The Environmental Action Team supports the One Planet Living Project, a project that brings together municipalities, businesses, schools and communities in Canada (Saanich), Denmark (Elsinore), South Africa (Durban), Tarusa (Russia) and the UK (Oxfordshire) to make our cities better places to live! Faith groups are invited to join.
The project points out the obvious- that we only have one Planet Earth, but as a global society we’re living as if we have several planets and consuming in ways which cannot be sustained. That means that a lot of things must change. But we also know that if we work together we can enjoy just as much comfort, more security and better health, while living lives that are enriching, fulfilling and sustainable. One Planet Living sets out to make this transition.
Reports of imminent crisis and global environmental peril at best should evoke anger and resolve to act. One Planet Living considers notions of guilt and helplessness as threatening the path of recovery. Leaders and trusted messengers should bepersuasive. They should activate empathy, and appeal to values. Be positive and determined with a will to succeed that builds optimism.
People can choose to think globally and act locally as many of us are doing. We are recycling better than ever but more can be done by getting rid of plastic containers and wrappings. Our home kitchens can become One Planet Change Centres.
A recent CBC News story by Emily Chung tells us that the choice of the food we cook and eat has a direct effect on carbon emissions. Reducing the amount of meat we eat can be beneficial. A graph shows the carbon emissions from food with the equivalent kilometres driven per kilogram of food.
It is in our power to prevent food waste, to buy locally to prevent CO2 emissions, to buy organics to avoid pesticides and chemicals, to not buy products from massive single crop plantations, to not buy farmed salmon, to cook more vegetarian meals, or simply eat less meat. I used to eat meat daily, but now once a week, and then I gorge on a big steak. I make it a reward. My vegetarian wife is not impressed.
We can choose carbohydrates with a low ‘Glycemic Index’ of 55 or less. This type of food is more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized. Reports claim that we will eat less. So we can eat well and help the planet too! We have the power to read labels, insist on labelling, and to avoid eating species at risk, plant our own gardens, preserve our own beets.
What we put in the family larder and how we use it can matter globally.