Rethinking Community Environmentalism

Two Bowmanville residents discuss the importance of environmentalism to them and the most pressing environmental issues in Canada today.

monica1Monica Ryan, 20, says she wants to one day have kids who can see a more sustainable planet.

Monica Ryan, a speech and language sciences student at Brock University, says the most prominent environmental issue is global warming and the emissions of greenhouse gases.

Canada ranks ninth of the top ten emitters in the world of greenhouse gases, and Ryan says this concerns her because the emissions lead to the depletion of the ozone layer and habitat destruction across the globe.

A further fear for many is what impact global warming will have on future generations and how much personal responsibility should be taken.

The government should take action in educating and raising awareness about critical environmental issues, Ryan says.

She suggests financial incentives and tax breaks for those who utilize renewable energy sources.

The nature of a capitalist society makes it easy to lose focus of making sustainable choices.

Actions such as using a reusable water bottle, carpooling and bringing your own bags to the grocery stores are easy ways to Ryan says she practices environmentally conscious behaviour.

Tyler Stacey, an inspection technician at Ontario Power Generation, says sustainability needs to start right in the community.

tyler1.jpgTyler Stacey, 32, says there’s a lot of new and exciting ideas out there to live more sustainably.

“If I were to change anything, I would change how we are building and planning our communities. That’s changing things at the ground level for me,” Stacey says.

This would include changing the ways homes are built and the planning and development of communities, he said.

“We just do silly things,” says Stacey.

Environmentalism plays a big role in his life, he says: “I think about it all the time. Anything I read or listen to through media is usually related to that sort of stuff. Everything I do, it has some sort of mindset, either an associative feeling of guilt or just trying to be conscious.”

Although he works in the nuclear industry, Stacey says if a creative approach is taken, that industry could be the key to getting off of fossil fuels.

Adopting a mindset open to change, and offering tax breaks to those who do use renewable energy “would be for the good of everybody and it would ultimately bring down our carbon footprint,” says Stacey.

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