Thunder in February, ice storm in April, flooding, snow, fires, hurricanes, droughts and more. Things that were once considered rare occurrences are becoming so frequent that people are beginning to wonder if this is the new normal. The impacts of these events are devastating for some as they struggle with power outages, flooding and more.
What is it?
Climate change is a shift in global or regional climate patterns. Scientists have acknowledged that the pattern of change connects with human use of fossil fuels. As a result, governments, corporations and individuals have been challenged to explore ways to reduce our impact on the environment. These plans are often available online to help individuals and families explore what is being done. Check out these links to find out what is happening in Canada, Ontario, Windsor and Essex township.
Why should families be worried?
Scientists have documented a notable and alarming shift in the average temperatures in the world since the beginning of the industrial age. This increase is growing exponentially. Based on the atypical weather patterns already experienced and the understanding of the delicate balance of nature, scientists are increasingly worried about the implications if our current consumption patterns continue unchanged. Rising sea levels, increased intensity of storms, droughts decimating farming regions, loss of land, and more are predicted if the average temperature continues to rise. As a result, the world our children know would be far more tumultuous than we have right now.
What can families do?
There is a Navajo saying: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors – we borrow it from our children.” There is lots of information available today about the ways in which our choices negatively impact the earth and opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint. Activities in the home could include:
- reducing water consumption,
- switching to “energy star” appliances and LED lights,
- using rain barrels to water gardens and lawns,
- introducing native plants in our gardens,
- taking advantage of the microFit project and installing solar panels,
- reducing our use of gasoline in lawnmowers and cars,
- buying fuel efficient and/or electric vehicles,
- making our homes more energy efficient and
- using reusable bags instead of plastic whenever possible.
Grants for many of these projects are available through the various governments in an effort to encourage folks to change our habits.
Earth Day activities are one of the ways to educate ourselves on our options so that our choices will not make the world harder for our children. Windsor-Essex hosts an annual event at Malden Park to raise awareness, answer questions and connect individuals to alternatives. At times our efforts may feel like a drop in a bucket but remember even a drop makes ripples. Talk as a family and decide what you want to do together to make this world better for the children who will inherit this earth.
Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today. Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/