Results tagged “respect” 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.

Why Be Green?

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Why Be Wasteful?

I think it's good to reverse this question right from the get go. Why be wasteful? Waste is a fact of life, and all plants and animals produce waste in our environment. The difference between us and the rest of life on the planet is that a vast majority of our waste is not useful to other forms of life. This is either because of it's make up or its quantity. Wasteful habits are sold to us as being more convenient or easier on our pocketbook.


Individual yogurts are quick and easy to take out of the fridge and put into a lunch, but it doesn't really saving that much time over taking a larger container of yogurt out of the fridge and placing a serving into a reusable container.

It's easier just to use the bags at the grocery store instead of bringing our own, but reusable bags are not that much of an inconvenience to bring along with us, and wash from time to time.


It's cheaper to buy a foil pan for roasting a chicken instead of buying a reusable one, but it's not cheaper over the years, and definitely not cheaper than borrowing one.

Styrofoam plates are much cheaper than paper plates made from recycled paper, but the cost to the environment when they are disposed of in a landfill is not factored into the price.

So Why Do We Do It?

A lot of these things are not really more convenient, or cheaper if we factor in the true cost of disposal. They are sold to as as if they are, and we don't question it. It's a natural thing to not question things we are told. In our busy lives questioning takes time and energy. Something that we don't always excess amounts of. So, if these these aren't really cheaper, and aren't really more convenient, then we don't have a good reason to be so wasteful.

Bad Habits

Even once we figure out that these things may not be more convenient or cheaper we continue to do them. That's because they become habit, and that bad habit needs to be broken. Change is not always easy. When we spill a drink, it is so easy out of habit to grab the roll of paper towel to clean it up instead of a cloth towel. Though that habit can be replaced with the habit of questioning, is there a better way that I could be doing this?

Why Be Green?

We have a responsibility to take care of this planet for our own well being, and for the well being of future generations. The Earth is getting more densely populated, and it is easier and easier for us to have huge negative impacts on the environment. We shouldn't wait until the environment is in critical condition at the edge of collapse before we do something

Preventative Measures

Doctors don't like to wait until someone has a heart attack until they tell them that they should lower their cholesterol. We shouldn't wait until the climate is at the brink of collapse before we decide to change our habits. We know that cholesterol in the blood is bad so we try to prevent it from getting high in the first place. We also know that many things that we do to our environment aren't good, so we prevent ourselves from harming it in the first place.


It all comes down to respecting our surroundings and our environment. We need to look at the big picture and realize that we can have massive impact on our surroundings and environment. Most people tend to treat their own backyard with respect. If we learned to treat the Earth as a whole as an extension of our backyard, then we would have more respect for the environment as a whole.

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.

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