It was a peaceful climate justice protest organized by a high school student inspired by activist Greta Thunberg. A man approached us to say he fully supported what we were doing; and in the next breath said he hoped we didn’t think the carbon tax was going to make a difference. A fellow protester asked him what approach we should take: “Reduce, reuse and recycle. Just like we’ve always done.” Our visitor then jumped into his car and drove away.
Type “gym membership,” “fitness,” “diet,” or “smoking cessation” into Google Trends (a very cool online tool) and you’ll see that searches for all of them spike in early January. No coincidence: with a new year many of us resolve to turn over a new leaf, develop good habits and curb bad ones. By the end of January searches for those terms drop off and, unfortunately, by then many New Year’s resolutions are abandoned.
We asked experts in a number of fields for their thoughts. What’s a single piece of advice they’d offer? What’s a resolution that might be manageable and is definitely worth doing? What could help ensure we stick with it?
Here are their suggestions. The areas covered include healthy eating, fitness, substance use and abuse, and the environment.
Imagine that you are standing on the water tower in Fenelon Falls, looking as far as the eye can see. To the north lies Coboconk, to the east Bobcaygeon. To the south is Lindsay and to the west Beaverton. Except that you can’t see any of these places. Instead all you see is bare earth, roads and trucks driving deeper and deeper into excavated dirt. In fact, as far south as Pontypool there is no vegetation, just dirt piled higher and higher as the trucks go deeper.
This is what I saw when I went to the oil sands four years ago. An entire ecosystem destroyed, with the result that even those who live far outside of the tar sands can’t find animals to hunt anymore, berries to eat anymore, water that doesn’t give them cancer.