Paper straws are seen at a market in Montreal. Canada’s ban on the manufacture and import for sale of some plastic items, including grocery bags and straws, has taken effect.
Healing

Healing the planet with 1,000 positive actions

My resolution this year is to investigate the good things happening in the world instead of being trapped in a downward spiral of death in a thousandth. There are thousands, if not millions, of remedial actions by governments, businesses, nonprofits and individuals to combat climate degradation and the associated environmental damage. All of them can have a positive ripple effect. But first we need to know about them.

I’ve underestimated my LinkedIn news feed, but recently I’ve realized it’s a treasure trove of remedial actions. In no particular order or importance, these caught my attention:

  • Canadian ban on single-use plastics Includes “safe bags, cutlery, food service utensils made of hard-to-recycle plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws”. The progressive ban begins with a ban on the import and manufacture of these products and ends with a ban on their sale over the next two years, which is estimated to amount to around one million bags of plastic waste.

While the ubiquitous big green garbage bags are NOT banned, they have an interesting history. It was invented in Manitoba in 1950. Harry Wasylyk and Lindsay-based Larry Hansen, who worked for Union Carbide, which bought the rights 10 years later. Even though its intended use is for hospital waste, the contribution of the bags to sanitation, odor and vermin reduction everywhere is immeasurable.

  • This Ontario Farmland FoundationJust added two farms to its protected farmland bank, a nonprofit that preserves and preserves farmland forever.
  • A new research paper titled “Managing what we measure”Textile Waste in Ontario, Canada: Reuse and recycling opportunitiesSabine Weber (Seneca College) and Olaf Weber, Komal Habib and Goretty Maria Dias (University of Waterloo School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, SEED) shared the surprising fact: “Global fashion consumption doubled from 2000 to 2014.” They concluded that of Canada’s 176,343 tonnes of textile waste annually, “65 percent … can be reused and 21 percent recycled … resulting in huge environmental benefits and economic savings.”

  • On a related note, Rax A new peer-to-peer wardrobe rental app launched by 26-year-old founder Marley Alles. The app — raxapp.ca — offers “maternity wear, kids apparel or short-term costume, suits, dress rentals” and more to save money and reduce textile waste as mentioned above.
  • City Syracuse, NY, has adopted a detailed plan for new home construction from 2025 and for zero-emission heating and cooling in existing homes by 2030 to address climate change.
  • Redundancy to Purpose Near Leeds, England, is a non-profit organization that reduces food waste with “stop (by) edible products to landfill”. They have a food service as well as a store where people can fill a bin for a flat fee.

All of these initiatives to make a measurable difference in our collective carbon footprint can be easily adopted in any community, including our own.

I dream of a new climate-friendly Golden Age. Eric Weiner, in his book “Geography of Genius,” said, “What is honored in a country is cultivated there.”

The interplay of disciplines, Scots chemistry, geology, engineering, economics, sociology, philosophy and poetry and painting.” We can count on the Scots for calendars, flush toilets, refrigerators, bicycles, hypodermic injections, anesthetics, empathy, morality and common sense.

“The Scots… weren’t interested in counting angels on the pinhead. They made those angels work.”

Do we know?

Susan Koswan is an independent contributing columnist for The Record based in the Waterloo District. Follow him on Twitter: @SKoswan


#Healing #planet #positive #actions

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