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Column: The Okanagan’s Nature Nut: Change is taking place!

Columnist Roseanne Van Ee looks at how we are changing our ways to help the environment
Roseanne Van Ee writes The Okanagan’s Nature Nut. A Vernon Morning Star exclusive column that teaches you the ins-and-outs of our local ecosystem. (Contributed)


Since the industrial revolution, people have created fabulous inventions. Oh, we’re so smart, but not always wise.

We’ve overused, abused and polluted our air, soil and water, and destroyed wildlife habitats and many living things; whole species in fact.

We’ve over-consumed and wasted resources and energy. Nature is at stake. We need to remember – we’re a part of nature, not apart from it. How we treat our natural environment affects us.

Since the 1970s, I’ve worked at educating and inspiring people to conserve and care for nature. At public events, some people would shake their finger at me declaring, “You can’t stop progress.”

Progress is fine so long as it isn’t destructive. It’s taken a long time to finally realize the consequences of our inattentive progress.

Others would say, “You want us to live like cavemen?”

No, we just need to be aware and take care.

Here’s examples of changes we’re making to care for our natural environment.

We’re finally composting our food and yard waste to rebuild healthy, fertile soil.

Use solar dryers (AKA clotheslines).

Reuse whatever you can; especially plastic bags. Use compostable bags for trash and cloth bags for shopping.

Donate and buy gently used clothing, household items and building materials to ReStore, Value Village, Gleaners, etc. Gleaners also collects, drys and distributes good wasted fruits and vegetables. Many of these shops support worthy charities, too.

Pass books and magazines around, donate to the Book Warehouse, or add to book exchange boxes. Return read newspapers to their boxes for others to read.

We recently bought a frozen bag of ‘Perfectly Imperfect Berries’. They’re delicious!

Reduce waste, water use, energy consumption, etc. whenever you can. Rethink and be responsible.

Reduce, reuse, repair, restore, refurbish, repurpose, return, recycle…

Walk and cycle (hurrah for E-bikes!) wherever and whenever you can for fitness, recreation, transportation and fresh air. Promote walking and cycling paths away from roads.

Don’t trash gas furnaces, water heaters, vehicles, etc. Support an industry that would retrofit fossil fuel consumption to solar wherever possible. And support less invasive, nontoxic resources for batteries and energy storage.

The Sun is our limitless and greatest source of energy; let’s use it!

Toxic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc. should be banned since they move through our air, soil, water cycles and innocent animals (sometimes even us).

Outdoor learning and classrooms, outdoor schools and forest schools are all becoming popular. Kids often learn best outdoors enriching their mental and physical health while learning about our natural environment.

Earth Day (April 22) initiatives and celebrations are popular now, too.

Support our Ribbons of Green Trails Society and our governments in acquiring, developing and maintaining nature parks and trails.

Support businesses and industry that cares for our natural environment. No greenwashing! Here’s hope for a healthy, clean future. Let’s celebrate and support positive change!

Roseanne Van Ee enthusiastically shares her knowledge of the outdoors to help readers experience and enjoy nature. Follow her on Facebook.

Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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