Last week, the IPCC’s sixth assessment of climate change was released, and it’s frankly terrifying. Which honestly just feels like a lot to take in, after living with COVID-19 for almost two years, and a summer of heat domes and wildfires, residential school revelations, Afghanistan, insurgencies, police brutality, all the upheaval. It’s like, really, MORE? I’m not sure my nervous system can digest this. Interestingly, I haven’t had a single conversation with anyone about it. Like it’s landed to crickets and radio silence and I can only assume that no-one really has the capacity. It’s just too big. And there’s only a few more weeks of summer and can I not just enjoy a drinkie by the pool for a few days more?
The first, wraps up our explorations last week of Zero Waste living.
In 2020 the Squamish Regional District conducted a Waste Composition Audit to get a better understanding of what people are putting in the garbage.
Here are the results from the Pemberton Waste Transfer Station:
33% of the waste sent to landfill was recyclable, 38.3% was compostable and 28.7% was actual waste.
A total of 71.3% of the waste could have been diverted from landfill through recycling or composting.
10% of the compostable organics was avoidable food waste.
The second comes from the Zero Waste Chef, Anne Marie Bonneau, who responded to the news with a list of things we can do, including the urge not not give in to climate doomism. “We have the tools in hand now to address the climate crisis. And every time we prevent greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere, we reduce just how hot the climate gets.” And, she said, you must still eat.
Wasted food accounts for between 8 and 10 percent of manmade greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN Food Waste Index Report 2021. Slashing your food waste boosts your bank account, inspires creativity in the kitchen and results in tastier dishes.
And books are always a wonderful refuge. Here’s her list of reads: https://zerowastechef.com/2021/08/12/media-picks-coping-ipcc-assessment-ecoanxiety/
Progress not perfection is what we’re about here… Baby steps. Incrementalism. Little moves, facing the right direction, to add up to great gains. Let’s just turn and face the future we want to live in. Dream it up. Catch a vision of it. In my vision of it, everyone sits down at the end of the day to a healthy plate of food. It’s enough to satisfy and nourish them. It’s fresh, delicious, mostly plant-based, deeply local and seasonal. Their eyes light up, their tongues tingle, they feel energized. And when they’re done, any scraps get scraped into the compost bin and become soil to nourish the gardens next season. I dream that we create a generation of super creative makers, like a ton of artists I follow, who work not with raw materials, but with pre-existing materials, scraps, leftovers, recyclables, repurposing and reinventing things and feeling immense pleasure in our creative expression and inventiveness. I dream a future where Nature gets to sigh with relief as we all being to move a bit more slowly, and start to take real pleasure, leisurely pleasure in our lives. We cut our to-do lists in half. We cut our debt. We cut our work weeks to no more than 4 days, and our work years take a long summer break… all of us. Everyone. We have time for conversations on the street corner, we have time to make more food from scratch, we have time to read a book for fun, we have time to compost and divert our garbage, because we’ve stopped rushing from fool’s mission to deadline to overwork and over programming… and we learn to breathe again. That’s the vision I’m holding. What’s yours?