My climate angst is something I’ve lived with for nearly a dozen years. In that time I’ve gone from passive despairer to active agitator. I couldn’t look my children in the eyes if I wasn’t doing everything possible to fight the climate crisis. Some days I still can’t.
I believe that individual action can lead to systems change. Of course, the burden of fixing the climate has been unfairly heaped onto individuals, by actors both nefarious and oblivious. Over the previous decades, corporations have turned a huge global challenge into "your personal problem." And we know that shifting blame from production to consumption is part of theclimate delay toolkit.
But at the same time, if it’s individual action that catalyzes systems change, then my decisions matter. Government and decision makers don’t change unless we force them to change.
There’s just one small wrinkle in this plan. Individual action is a full-time job. Constantly weighing up how to live to help ensure our planet will be habitable for future generations takes more time than most of us have. It’s all the more difficult when we’re trying to pay our bills, keep the COVID at bay and, you know, not lose our minds.
If you’re old enough to remember life before food labels, you’ll understand the difficulty of trying to make good choices in a vacuum.
These days, thanks to nutritional labels it’s much easier to ballpark whether a food is healthy or not. However, without good information about a product’s environmental impact, it’s almost impossible to determine which choices are the most sustainable.
In a recent poll conducted by Leger/Clean Prosperity, three in four Canadians said they considered the carbon footprint of their purchases occasionally or less, but 71 per cent supported labelling products with the carbon emissions they generated. Some large consumer packaged goods companies like Unileverhave pledged to carbon label their goods in the coming years, and this...