Tag Archives: Environmental impact

The Good Planet Project

There are a lot of good people in the world, although sometimes it may be hard to believe when we are bombarded with negativity, greed, and consumerism on all sides. I remember reading once that all that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to meet some of the people who are fighting the good fight. Dylan Leeder, the founder of the Good Planet Project and his travelling companion Brittney stopped in at Generation Green. It was one of many stops during their road trip across Canada.

When I first met them, they seemed like very humble and kind people. They had had trouble finding parking for their van, just like anyone else would in Downtown Winnipeg. When they arrived, we made sure to serve them some coffee from Acorn Cafe, and we just…talked.

In one short hour, I felt more inspired than I had all summer to make a change in my lifestyle, to travel, to be open minded…

And I want to share this feeling with you. This is the feeling that can spark a movement, make changes, empower people.

So let’s start at the beginning. What is the Good Planet project?

The first thing you’ll see on their website is that the Good Planet Project is a documentary exploration of the people, lifestyles, and efforts that are dedicated towards the repair and conservation of our planet. Dylan has been driving across Canada in a self-made van, decked out with solar panels, trying to find the ways in which people are facing environmental issues in their own cities. Through photography, Dylan is also showing people the natural beauty of our country and inspiring us to protect it in order to keep it that way.

They told us about their travels and their goals. When we asked how they had found us, a small business in the heart of Winnipeg, they told us that after a quick Instagram search of ‘sustainability Winnipeg,’ we were the first thing to pop up. Although I’m happy that my workplace is apparently the hub of sustainable and healthy living in Winnipeg according to Instagram, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that there weren’t more results.

As we were talking, the conversation steered toward the difficulties of trying to change a system while still being a part of it.

Allow me to this explain further.

Dylan has had his own struggles with this. For over eight years, he worked in the advertising industry. The work took its toll on him. He felt a lot of guilt about the work that he did, the unnecessary products he encouraged people to buy, and how much of those products have ended up in a landfill. He goes into more detail on his website, so be sure to check that out.

I think that a lot of us can relate to this feeling. So much of the work that we do to support ourselves and our families involves doing things that may go against our values. Maybe that means sitting at a desk all day when you really wish you could be working outside. Maybe it means working in building or planning, and knowing that you have to tear down nature to build up a house or business or road. Maybe you work with food and drink, and see how much of it goes to waste every single day.

Within capitalism, we find so many contradictions. Not to get too technical here, but the exploitation that comes with capitalism – the exploitation of the worker, the environment, the children, the poor – is not sustainable, and eventually it will fall apart. Our planet does not contain unlimited resources, and sooner  or later we are going to run out. It’s just a question of what we’re going to use up first.

But in order to do something about this, it’s pretty much impossible to both reject capitalism and fight it effectively. The most difficult issue to get around is money. It’s pretty much impossible to live in this society without money. You have to buy things to support yourself and when you do this, you are supporting the industry. Short of moving to the middle of nowhere and growing all your own food, providing all your own power and being completely self-sufficient, you can’t completely reject the unsustainable system we are all living in.

Take Dylan’s project for example. One of the things we discussed is the contradiction between driving across Canada to find ways to save the environment and live sustainably, while driving across Canada in a gas-guzzling van.

But what I learned from Dylan and Brittney is that you have to make the best of what you’re given. The optimism and inspiration that they have brought with them through this country have done a lot to counteract the emissions from their van. There is a lot to be said about just doing what you can. For example, they have outfitted their van with solar panels, as I mentioned, and they are very conscious of their potential impacts on the environment.

Being conscious, and wanting to do the best you can are integral to living sustainably, or in developing any skill. Once you are self-aware and have a desire to improve, it’s hard not to change.

I look forward to following the rest of Dylan and Brittney’ journey as they return home to Calgary and begin to debrief everything they have learned on their travels. Stay tuned to The Good Planet Project to learn more, and hopefully get inspired to be one of the good people!

Series written by Chantal Delaquis

 

Our Top 5 Picks for Waste Free Living

The change starts with you! It simply must.

The time is now to start making changes towards producing less waste, even small ones make a collective difference!  We can no longer deny the environmental impacts that we as a society have contributed to and now must work diligently to rectify!

There are so many everyday items that we could easily convert to reusable and it won’t hurt a bit! We promise!!

#1 is reusable bags! It’s our hope that the more people who make this simple switch will have everyone easily shouting BAN plastic bags!!  From reusable shoppers, produce bags and even bread bags, we have options for you!!

Did you know…

“Plastic bags are not biodegradable, they are “degradable”, which means that they will break down into smaller and smaller pieces until they form micro plastics but they will never disappear from the environment altogether. Plastic bags take between 15 and 1000 years to degrade. The problem here is that these micro plastics can enter the food chain, ending up inside animals and even humans”.

#2 is plastic food wrap!! We offer Colibri reusable sandwich and snack bags, Onyx stainless steel food containers and Abeego beeswax wraps.  These all work well to eliminate the need to wrap your food in plastic food wrap.

Did you know…

“BPA and some phthalates (found in plastic food wrap) are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can mimic the body’s natural hormones and cause a raft of health problems. There is growing scientific evidence that even at lower levels of exposure, phthalates and BPA may be causing problems such as infertility, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and diabetes”.

#3 is a reusable straw! Carry your own stainless steel or glass straw and say no thanks when a straw is offered!

Did you know…

“Plastic is a material made to last forever, yet 33 percent of all plastic – water bottles, bags and straws – are used just once and thrown away. Plastic cannot biodegrade!

#4 is a vessel for your beverage, water, coffee, tea, ditch the disposable cup!! Or if you reeeeally need one, make sure it’s compostable and that there is a compost collection happening on site.  Actually insist upon it!

Did you know…

“The more we insist & persist, then changes begin!  The choices you make are the reasons why things continue as they do.  We vote with every purchase, so if you don’t support the options given that’s when things will be forced to change!”

#5  Purchase items that can be refilled or even better, where you can re-use your own container to fill  (like at Generation Green tee hee!).

Did you know…

“Refill, Reduce & Re-use are the “R’s” we love at Generation Green! We have gotten so “used” to recycling that some think almost everything can be recycled and neglect the reduce, reuse.  The other thing we turn a blind eye to is that recycling uses energy and raw materials which in turn impacts the environment.  Recycling has its place but it really needs to be the last R we use.”

Sometimes problems can seem so overwhelming and just too huge to tackle, and I get that!  We are human, we get tired of never-ending problems, life stresses and hearing about world issues. Personally, for a long time the issues I was hearing about scared me to the point of  panic and having anxiety.  This feeling was amplified even more after I started having children. I was scared for them and what type of world they were going to grow up in. I’m sure many others can relate to this feeling. Eventually I realized I was going to either continue to contribute to the problems or make changes to not be a part of it, and maybe possibly even make it better.

 I’ll be honest in saying this took time as it’s difficult to face the big truths and start actively participating in the solutions.

We want you to know that at Generation Green we are here for you, if you are just starting to face the big issues, and need a little hand holding to do it! We also love learning from all of you that have taken on the role of the trail blazers! Your suggestions, ideas, guidance and wisdom is gratefully received!

Thanks for reading & for doing your part!  Sherry Sobey

Information respectfully sourced from:

One Million Women

The Plastic Straw

Choice.com