Results tagged “motivation” from Green Manitoba Life

Changing Things Around Us

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Chocolate Island retouch.jpg One of the more common arguments I hear against climate change is that it's not possible for humans to change the world around us on a global scale. I find that argument quite ironic, because it often comes from people who then brag about how humans have managed to control the environment around us. Building cities, taming rivers, flattening hills and mountains for roads. The fact of the matter is that we can have huge impacts on the world around us.

There is a reason for the photograph above in relation to this post. I took this picture on an island that we kayaked to while on holidays on Saltspring Island in BC last week. What looks like a white sandy beach isn't. It's actually broken shells, and is not a natural occurring beach. The natives that lived in the region ate shellfish, and this was one of the many beaches that they used to clean shellfish. It makes sense that they would do this away from their village because of the smell from piles of shells. Historians figure that the same beaches were used for thousands of years and the shells piled up. A beach changed forever by human activity, and still noticeable today. I found that idea quite profound. If a population of humans that numbered in the thousands or tens of thousands could change the look of an island through their activities, what are 6.7 billion people capable of doing?

I think the main obstacle to convince people that they should do something about the environment is to convince them that we do have a large impact on our environment, and that we can cause changes on a global scale. I sometimes find it hard to believe that some people can't see these things, but when I start to think about modern lifestyle it does make sense. We spend our lives in our homes venturing out to head to work and shop. We spend most of our time in large cities or in the case of rural Manitoba surrounded by farms. All man made environments. We have separated ourselves from world's environment.

If there was one thing that I think people should do to convince them that we are damaging the earth, I think they should get out into the wilderness. Hike, camp, canoe, kayak, or any other activity that gets them away from a man made environment. From there people can better see how much we have already changed our environment, and how quickly we are continuing to do it.

My Personal Motivation Pt.2

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The second thing that has continued to motivate me to try to live green is the outdoors. I grew up going through Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and yes Venturers. I was lucky enough to be involved in highly active troops that spent a lot of time in the great outdoors. We had annual Klondike days where we got to practice our outdoorsmanship. We had large camps and jamborees, which usually was pretty easy light camping in large open fields. Finally we went on camps just as a troop in a little bit more remote locations. The last trip I went on was a 14 day hike at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. That was a great experience, living with what you could carry on your back. We didn’t carry 14 days worth of food with us, there were frequent food pickups and garbage drop offs every three to four days.

My Personal Motivation

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I’ve been aware, and involved in living green since I was in elementary school through the late 80’s and early 90’s. In the beginning my father convinced me to start recycling aluminum cans. While it was more for the money than it was for saving the environment, it was my first experience with recycling. I collected cans from neighbours, family reunions, any kind of event where people were drinking out of cans. Of course my favorite were beer cans, because the vendors paid back a deposit on those. The pop cans were just crushed and taken to an metal recycling center and I was paid by the pound. After several summers, and my grandpa sending me to the metal recycling center with copper wire and some old car transmissions, I was able to buy a bike with my money. That was the greatest feeling in the world riding a bike that I had basically paid for myself. Shortly after that I got involved in a much larger recycling program.

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