For a year or two I have been reading the occasion article at Riot 4 Austerity about a challenge where participants attempt to reduce their emissions by 90% in order to prove that Americans can limit themselves to what their fair share of the worlds emission should be if we are to limit the damage caused by global warming. The challenge is extreme yet a large a number of people have taken it up with well over 60 people contributing to the site alone and probably very many more taking the challenge in silence.
What these people are trying to achieve shatters the western norm and should be an example for all of us to contemplate if not emulate, that said no matter how admirable their actions seem it's always somewhat distant and abstract because they are not someone I know or someone who is local.
Well tonight I was at a presentation by Mike Nickerson in promotion of his new book Life, Money and Illusion (Living on Earth as if we want to stay) and was introduced to Tara Mae Hillyer who like the Rioters has created her own one year challenge called Four Seasons of Green. The description of her challenge is such
The journey of a suburban family taking the challenge to reduce their carbon footprint by becoming environmentally responsible for their own waste and bi-products as well as socially accountable through their consumer habits.
5 goals are to be reached through this year of ‘greening’.
1. To eliminate the chemical products ingested and applied topically (food-pesticide/herbicide, body care products)
2. To allow Zero chemicals to go down drains (sink, tub, dishwasher, washing machine)
3. To engage 100% Social Conscious Buying Habits in the Family
4. To increase Family’s Awareness of Global Social Justice Issues
5. To get off the electric/gas grid while remaining in a suburban environment
The project launches in January 2009. Each member of the family will maintain a monthly video blog in addition to interviewing local community members, politicians and activists on sustainability, environmental responsibility and social justice. Through the website for this project the public can follow the process of this transition; the difficulties, successes and support from other citizens. Each month video updates and video ‘how to’ guides will be posted. Upon the completion of the project at the end of 2009 a documentary film will be produced.
Tara's goals are defined somewhat differently than the Rioters yet she still challenges us all to look at what we consume and its cost to our health, the planet and the poor saps half a world away who make all this crap for us.
I would recommend that my readers, especially those that live in York Region look in on Tara's site and encourage her in this difficult challenge
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