Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Community is best for all

I am a strong believer that life is better when you live in your community, and when I got an environmental reason it just got better...Here is a smidgen of my experi'mental' leanings:

A few years ago on a road trip to Vancouver Island I was listening to CBC radio while driving the beautiful coastline highway.  You'll have to excuse me as I have a terrible memory for details but do remember what interested me.  First being David Suzuki (who I adore and love to listen or watch when ever I get the chance), as soon as I heard his voice we stopped scanning for a station to listen to.  He was talking about the environment and what we are able to do to help the downward spiral that consumption has taken us.   He spoke about Walmart and how he believes that Walmart is one of the best companies going forward for environmental reasons, that they are set to a goal of being a zero waste company.  That was fascinating (I still rarely shop there as they are not there yet, and I disagree with some fundamental business practices, instead I prefer to spend my money in the smaller more local mom n pop shops or Canadian chains when I can).  But the part of the program that most peaked my interest was an environmentalist from California (I wish I could remember her name she was fantastic) that when asked if buying "environmentally friendly" products was making a difference she said no.  She said the absolute best thing the average person can do to have the largest impact on the environment is to live with in their community.

That statement got me thinking, and for the past 2 years I have been doing my best to do exactly that.
Here are a few ways that my community has helped the environment:
We have a great hand-me down program at R-Town, kids clothes, toys, sports equipment, baby furniture all get passed from home to home sometimes having 5 or 6 kids getting use from a single item. 

By getting to know our neighbours we spend more time eating together as a community, consuming less, driving less, and with less waste.

I have made a conscience effort to do  my shopping as close to home as I can when I can.  We drive much less than we did by discovering great shops closer to home, and the added bonus, most are mom and pop shops that need our support and in doing so we help create jobs with-in our community. 

As it turned out living with in our community had other great perks that go beyond the environment and consumption.   Because we got to know our neighbours we now spend a lot of time together and with that comes this peaceful feeling of security, there is always someone around to watch the kids if need be, and spending time with girlfriends has helped me more with anxiety and depression, than any councillor ever did (not hating on councillors just saying)... Which in turn did help the environment and my consumption, after all going and talking with a friend has saved me thousand of dollars in counselling bills and hundreds of tanks of gas getting there...

R-Town is about to have the Grand Opening of our much anticipated Common Room.  It is a general, multi-purpose room for residents of R-Town to use.  In my mind I saw great community events that bring neighbours together and turn them into friends, that had people coming together to do social activities to brighten their spirits, to bring that secure feeling I have to anyone willing to put themselves out there. My fear is that fear itself will not allow these things to happen.  The fear of the room getting wrecked, the fear of it costing money to run, the fear that people are evil and of course the one that no one can control, the fear of something new.
I believe if people show up, they will have fun, and given the opportunity every ones lives can be enriched by spending time with one another.  And building a stronger community is in every ones best interest.. even the environments.

- Aly


  1. I loved this Aly! It is so true how powerful community is! Maybe I'll walk to the grocery store next time. I have been thinking about it and reading this makes me feel motivated ;-)
    Fear is a funny thing.

  2. As always, insightful and meaningful. Nice job Aly!