Our May 26 event, #StartWith1Thing, features the critically acclaimed film, Racing Extinction that explores the impacts of our food supply on the planet, the real possibility of over half the world’s species becoming extinct, and how human activity is affecting the very oceans, air and habitats on which we all depend. We see illegal wildlife trade, hunting and overfishing up close and one cannot help but be moved to make changes in the way we live our lives.
There are so many ways to lighten our impact on the planet and the animals we share it with. By way of our event, the work of our great Community Cause – Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society, and the film, Racing Extinction, we’re challenged and empowered to have an impact, even if we just #StartWith1Thing. So leading up to the event, we thought we’d offer 10 ideas to get started…
- Eat a more plant based diet. Our food supply is a major contributor to pollution, greenhouse gas emission, deforestation and damage to our oceans. Animal agriculture alone is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide and methane). This is more than the emissions from every single car, train, and plane on the planet combined. Take a diet challenge by following this link. Check out these great vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver –
- Grow your own food. Many of us have limited space for a full vegetable garden but fresh vegetables can be grown in a variety of ways. Planter boxes on roofs and patios are a great way to start. Check out this app (coming Spring 2016) to get you started. Another great way for urban dwellers to grow their own food is to join a community garden in the city. The City of Vancouver has a great webpage for more information
3. Choose your seafood wisely. Living in the Pacific Northwest gives us access to the freshest and most delicious seafood available. 90% percent of the world’s fisheries are fully fished or overfished. Overfishing, habitat destruction, and unsustainable catch practices are depleting marine life faster than can be replaced. However, there are many solutions to this problem, starting with choosing sustainable seafood. Take a challenge by following this link.The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. There are over 650 Ocean Wise partners across Canada. Look for the symbol or ask for it at your local fish counter.
4. Choose sustainable transport: If you drive a car every day, you are certainly not the only one. In the U.S. alone, there are 1.3 people for every car. Transportation, however, accounts for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and animals around the planet pay the price every time we start our engines. Follow this link to take challenge and consider these alternatives to driving your car – walk, bike, take public transportation, use a rideshare program, or carpool.
5. Re-think how your shop for food & household items. Here are some tips from Zero Waste Market opening in Vancouver later this year;
- Always use reusable carry bags. Stash them in your backpack, purse, bike basket or trunk so that you always have them on hand.
- Bring reusable cloth bags, containers, jars etc. to refill with bulk dry and liquid items. More and more businesses are willing to let you refill your own containers; scout these out and make sure to support those that do.
- Use large glass jars or containers to fill up on toiletries and household cleaning supplies such as shampoo, conditioner, vinegar, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc. Check out The Soap Dispensary store on Main St.
6. Shop at farmers markets. There’s no better way to support your local food system than buying local and organically grown produce. If you bring back the empty egg cartons and berry containers – many stands are happy to reuse these. This great website has all the information you need to visit several farmers markets in the area.
7. Support local natural and sustainable food companies. Vancouver is chock full of local and healthy food choices. In addition to farmers markets, many of the products you see in local grocery stores such as nutritional supplements, breakfast cereal and snacks are made right here.
8. Support your local breweries and wineries. There are several craft breweries and small wine makers in the area that offer refillable beer growlers and wine bottles. Some of our favorites are – 33 Acres Brewing Co (try the 33 Acres of Life), Bomber Brewing, the Vancouver Urban Winery and Backyard Vineyards
9. Audit your business or workplace for green practices. The City of Vancouver has a great resource for businesses to up thier game and take action. Check out these programs for businesses for more ideas and local resources.
10. Make your home more sustainable. You may not think about energy as something we all “consume” every day, but it is, and taking a few simple steps to reduce your own energy consumption can have a huge, long-term impact on saving animals. Oil collected to generate electricity and power in our homes and buildings has dire consequences for some of our most threatened animals. Follow this link to take a challenge. The City of Vancouver also has tips and ideas on their website to make your home more sustainable.If you are considering a renovation soon, check out this local company – Green Works Building Supply for eco friendly ideas and products.
These are just a few of the ways we can have a big impact by creating small changes in our daily lives. To find out more please join us for an inspiring evening on May 26th including a screening of the Academy-Award nominated Racing Extinction and leave ready to #startwith1thing