I don’t think of myself as a writer. I am an artist, an organizer, a problem solver. In the last few years I have become a passionate environmentalist. But it can be very discouraging to be passionate about something that few people seems to notice. So I am here to write, to put a voice to the things I care about in the hope that I can inspire and encourage others to care as well.
As a creative person my first passion was fashion. My approach to fashion design was not to create the next great look, it was driven by the fact I couldn’t find what I wanted to wear in the stores. The clothes were flimsy or lacked functionality or just plain didn’t fit. Plus I had no money for new clothes. So to solve my problem, I made my own. It was my plan to study fashion design but it was not to be. I have since learned that the fashion is the second most polluting industry after fossil fuels. But there are people starting to change the way the industry works. They are currently on the fringes and they need to be talked about more.
My second creative passion is Photography. I see it as a wonderful mix of logic, science and creativity. But its history does not have a good record. The chemicals used in the developing process were toxic and often not disposed of properly. With the advance of digital we have eliminated the messy darkroom but the chemicals needed to make electronics have a shady reality. But photography has a powerful pull. We live in a visual age. As a photographer I want to celebrate nature through my images. To remind people what we need to save and protect. There are others doing the same – National Geographic and the International League of Conservation Photographers – are just two examples.
A few years ago, my husband and I bought a 1 acre cottage property in Southern Ontario. It’s an awkward piece of land, surrounded by wetlands and farmland. But its ours and we have worked hard to turn it into something special. As we began to work the land, we started to learn about life in the country, about gardening, soil structure, and water management. We also become more aware of what it really takes to run a household. We are lucky to have a gas pipeline to our house. Some of our neighbours are still using propane tanks. We also have electricity but everyone pays a delivery charge to their electricity provider and the further you are from a city centre the more you pay. Finally, for us water has to be trucked in from the nearest town and put in our cistern. When you have a limited supply of water you really start to be aware of how much you use where it comes from.
Living in the country has awakened in me an awareness of nature and how people have almost forgotten what we depend on to survive – air, water, earth. All of these elements are fragile when faced with humanity’s demands. More and more each day I see how we need to change how we think about the world. The planet is hurting and we are moving too slow to fix the problems we created. The environmental issues we face are not new, people have been raising red flag since the 60s. And yet, here we are, still.
We know clearly what has gone wrong. So every day I read books and scour the internet looking for good news, looking for people who are actively making a difference for the environment in everything from fashion to new technologies. Because they are my inspiration, they show me that we CAN make a difference. What we choose not to buy, what we choose to eat, where we live and how we live, I believe, I have to believe, can solve the problems we currently face. Through these posts I hope to share the information I find and encourage new awareness. With our actions, we can save the planet.