As 2007 draws to a close we write our last column of the year. It is a time for looking back and a time for looking forward to 2008.
From an environmental standpoint, 2007 was another year where global inputs of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases continued to change the climate, and where our leaders argued over environmental policy but didn’t manage to accomplish much.
On the plus side, it was also a year where concerns about the environment were consistently among the top concerns of Canadians, where progress continued in municipal recycling programs, and where the energy efficiency of everything from cars to household appliances to light bulbs became a top selling point (rising fuel costs helped out with this, too).
It was also a year where, internationally, heightened awareness of environmental issues and the cost of ignoring them gave rise to a new definition of peace with the Nobel Peace Prize going to Al Gore and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) for their work in raising awareness of global warming.
Personally, it was the year we began exhorting our fellow citizens to live in a more environmentally friendly manner through this column and consequently found ourselves striving to live ever greener. We thought this would be a good time to formulate some goals (resolutions, if you will) for the way we hope to live our lives in 2008. Here are some of our resolutions:
• We resolve to drive less. We will walk or take public transit where we can and try to organize ourselves so we accomplish more with each car trip.
•We resolve to eat local foods as much as possible and try to resist the seductive wiles of out-of-season bounty shipped to us at great cost from afar.
• We resolve to replace our few remaining incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs that use a fraction of the electricity.
•We resolve to NEVER use herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers on our lawn because the run-off impacts water quality in surface waters and groundwater.
•We resolve to perform as many upgrades to our house as we can afford to make it more energy efficient.
•We resolve to buy products made from recycled materials wherever possible and to request these products in stores that don’t already stock them.
•We resolve to reuse anything we can and to resist the urge to buy new things we don’t really need.
•We resolve to take time to enjoy the outdoors and remember why we are working so hard to preserve the beauty around us for the future.
•And we resolve to continue to nag the long-suffering Metro readers to join us in trying to tread more lightly on the Earth.
So thank you for reading our column this year and a Happy New Year to all.