I find it interesting how participating in the Live Net Zero contest has both influenced and supported our role in fighting the climate crisis. I have been involved in raising awareness about issues to do with climate in the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario for a number of years and considered myself to be very aware and engaged. But, on March 20th 2023 I heard Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, state “the human time-bomb is ticking. Humanity is on thin ice, and that ice is melting.” For some reason his message resonated even more with me, and I decided that I needed to focus more energy on the climate crisis.
Over the course of the next few months, I developed a multi-pronged strategy for myself and our household. Here are a few things we’ve focussed on:
- Reduce Emissions: I realized our household needed to reduce its emissions. The Live Net Zero contest has been an amazing guide for this journey, and while we still have work to do, I am proud of what we have accomplished.
- Remove Carbon: We improved composting and garden practices, as compost sequesters carbon in the soil. We support carbon offset programs such as Bullfrog Power. We all know about the power of trees, so we are applying for a grant so we can plant a mini-forest.
- Build Community: My ETFO climate work has continued, and the local has a thriving Climate Justice and Sustainability committee. I also was recently appointed to an ETFO task force that will make recommendations about how, as a union, we can contribute to fighting the climate crisis. Our neighbourhood group continues as well; we are all building a community to support each other at this critical time. All of these projects are exciting.
Our goal throughout the Live Net Zero contest has been to engage others and work to build awareness, and as the end of the contest approaches we want to recognize the community we are part of and that has become more engaged themselves. At the end of each challenge, we rewrote the words to a well known song and then asked musician friends to record the new climate change version/adaptation. My grade four class even sang one of the songs! Everyone is invited so if you are interested in receiving the zoom link, send Steve or I a message through social media or WhatsApp. It will only take about an hour and we hope people will enjoy our revisions!
The details: Sunday February 25th, 4:00 p.m. via Zoom.
The Line Up
- Now is the Time, performed by Mary Ann Forbes
- Home is Our Nest, performed by Geraldine Quinn-MacWilliams and Steve Viau
- Blowin’ in the Wind, performed by Jennifer Schofield, Scott Good, and Nick Good
- Electric Avenue, performed by Lyla Miklos
- Climate Change, performed by the Fantastic Fours
- Our House, performed by Robyn Carrigan