According to the official website, Clean Air Day:
…was proclaimed by the Government of Canada in 1999 to increase public awareness and action on a governmental priority: clean air; and it’s part of Canadian Environment Week, which was created to promote and celebrate activities that care for and nurture our natural environment.
The website has a “what you can do” page (click here). Feel free to peruse it – but, for what it’s worth, here is my list of top 10 things you can do, today and every day, to make the world a better place for your children and grandchildren:
- Take time to inform yourself about the reality of climate change, even though it is difficult to face. If every parent in Canada took one hour a week to read about how climate change is already affecting our country, the result would be a clamoring for real leadership on this issue that no political party could ignore. A good place to start is 350.org.
- As Colin Beavan (aka “No Impact Man”) suggests, volunteer the equivalent of one day’s worth of television watching to a local environmental organization each week. If you are an average North American viewer, chances are this is close to four hours a week of volunteer time.
- Tell one other person about the seriousness of the situation we are facing, and then give them one concrete thing they can do to address it.
- If you live in Canada, take the time to write our senators about the importance of passing Bill C311, the Climate Accountability Act. If you live in the U.S., contact your elected representatives about the importance of passing the clean energy bill now, especially in the light of the Gulf oil disaster.
- Commit to eating less meat – the contribution of farm animals to the warming of our atmosphere is staggering, especially when deforestation is factored in.
- Support local farmers and food producers, thereby decreasing the carbon footprint of your diet (and eating healthier, too!).
- Compost your food scraps and use up your leftovers. A ridiculous amount of food waste goes into North American landfills, contributing to the production of methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas.
- Take time to walk, bicycle, or dance outside today (and every day!). Move your body – it’s the way we connect to this earth.
- Commit to shopping less – if you need inspiration, check out Reverend Billy Talen’s Church of Life After Shopping (click here for his website). Instead of shopping, connect with family and friends.
- Turn off the television tonight, and spend time laughing and having fun with the people you care about. Colin Beavan relates this conversation with his daughter Isabella, whom he calls “the teacher in all things”: I ask her, “Why are we alive?” She says, “To joke and laugh.” I ask, “And what is our responsibility?” She says, “To make sure other people can joke and laugh too!”
I’ll leave you on a positive note: Reverend Billy Talen is reporting that the JP Morgan Chase bank has announced it will stop bankrolling mountaintop removal for coal mining. Rev Billy put it this way:
JP Morgan Chase stops bankrolling mountaintop removal! Two years ago, Chase still had 80% of that business, managing stock & bond offerings for Massey, etc. They quietly put this news in their annual report issued on May 17th and we’ve confirmed it. This is something to savor. Activists can have the privilege of seeing the world change. Earth-a-lujah!
Earth-a-lujah indeed! Click here to read more.