To The Editor,

It’s pretty discouraging when we look around these days: crisis in the healthcare system with no solutions in sight; climate change, the January occupation in Ottawa and the commission on the use of the Emergencies Act; the Saskatchewan’s Sovereignty Act, Québec’s oath to the King…

It’s easy to feel helpless before all these seemingly insurmountable issues.  However, this does not negate our personal responsibility and our power to act on them.  

Something struck me from the ongoing  commission on the use of the Emergencies Act. Our security institutions, such as the OPP and the RCMP, stated they already had  the powers to manage the Convoy and the border blockades. However, no one applied them. Therefore, the powers were useless. This lesson can also be applied to climate change.

While we wait for government plans for dealing with climate change, what are we doing personally? Has anything changed in the past year in our lives to reflect our efforts to lessen the impact on the environment? Has proper use of recycling increased? Do we know what can be recycled and what cannot? Besides recycling, Reducing and Reusing are the most important changes we must make. They are also the ones we speak the least about. 

Some companies now offer packaging to lessen waste. But that is not the point. We should not be looking for environmentally-friendly packaging for paper towels. Instead, we should be implementing a plan to entirely stop using paper towels, baggies and the like. Period.

Many have the habit of washing clothes each time they are worn. Instead we could be wearing them until they are soiled or smelly or until our jeans are freestanding in the corner. LOL. 

We are hooked on individually packaged servings of food. However, buying in bulk  and portioning at home costs less and allows us to reuse existing containers .  

I suggest that we each do a personal audit of the things we do well, the things we could improve and those that we need to start doing. Big things and little things. Take the kitchen and go through everything from the products we buy, the size of the containers, the packaging, even the use of the stove! Do the same for your laundry room. What products are really necessary and which ones can be switched out for reusable items like dryer balls? What chemicals are used in the products ? We don’t need to throw them out immediately, but as they become empty, consider replacing them with reusable products, or those that are somewhat safer for the environment.  

We all need to review our driving habits and gas consumption. There are many things that are better for the environment and lessen costs at the pump. Other little things, like when taking out the garbage, are we grouping them with our neighbors so that the garbage truck stops less often?  Are we putting our garbage out only when the can is full? The list goes on.

I would like to see a permanent column on our impact on climate change in The Review. As a community leader, The Review is already a source of information, a forum for discussion. Expanded  focus on climate change will also provide us with a weekly reminder of things we can do.

Like the example of the OPP and the RCMP, we have tools, responsibilities and power.  We need to use them.

It’s a drop in the bucket you say?  Well, let’s start filling our buckets!

J. Beauchamp