My life changed in November 2016 after hearing Tsleil-Waututh elder, Amy George speak at a rally in Vancouver. I'm sure there were other amazing speakers that day, but I was sobbing too hard to hear them. Amy spoke of the devastation in the Tar Sands and how her mission was to speak for all the innocent sea life and animals who have no voice and are under threat of extinction due to dirty politics and corporate greed. How Indigenous people's communities have been decimated and how people are dying from the effects of extraction. When the Kinder Morgan expansion was announced, Ta'ah (Grandma) simply told her people to "Warrior Up." And they have. Again and again and again. The People of the Inlet have been leaders in climate justice for tens of thousands of years and continue to lead today.
The biggest threat facing humanity is climate change. Surely we can all find some common ground there? If that becomes our baseline, all decisions have to be made with Momma Earth first. That's why building a new pipeline in 2018 seems insane. Does it really matter how many zeros you have in the bank if there's no planet?
The science is real and it's real scary. Change can't happen someday, it has to happen this day. As in right now.
And what about fresh air, the sound of a owl, healthy oceans and clean drinking water? What changes are we collectively willing to make to ensure their survival?
Starting on a itsy-bitsy local scale, a group of fellow merchants along with Oceans Ambassadors Canada are trying to change behaviour on one tiny street.
The amount of waste (particularly plastic waste) we create as a tiny community is unacceptable. Big lightbulb moment when you realize that waste doesn't ever really go "away." Recycling is a bit of myth and very little plastic is ever actually recycled. That means it's destined for the oceans where by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish.
I believe we can do better. I'm changing and I'm asking my fellow merchants to change. I'm also asking my community and our guests to change. Bring your own containers for take-out or leftovers and your own mugs for coffee. Refuse single-use packaging, ask more questions, demand change from local businesses and support them when they do change. Don't be that person that gets enraged because you can't have a straw anymore. And if you encounter that behaviour, tell the merchant YOU'RE GLAD they are making change. Give them a thumbs up or a hug. Let's be the Lower Mainland's first Zero Waste Community.
We all complain of traffic (present company included), but aren't walking, biking, or taking transit enough. Let's advocate for (and use) clean, renewable options to move in and out of the Cove so more people who live, work and visit can enjoy the ocean and the trees rather than the sound of horns, smell of exhaust and game of frogger trying to cross the street. With Greater Vancouver's population set to increase by 1.2 million people by 2040, we have to find new ways for people to move throughout the Lower Mainland. We can start that change here, on a tiny scale. I'm committed to taking transit somewhere every week and I'm lucky to walk to work already. Wanna be my bus buddy?! Norway is leading the world in Electric Ferry Technology. How RAD would it be to use our waterways to move people instead of oil? What if Canada led the world in fossil-fuel free shipbuilding?
Deep Cove's stunning nature can directly inspire more people to take better care of the planet. It's meant to be shared and we have an amazing opportunity to connect the preservation of that spectacular environment to changing individual behaviour. If we want X, stop doing Y. That sort of thing...
Thanks to everyone who's learning, changing and fighting for Momma Earth...and for supporting me and my little biz as we attempt to navigate these crazy ass times. xox