In my clinic, I've been hearing people's increasing awareness and concurrent increasing anxiety regarding the science of climate change and our response to that. The International Panel on Climate Change 2019 is the most recent comprehensive assessment report about knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response options. This article is a collection of how we can live a climate aware life and, at the same time, a personally healthier life too!
By living a climate change aware life……
You'd breathe in cleaner air, rushing around a little less, enjoy better work-life balance by reducing your travel in our vehicles to needs based travel only.
You'd have a level body weight, listen to the birds, the wind, the scents and notice your neighbourhood and neighbours by biking or walking.
You'd enjoy a staycation, a local, stress-free holiday, a weekend or picnic at one of our beautiful Kootenay locations, spend less and have less travel stress by stopping flying and planning a holiday near home.
You'd eat real food, mostly plants, not too much, Michael Pollan's prescription for a healthier planet and a healthier you.
You'd enjoy seasonal and local food, aware of the food miles in your meals, preserve rainforests faraway and enjoying creative cooking, food growing and storing in your own kitchen.
You'd grow some of your own food in the Victory Garden kind of way, proud of what you produce yourself with your home soil and your own hands, making the meal on the table even yummier!
You'd get to know your farmer and how they farm, supporting organic, soil restoration practices, aware of our precious pollinators and providing carbon capture by eliminating tillage/carbon loss!
If you continue to eat meat, you'd enjoy an occasional meal of grass fed, pastured beef which (check the research) contributes to soil health and is a carbon capture system, like the buffalo that roamed our prairies and the elephants on the savanna in Africa!
You'd simplify your home, manage less clutter, less stuff, less purchasing, less maintaining, less storing and dusting. Your needs reduce and there's a little more money in the bank and/or a need to earn less!
You'd reduce the plastic load in the world by reducing the plastic purchase and use in your life, from straws to shopping bags to storage items…..perhaps even not buying groceries or "things" that come in plastic packaging. Finding your personal care/cosmetics/toothpaste that have plastic microbeads in them in a next step and choosing other options.
You'd reduce your busyness, lie in a hammock more, read a book, attending to today's gift of being truly present, grateful for living in this amazingly beautiful valley!
You'd feel a renewed sense of hope by acting with compassion for those who are suffering most from weather weirding/floods/fires, especially those in the developing world and our next generations.
You'd lower your energy demands and costs by turning off lights, mowing your lawn minimally, electrifying your tools (lawnmower, chainsaw, car) insodoing making the jobs more enjoyable and less noisy, drying your clothes on a clothesline or rack, washing dishes by hands with your kids, using all your food wisely and having less food waste,
You'd help your neighbour who works in the fossil fuel industry transition over to working in alternative energy by buying less gas and oil yourself, eating locally and employing them to add alternative energy (solar, wind, microhydro, upgrading your house efficiency) to your own home.
You'd experience a sense of wonder by slowing down, walking mindfully, breathing in some clean air deeply, less rushing, consuming and spending, visiting more, enjoying life more.
You'd enjoy a sense of partnership in a healthy future, rather than living in fear of the climate crisis, leaning into a healthier future for your body, your family, our town, in our region. RDCK has signed onto the 100% Renewable Kootenays commitment by 2050 and we can enjoy being part of a climate aware region!
We live in such a beautiful corner of the world. Becoming an active force, taking personal actions, will help you have a sense of hope and a commitment to the future for our children and grandchildren.