One more for the planet 

Small but vital baby steps on saving the Earth from ourselves

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

If you missed World Water Day (March 20) and Earth Hour (March 29), you still have a chance to redeem yourself before family, friends, neighbours and your quizzical dog staring you down.

Earth Day is just around the corner (April 22) on a planet near you.

Gaylord Nelson, a member of the U.S. senate, had his first talks about starting Earth Day with John F. and Bobby Kennedy way back in 1962. Ironically, Nixon went on to become the “greenest” president in the history of the U.S., bringing in the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Nelson’s idea was to harness the anti-Vietnam War student movement into concern about environmental degradation, a topic totally absent from the political and social landscape. Nelson got his Earth Day, but it wasn’t until 1970. Cripes, people were wearing those funky “negative heel” earth shoes to Earth Day events back then. So here we are, nearly 40 years later, decked out in Lululemon, still trying to save the Earth, essentially from ourselves.

The silver bullet would be to all hold hands and jump off a bridge. But given the likelihood of that, the most viable option is to clean up our collective act.

A quintessential starting point, besides getting out to vote, surrounds your choices at your grocery store: food, T.P., dish detergent. Yep, it all starts here, with us, the great unwashed, hungry masses, ready to be led, step by baby step, to organic arugala and eco-friendly soap.

Compiled from people-friendly input from our local grocery store managers, here are some concepts to keep in mind as you dig out your vegan earth shoes and head out to buy stuff for an Earth Day dinner party by candlelight.

The good news is that Whistlerites are doing a lot better than a year ago in terms of Earth-friendly consumption. Organic produce sales at Nesters Market now account for 25-30 per cent of all produce sales, and they hope to push that to 50 per cent this year by bringing in more/better organics.

Over at The Grocery Store, the number of Earth-friendly toiletries, health and beauty items, and cleaning products almost outnumbers the conventional ones. “It’s a store belief — a motto. For everyone from the owners, to the managers, all the way down to the cashiers, too, it’s something we’re proud of,” says Andre Rose, front-end manager at the Grocery Store.


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