As a wordy person, I find writing as a process of reflection to be an extremely valuable and important exercise. Not surprisingly, I have been thinking and reflecting a great deal about climate change.
In my opinion, part of the process of reducing emissions is engaging in conversation about it, and creating community to support the process. Steve and I have been actively building a community to fight climate change in Dundas through netzerodundas.ca, and I have shared our net zero journey through my Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario Halton local.
Recently, I presented a homily at the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton: hearing some of the song rewrites that we have done was super fun, and I enjoyed the progression of emotion and positive energy that moved through the service.
Writing the homily was an opportunity to connect the dots on my climate activism, and reflect on the Live Net Zero challenges. For me, both the Electricity and Holiday challenge were similar, in that they helped me realize how much waste I needlessly create in my day to day life.
One aspect of the Electricity challenge that I enjoyed was our decision to not use the dryer at all during the two weeks. Once we were organized, and intentional about the process, it was quite straightforward and attainable. We had a drying rack, a laundry room, and the space necessary. The drying rack we have is remarkable: you can easily hang an entire load of laundry on all its various bars and levels. We also have a clothesline outside, which we use in the spring, summer and fall. We continue to only very rarely use the dryer. I do recognize how fortunate we are to have the time and space in order to hang our clothes to dry, and that we have the resources available that will help us to continue to reduce our emissions.
Over the holidays, I continued to observe the waste we needlessly create in day to day life. There are so many solutions and ways to reduce our consumption: during the holidays, these include fabric wrapping paper, experiences, regifting, donations. I am interested in applying these lessons learned in the new year.
One final thought, related to the holidays…. The contest participants have all shared information about how we reduced at Christmas. On a recent trip to the Joseph Brant museum in Burlington, my class learned also learned about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Yalda… all incorporating light… Something we all welcome!