Earth at the Crossroads

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Mike Monkman’s Earth Day message was a somber one.  “We are at a crossroads” he began.  “If we continue our life of affluence and neglect of the natural world we will spiral into a new world of significant climate change, depletion of resources - water, air and soil - and ultimately a breakdown in our societies.” His fingers clasped together almost in prayer as he firmly remarked, “We must unite to change our lifestyles and levels of consumption.”

Over fifty Bulkley Valley residents assembled at the Old Church on April 22 to take part in a community discussion on the state of the Earth and our engagement.  Organized by volunteer group, RGM4, and in partnership with One Sky, the evening included an intense and sobering slideshow of our Earthly consumption followed by an uplifting discussion on what can be done to improve our sustainability. 

Participants were asked to site local activities, actions and projects that are currently helping and they highlighted success stories like; the Bulkley Valley Farmers’ Market, the Anglican Church Soup Kitchen, Mountain Eagle Books, regional moratorium on fish farms, the Bulkley Valley Recycling Depot, and a vibrant art and music community. 

As successful local initiatives were described words like; passionate, perseverant, inclusive, community focused were uttered time and again.  There seemed to be something more behind the success of local projects than just good organization, timeliness or sufficient funding.  The engagement of the community and the commitment of its members appeared to be the number one factor in each project’s success.

Those very attributes will play an important role as the Bulkley Valley works toward improving its recycling options and bringing back wheat crops. The desire to improve transit options and become a plastic bag free community are all attainable goals that only require a bit of passionate leadership, some dogged perseverance and full-on community support.

At the end of the evening each participant was asked to make one short and one long-term resolution to change their lifestyle and reduce consumption.  They signed their pledge cards and hung them on a community clothesline before leaving the Old Church, recommitted and re-energized to live a more sustainable life, Some of those pledges include:

I pledge to:
• Walk more, drive less and reduce consumption.
- Rimas Zitkauskas

I pledge to:
• talk to my co-workers about alternatives to bottled water
• start preserving local food for winter
- Nicole

I pledge to:
• to educate and encourage others to reduce their use of plastics
• be Vila gent in my use of water all year
- Alice Chaplin

I pledge to:
• use cloth recyclable bags for all my shopping and shop less
• forever take action!
- Jessy Chaplin

I pledge to:
• Bike / walk to work everyday
• Establish plans for a cold frame and veggie garden
• Protection of the environment through work
- Mike Neto

I pledge to:
• Contact the food security group re: Stations of the Banquet
• Renovate the cabin so the structure isn’t wasted
- Ken Alton

I pledge to:
• Find out about wheat crops historically grown in the Bulkley Valley.
• Pursuit recycling and encourage businesses to adopt green policies
- Meg Hobson

I pledge to:
• Walk/bike whenever I go within town limits
• Talk to the church committee and have our building assessed so we can be greener
- Daphne Moser

I pledge to:
• To promote the blue bike program at my school / workplace and have more people use the service
• Buy or and store more local veggies in my underutilized cold room
- Vicki Alton

I pledge to:
• Check and turn down temp on hot water tank
• Buy more local food and minimize ‘food miles’
- Anonymous

I pledge to:
• Get info out on human destruction of the planet
• Get rid of plastic containers
• Car pool with my husband
• Continue to pick up garbage in our home area
• Don’t use debit card so much as you get two receipts every time you use it
• Plant a bigger veggie garden
• Contact Rotary Club re: new Bulkley River bridge
- Pat Struthers

I pledge to:
• Remember to use my cloth shopping bags!
• Build a wood fired oven for local bread and import a flour mill
- Bruce Hodson

I pledge to:
• Change my trip to France so that I can feel good about it
• Preserve vegetable for the winter
- Erin Hall

I pledge to:
• Plant trees / garden
• Go through the house and get rid of stuff; recycle / reuse / reduce
• Work on increasing use of 100% FSC paper
- Kathy Wilford

I pledge to:
• Re-using bulk food bags so as to reduce the amount of plastic
• Making my own yogurt to become more active in my community.
- Katie

I pledge to:
• Write a letter expressing my concern regarding Royal Dutch Shell’s plan to extract CBM in the Skeena Headwater.
• Grow more vegetables
- Paul

I pledge to:
• Walk more
• Purchase a fuel efficient vehicle
- Anonymous

I pledge to:
• Work for a bag free community
• Use cloth recyclable bags for groceries
• Plant a larger garden
- Esme Challen

I pledge to:
• Get more information on energy efficient buildings
• Ride my bike to work more often
• Build a better house
- Jeremy Rosloe

I pledge to:
• Reduce waste from lunch by 50%
• Bike to work more often
• Buy local more often
- Anonymous

I pledge to:
• Outdoor fluorescent light bulbs
• Recycle more
• Drive less
- Anonymous

I pledge to:
• Drive less
• Plant trees
• To research solar hot water heating
• Get a bike trailer
• Stir up the Farmers’ Market concept in Houston.
- Mike Monkmon


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