We're all immersed in the media coverage of this weekend's climate strike and consummate marches to whip up the movement. I'm elated that folks are concerned about the environment. Perhaps this is the next step past Earth Day. But as I've read and heard the themes from the speeches and watched the sponsors, I'm not sure it's effective.
For example, our local Mary Baldwin University was a proud sponsor of Staunton's event, but their dining services won't even purchase GMO-free, pastured meat and poultry. Strikers demand reduced carbon footprints, install more solar power, protect rainforests, the Chesapeake Bay and reduce plastic.
The rules around setting goals that can be reached are simple: measurable, timed, and specific. The problem with the above list, as reported in the newspapers anyway, is that they don't adhere to any of these. So it's a lot of walk, a lot of talk, but no action.
In light of that, I humbly offer the following list of goals:
1. Boycott all fast food places that sell industrial chemical-based food, including Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat that use GMOs, chemicals, and monocultures.
2. Drink coffee only if it's in a washable and reusable container.
3. Refuse to take the children to any athletic event more than 1 hour away.
4. Plant a garden in a backyard. Borrow one if necessary.
5. Don't eat any prepackaged, processed food; eat only whole foods that you prepare yourself in your own kitchen; eat left-overs for lunch; take it with you to work. "Bring lunch to work day."
6. For one year, cancel all vacations that require air travel and instead visit 5 local points of interest (museums, farms, nature spots, etc.).
7. Volunteer at a local farm: dig fence post holes, chop thistles, build fence.
8. Build a solarium on your house so you can grow produce year-round and enjoy passive solar heat.
9. Do not spend more than $200 on clothes per year per person.
10. Get a chest freezer so you can buy local pastured meat and poultry in-season and in-volume; cut grocery store trips to once every two weeks.
These are specific, measurable, and timed. But you won't see anything this practical or this personally responsible; it'll be all about other people; those people; over there. It's never about me. I've got news for you, folks, it is all about me. If we don't get that right, we won't get any of it right.
Now that I've shared my list, what's one you'd like to add?