Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Earth Hour 2011 – March 28, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – Well Earth Hour has come and gone and many people are feeling really good about taking a step forward to help our Earth.  During this hour I looked into the darkness around our neighborhood and many houses had their lights on.  A big thumbs up for everyone who participated.  A step forward is a really great thing after all every journey begins with a single step. 

Perhaps it is time to take a larger jump forward to live in harmony with our environment.  Nice to turn out the lights for one hour but what about the rest of the days of the year?  What about those lights on upstairs while you go downstairs to fold the laundry.

Did you leave the television on while you drove your car to the convenience store two blocks from your front door?  Are you idling your car for 10 minutes in the school driveway waiting for your child to arrive?  How much fuel is being wasted, how much exhaust is being spewed into our environment going through the drive-through for your morning coffee?  Are you making three trips in your car each day when with a little planning you could make due with one?  Do you see where I’m going with this people? 

It would be nice to see people be a little more proactive in their day to day.  “If it is to be, I know it must begin with me”.  I know it can be a real challenge to refuse to purchase those organic peas because they are wrapped in plastic wrap.  It takes time to compose a letter to a food manufacturer to ask “why are you packaging your popsicles in plastic film when paper is quite suitable for the product and is environmentally friendly?”   As long as we continue to purchase items which are over-packaged or packaged in non-earth friendly wrapping…we will continue to get the same and we will continue to have to deal with the consequences of these actions.  If we begin to encourage and support businesses that incorporate real changes to help our environment this could affect other businesses to align themselves to do the same.

Recently an Advertiser from Montreal approached me to advertise on their telephone book covers.  This company makes telephone book covers and sells advertising on the covers which are delivered to populated areas in cities across Canada.  Now this is probably a great opportunity for businesses however consider the amount of plastic this business is generating which ultimately ends up in our land fills or perhaps even contribute to the ever growing plastic patch in the Pacific Ocean.  (Don’t know about the plastic patch, Google plastic patch pacific ocean for more information)  As plastic breaks down into pieces over many, many years, animals begin to consume these bits thinking it to be food.  I did a little research on line, found some information about a company that produces a compostable material which can be printed on and used as a book cover and found a Canadian sales representative in Montreal.  All this information was delivered personally to the phone book cover company in Montreal with my personal promise that I would be happy to advertise with them when they start to use a material that is environmentally friendly.  Now I am just a small business person however actions like this by many can be a catalyst for change.

Summer is coming!  I truly love chocolate popsicles…if I cannot find a manufacturer who packages their product in paper it will be a summer without store bought popsicles for this earth concerned consumer.  I quit smoking many years ago and one of the things that helped me tremendously was to remind myself (I had it written on notes throughout the house)…If it is to be, it is up to me!

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