Reducing our carbon footprint

If the current weather trends continue, I hope to be able to both attend Spring Fever Days in Emo and rake and clean my yard by April 22.
Looking ahead on my cellphone, 10 days out gives hope that the days will be warmer. I am hoping the lawn will be dry.
I doubt I will be planting any trees on that day to mark the 40th anniversary of “Earth Day.”
Much has changed over the 45-year span since the birth of the environmental movement. Cars today do not resemble the gas-guzzlers of the 1970s. Our homes are far better insulated, requiring less energy for heating.
Tesla has introduced a long-distance affordable electrical car capable of travelling 345 km without a recharge, and available for under $35,000.
Across Canada, coal-fired coal plants are being shuttered and replaced with “green” energy electrical generation.
Major oil-producing international corporations, meanwhile, no longer are discarding the theory of global warming and instead researching new processes to extract oil while protecting the land and the air we breath.
On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement is scheduled to be signed by 120 countries around the world. The agreement marks a significant change in the world—recognizing that the world now has to work to control and reduce climate changes.
Locally, we can contribute to reducing our carbon footprint. It can be as simple as every household in Fort Frances planting a tree in their yard.
Across the district, we could encourage the use of reusable water bottles and bags—eliminating from our landfill sites the millions of plastic bags and disposable water bottles.
While those items can be recycled, less than 10 percent of plastic bottles and bags ever are used again.
We still are filling our landfills with computers, screens, TVs, iPods, and other electronic products that leach harmful chemicals into the soil when they could be dropped off at an electronic recycling centre.
All of those items can be recycled. In fact, there is a local electronics recycling depot in the district.
In larger centers, we are watching the recycling of building materials—from bricks to beams; from shiplap to cupboards, doors, hardware, and old trim. At one time it used to go into the landfills.
Even though the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market here has opened for the last time, local producers still are growing fresh produce. By buying locally, or even planting your own garden, the produce you will use is not being shipped long distances to the district.
Even Loblaws has discovered a whole new market for imperfect-looking fruits and vegetables.
What we once thought was garbage often is discovering a second life.

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