Consumer choices matter, but so does policy change

We are hearing a lot about what each one of us can do to help protect the planet. I am a fan of everyone doing their part to save Mother Earth. It is important that we all start caring and doing what we can as individuals. However, we need to do more. Recycling your paper waste or buying organic lettuce is not the only part of the solution we need to work on. We need to ensure that the necessary laws and market signals are implemented that will affect how large industries behave. And in order to do that, we need to support the environmental groups, think tanks and conservation organizations that are working to promote these changes.

For well over 30 years, many of these groups, like Nature Canada, World Wildlife Fund, Pembina Institute, the Sierra Club, and the coalition of over 20 environmental groups known as the Green Budget Coalition (and many others), have been developing policy proposals and submitting these ideas to various levels of government and industry. A few years ago, the only people talking about a carbon tax were the environmental groups. Now, everyone is talking about it and it is a serious policy option. Creating national parks, developing registries for pollution, establishing laws to assess environmental impacts of large developments, or to protect species at risk and our oceans — all have been promoted by environmental and conservation groups, with the financial and moral support of their members and supporters.

Please continue to recycle, change your light bulbs, drive less and eat locally grown organic foods. But do more than that….contribute your time, energy and money to organizations that have been working toward systemic change to make the world a better place for ourselves, for our children’s children and for all other species that share our planet.