In the Blog
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Saving the planet can seem like an enormous undertaking. There are so many issues to tackle: climate, waste, water, pollution, energy, and more. You may think one person, one group of friends, one school or one community can’t make a difference. Think again.
1) Garden, cook, eat
If you’re passionate about food, there are so many ways you can help save the planet. Find out if there is a garden at your school or in your community that you can help maintain. If there isn’t, ask around and see if creating one is a possibility. Farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs are other places you could volunteer your time (and learn more about the importance of local food!). Or channel your DIY creative energy into a recipe zine to share with family and friends.
2) Give back to your community
If volunteering is more your style, there are many places you can donate your time to help increase access to green space in your community. From planting trees and neighbourhood park clean ups to farmers’ markets and beyond. There are also many environmental non-profit organizations that could use your skills. Lend your passion and expertise in social media, design or photography to help a small organization get the word out about their environmental cause or campaign. Check goodwork.ca for available opportunities in your area.
3) Get outdoors
There is no better way to appreciate Mother Nature than by spending time outdoors. If you’re hesitant on where to start, your school or community may offer outdoor adventure classes or clubs. Get your friends to ditch the technology for an afternoon (or two) and partake in a little adventure: search for wildlife, play capture the flag or go hiking, ziplining, rock climbing, geocaching, caving—the opportunities are endless. Even a swim at the beach or bike ride through the neighbourhood will do.
4) Spread the word
Use your talents to help educate your family, friends, school and/or community about environmental sustainability. Organize an eco film screening, book club, concert, photo exhibit, dance or fashion show. Make shirts, buttons, posters, videos, zines or comics about what living green means to you. These events can function as fundraisers, where you can raise money for an environmental cause you’re passionate about. Also, don’t forget about the power of social media! Curate a YouTube playlist, Pinterest board, Twitter or Instagram hashtag or Facebook album of cool eco photos and videos.
5) It starts with you
Even the little things make a difference. Find out where your city’s dump is. Help your parents replace hazardous cleaning materials with eco-friendly ones. Use reusable water bottles, containers and grocery bags. Make a rain barrel to save water. Create a container garden (out of an old shoe or toy), green wall (out of a wood pallet) or composting bin (reuse a plastic or wood container). Tree Hugger (www.treehugger.com) has plenty of DIY articles and videos to get you started. Reduce what you buy. Conserve water when showering or brushing your teeth. Start composting. Recycle. Every little bit helps.