trips – effectively doing what I love. I am the quintessential embodiment of privilege, so with a large grain of salt, I invite you to read my take on environmental privilege.
Traffic sucks. We’ve all had dreadful experiences with it, whether it be holding in your bladder crawling at 30 km/hr with no On-Route in site, being stuck on the 401 when your flight has already left Pearson, or having to listen to Toronto blow a 4-1 lead to Boston in the 2013 playoffs through a half broken car radio. Nobody enjoys traffic, but nevertheless it’s something that we’ve become complacent with, something that we’ve come to expect, and accept, in our daily routines.
Before I started learning about my environmental impact, I would shop with plastic bags. Going to a coffee shop and grabbing a latte in a single use cup was a no brainer. Buying fruits and vegetables was a process that involved individually bagging the produce (despite the fact that I was going to wash it before eating anyways). I’d leave the house knowing I was going to buy lunch that day, and I’d still opt for using plastic cutlery and purchasing a 300ml container of juice at the restaurant.