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Eight things you can do 

To make Earth Day a success for the next 40 years

Get political
Our political system sucks and that’s why we should all be part of it---and fix it. And frankly, nothing else on this matters unless our leadership gets its shit together. Lobby for progressive legislation. Fight boneheaded development that threatens the land and water.

Build community
OK, this one’s as important as the last, maybe more so. Because if there’s a future it will be about communities taking care of themselves, and each other when necessary. Organize car-free events in your neighbourhood. Raise money to buy land for preservation. Start local organic food buying co-ops.

Be a joiner
Halifax is rich with environmental groups (see thecoast.ca/EnviroGroups) keeping the powers that be honest. We can thank them for any decent sustainability legislation, and most of the good environmental education programs. Join them. Give them money.

Voluntary simplicity
We’re urbanizing and suburbanizing and taking on higher work loads, heavy stress and abundant materialism. Voluntary simplicity is increasing the quality of your life while decreasing your income---working less and enjoying life more with less stuff.

Buy local
We have great farmers’ markets and an abundance of artistic, crafty and innovation talent, including some of the world’s best solar panels. Buying local doesn’t just cut down on “goods miles,” it also builds community, the real key to survival.

Second hand rules
New products use new materials and new energy. Second hand products use what’s called embodied energy, which has already been invested in the product.

DIY
Making your own stuff cuts down on the amount of energy used to ship it, and gives you more control over the materials used.

Tell your story
As Majora Carter says, “Green is the new black.” If we find a way to sustain humanity it will be in part because we redefine cool. The new cool must include respect for the scarcity of resources and a vision extending far, far into the future. So be cool: broadcast your efforts to save the world. And remember the words of Tooker Gomberg: “If it ain’t fun, it ain’t sustainable.”

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