Environment… Activate! Throwback Fort Mac.

I purchased two things today. One was to protect my brain. The other to protect my home.

The first, I wont say much about; I bought a helmet. I do way too much cycling in a city where drivers shouldn’t actually have drivers liscences to be wearing a helmet with a crack in it from about 1970. Not cool. So I got a new one. It’s pretty. And keeps my noggin in tact.

The other was a membership to the Wilderness committee. This is not in fact what I had set out to do this morning, but they had such good sales tactics, how could I not. Their brains are CLEARLY in tact. An environmental activism group set up in the lobby of MEC in North Vancouver, and they are handing out fresh baked cookies AND they are two hot guys?? Really, I mean how could you not stop and chat at least. So I stopped, he gave me his shpeal, and I walked away with a membership.

On my way home however, I thought a bit about what we had chatted about. I told him I was from Fort McMurray; he asked about it; I gave him some insight on what it’s actually like up there, or at least what it once was like, and dispelled the propaganda he was living by. It was fairly successful. But me being me, and being a bit slow, I kicked myself a bit, because I realized there was more that I should say. SO I’ll write it here instead….

Yes, Fort McMurray is a drug and crime ridden town, and yes there is some shit that goes down there. But where doesn’t shit go down? And doesn’t most of Alberta and Indeed, many other places besides have similar ideas about what oil’s role in the world is? Do you drive a car? Do you buy ANYTHING with plastic packaging. Do you paint your walls? If you live in a city, it’s highly likely that you and your idealistic ideas about oil can just go straight to jail, do not pass go and do not collect 200 dollars. Because you and I are a living lie. I try to be good. I fail a lot. I get plastic bags at the grocery sometimes. I bought a helmet made of PLASTIC AND STYROFOAM today for petes sake. But…one step at a time. My point is this….

its great that groups like the wilderness committee are promoting environmental activism, and its great that they are trying to save the BC parks and wilderness, but where does the water that feed this wilderness come from? It comes from the same place that the oil comes from: The Mackenzie Watershed and the Athabasca River feeding into the muskeg lands of Northern Alberta and making its way into the Canadian Arctic into the ocean, and Voila! into our tap water. Hmm…intriguing. So yes, it is great that we are aware here in BC where it is relatively easy to keep our easy-growing rain-forest lush and beautiful, but what about the fragile north; what about the frozen tundra; what about the delicate wetlands; what about the barren alpine regions; what about the southern Alberta desert? It is more important that ever to keep these way-points clean and working. And the way to do that, as we are seeing is to have people who are aware, and actively care about the environment living in these areas. In my opinion, if they don’t the problem will likely just propagate, the social structure will diminish, the health and wellness of citizens will decline, and the whole caring about the earth thing will just go straight to shit. It’s what has happened in good old fort Mac I am quite sure. When I lived there, there was nice young families, people taking care of the trail systems, and recreating and being healthy. Not so much now, and I believe this is because it got too hard. I am partially to blame; I left. I cared about that area and I left. And other people took my place, who don’t care. I even encouraged my friends to leave as well, who also cared. And people took there places who didn’t. We left because it was too hard. We wanted to be around people who also cared, and go to those places that were easier to care about. But it’s so much more important up there! I am truly worried about it. The Wood Buffalo Region is truly beautiful, and deserves to be treated as such. It deserves people to be using the land for healthy activities who respect it and enjoy the area for all it has to offer. And we cant expect the people working in the oil sands to treat this area well if they don’t care for it. How do we do this?

It starts with caring for yourself. Be active; use the landscape to keep you active. Run up a hill. Reduce morning traffic by riding your bike or carpooling. Care for the food you put in your body. Make sure you know where it is coming from and how you prepare it. Chances are if it is healthier for you, it was healthier for the land it was reaped from.

Care for your home. Keep a nice house and situate it around your friends. Make sure it is easy to get places by foot, bus or bike. Build yourself around your community; dont expect your community to build itsself around you.

If you care for your home, you will probably want your community to be nice as well. You will pay more attention to issues at hand, and be more involved, thus leading a more active, social lifestyle, be more aware of social justice issues, and more concious of your environmental choices.

Travel. You never know how to care for your own area if you dont see how it is affected by everything else in the world. Because it is. And I mean everything.

I think it is so important for a community to be aware, and to be invested in its future. It is for this reason, I encourage you to settle somewhere that maybe there are not like-minded people to yourself. Be a pioneer. Start the change in the community of your choosing. Sure, its lovely living in a place like Vancouver where everyone is all nice and hippy-dippy-trippy. But I challenge you to be a pioneer; start a revolution. Its got to start in the dirty oil mining towns. Skim off that layer of oil and see the beauty in the town!

And buy a helmet. I know they are made out of plastic, but they will save your brain, and we need brains like yours to go out there and make a difference 🙂

And with that, I will leave you with the recipe for my lunch. Its a beautiful sunny day, and I’m craving a drink. Instead I settled with procrasti-blogging and making a delicious drink inspired salad. Bottoms up!

Mojito Salad


Half a cucumber

Half a Nectarine or peach or stone fruit of your choosing

5 leaves fresh mint, minced

2 tsp Hemp hearts

2 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut

zest of half a lime

Juice of half a lime

sprinkle of sliced almonds

Mix er up, down that salad, feel good about yourself, and go be active!




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