By Jessica Kirby
When I started with issue #1 of The Green Gazette, my children were six and two years old.
We played in the woods, baked wholesome treats, and spent rainy days snuggled in on the couch watching movies. Now, they are 16 and 12. We still play in the woods and bake wholesome treats, but rainy days are often spent differently, one doing art or tinkering, the other fuelled by the teenager drive for privacy. I sure miss those snuggles, but this is the independence we have fostered all along. We’ve also taught them to be their own person, love nature, and think about the true reach of their actions.
Looking back over eleven years writing for and editing The Green Gazette, this is the theme I have covered in more than 60 different ways: think about the consequences of your actions beyond the immediate space you occupy. Whether I was writing about trail running, coffee, voting, the United Nations, or sustainable Christmas—or discussing world peace with my son at bedtime, seed banks, legalizing weed, camping, mediation, or getting through COVID, the underlying theme was living the responsibility we all have to the environment and each other. Since I was a wee, wild thing, I have known that helping others and making your community better isn’t a choice. It is an honor and a privilege, and we need to take it seriously.
Sometimes we fear that change is too big. We think we have to go live with the gorillas or start a commune to make real change—not so. There are so many small but meaningful things we can do, and I’d like to leave you with three of my favourites:
- For the environment: No Mow May is a campaign to help protect wildflowers and pollinating insects, because both are in sharp decline. It means not mowing your lawn in May and only mowing once a month for the summer. Yes, if you love a tidy lawn like I do, you are going to lose it a little as the jungle grows out there, but when you see the diversity and critters that thrive in spring, you will get it. If you don’t care about critters and diversity, at least consider this: without bees there is no life on Earth, so… yea.
- For community: Eat local. The Cariboo-Chilcotin is bursting with local producers of everything from veggies to craft beer. Eating local reduces our carbon footprint and pollution; the food is fresher and more delicious; and it creates solid, meaningful connections with others. While you’re at it, consider growing something yourself. Growing a year’s worth of just one crop for your household has the environmental impact of taking 20 cars off the road.
- For yourself: Get. Out. Side. Accessing fresh air and green space at least 30 minutes every day has measurable impacts on your mental and physical health, and role modelling connection to nature will inspire others to do the same. Don’t overthink it and stop saying you don’t have time because you do: just get out there, take a big breath, and let science do its thing.
I want to thank Lisa and the gang for ten beautiful and fulfilling years; the writers for dedicating their words and hearts to sharing topics they deeply cherish; and Mother Earth for fighting the good fight. Let’s make sure we keep marching with Her for a greener, brighter future