Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let’s Save the Planet

- A plug for harmony

My favourite colour is green. Always has been. I think that started b/c my Grandma once told me HER favourite colour was green, but then as I aged, I came to recognize my love for nature and all growing things and green just fit.

I grew up and followed one career path which led me to pursue a degree in Agroecology. Basically an Agriculture degree with an Environmental twist. It seemed to fit who I was. Unfortunately it did not fit where the world was at. Being part of an inaugural class for a new degree program had its drawbacks. None of us could get a job at the end of it!! We were a hybrid of 2 industries that often turn up their nose at each other. The ag-industries tend to promote chemical use for fertilizer & yield – THEY did not want an environmentalist on staff. The Environmental companies wondered why on Earth we would choose to support the Ag industry and they felt we were a little too UNgreen for them. So, of the 16 of us that graduated that year, a few got their Master’s degree (along a more straight agricultural path), some became teachers and I think there are a few pharmacists even! I don’t know anyone who has succeeded as an agroecologist and I don’t even know if the program still exists.

The powers that be shook their heads at this result and figured this degree was perhaps ahead of its time. They saw the positives in a merge of these 2 very different (yet in many ways very similar) areas. But the industries themselves were not willing to consider a compromise.

On a more grandiose scale, I look at our planet. We have people trying to save it from an environmental perspective, and we have people trying to save it from a humanitarian perspective. 2 seemingly different campaigns, yet with a surprising amount of overlap.

In Africa, much of the slave trade revolves around people wanting to harvest mass quantities of natural mineral resources. Lives are being destroyed as the planet is being destroyed.

I’ve taken to scrolling various blogs on the matter and so many exist! You see the word GREEN all over! What does this word mean to you? How committed are people to saving the planet? There is a whole industry devoted to GREEN. From toilet cleaners to environmental air fresheners and detergents. Really, I don’t think stuff like that is making much of a difference – give me straight up baking soda & vinegar.

What if things were brought into balance?? Is such a thing even possible? If people weren’t so keen on living with such excess, how different would things look?

The current slave trade is alive & well because the demand is there. It is there for diamonds, other precious metals, coffee and others. If the demand didn’t exist, neither would slavery. The human trafficking of children for the sex industry would not exist either. It all comes down to demand.

Caring for our planet is a wonderful thing and I will be the first to celebrate someone’s efforts, no matter how small. But the people of our planet are also in need of care and I don’t just mean putting in a tin of something from your cupboard that you don’t think you’ll ever eat into the harvest bin. Think bigger!!

Demand creates a need for supply.

We continue to demand from our planet and from the people who inhabit it. These people don’t have a face we may recognize, but we do need to recognize that they are the ones providing the supply for our demand.

Support the companies that truly have our planet and her people in their best interest. Sometimes you have to look for them. They are there and they will continue to get stronger if people continue to demand for them! Slowly, slowly, requests for change ARE happening. It’s not time to kick our feet up and rest just yet, but it is cause to celebrate!

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