Embracing the School’s Climate Strike
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

March 15, 2019

The world is changing. Sadly, that change is being led by children coming to understand that they will inherent the earth for better or worse, sooner or later and knowing that without real change today, there may not be a future for them. Knowing this fact, many are taking to the streets today demanding that adults take meaningful actions, enact change within their lives and within the policy they create. This movement is long overdue and the burden rests on each of our shoulders to not only take it seriously, but to promote it, internalize it, and be the change that so many seek.

Most of us are not involved in crafting policy. We can vote and indeed it is crucial that we not only vote, but we vote for that change the next generation seeks, specifically in halting run away climate change. But what about the other 364 days of a year? Those days demand our steadfast commitment towards shifting the needle on plastic & material use, burning of fossil fuels, and living in general more conscious lives. It may be difficult for instance to stop eating meat completely right away, but certainly doable to reduce our consumption. Likewise, driving still dominates many people’s lives, but making efforts to carpool  when possible or ride bikes more often can make for powerful initial steps in the right direction. However, to present an all or nothing change is to loose at the onset. Just like those New Year resolutions, flipping an internal switch generally does not work. But to strive each day for betterment, that is a journey indeed in which we can all embark.

So how does one start with some initial effort? Let’s take the use of plastic for example. Our world is covered in plastics and it is an absolute mission or dedication of life to live completely without it. Ideally, we all get there eventually, but how do we start?

 

 

After moving to Salida, I went to my local recycling center to see what they accept and what they don’t accept. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they work to reprocess a lot of materials.

 

 

 

If I could promise to do two things, I would be on the way towards reducing my footprint to zero. 1.) Make the effort to recycle whatever I used. 2.) In order to fulfill #1, I would limit what I bought to things that came in packaging that was accepted at the recycling center. This allows for progress in the right direction without making that all or nothing step from the get go.

The center accepts plastics 1 &2 but not 3-7. Thus, if it comes in a 3-7 packaging container, it does not go in the shopping cart. Mushrooms for whatever reason come in Styrofoam or #5 packaging. So, I would not buy them until I found them at another store in town. Seems simple, but when enacted on a mass scale, that collective change drives suppliers to rethink their brand as they continue to vi for your dollar. Trader Joe’s, after strong petitions and repeated comments has now pledged to tackle their packaging problem. It takes a little bit of thought to start and one would be surprised to where it snowballs to. Soon we take our own bags to the store, place fruit in our own bags, compost, shop at markets and onwards towards that zero plastic goal.

Same goes for meatless Mondays, just enacted by all of New York City schools this past week. It is not the solution but first steps in reducing meat consumption and therefore excessive land use. Change is happening and it needs to come from everyone, everywhere, and right now. It starts small but it has to start and if it does not start with us, we will each carry that legacy forever. What change do you promise to start on this historic Children’s Climate March? They have asked.

 

 

 

 

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