Photo: Small steps and big changes - our right to a healthy environment

Our right to a healthy environment. (Credit: Tovah Paglaro)

There's a point where all the little things add up to something more. The whole foods, the upcycling, the bike riding, the DIY cleaners and cosmetics, and the time in the garden — the total benefit of these actions is more than the sum of their parts.

Combined, these actions become a lifestyle choice and an expression of a value system. When that happens, it's hard not to share the utter joy that living well provides.

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So we tell our friends and neighbours and family — "Hey, it really is greener over here on this side of the fence!"

It's beautifully contagious. And it's how a critical mass is born.

That critical mass is the something more.

To effect widespread change and propel our nation — and our world — into a sustainable reality, we need policy and legislation. Who will vote in favour of that legislation? Who will drive government towards green policy?

You will. I will. All of us who have taken small steps and experienced how right sustainable living feels will become the wave that sweeps the country and pushes us towards legally enforced environmental responsibility.

It's already happening.

On Feb 3, join one of the movement's leaders, Dr. David Boyd — environmental and constitutional lawyer, professor and author of The Right to a Healthy Environment: Revitalizing Canada's Constitution — in a telephone town hall moderated by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Enshrining the right to a healthy environment in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a simple idea, with monumental implications, that's gaining support.

Over 100 countries worldwide enjoy the right to live in an environment conducive to health and well-being. We Canadians do not.

But imagine if we did! Imagine if our constitution recognized the value of all those small steps — if the motivation behind them became a deciding factor in national governance!

I recently stumbled on this statement from an elder of Borneo's Penan tribe, quoted by ethnobotanist Wade Davis:

"The land is sacred; it belongs to the countless numbers who are dead, the few who are living, and the multitudes of those yet to be born."

Recognizing our right to a healthy environment is the first step in realizing this ancient wisdom in a 21st century reality.

What a legacy to leave our children.


Tovah Paglaro, The Queen of Green

January 21, 2013

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1 Comment

Feb 10, 2013
1:08 PM

save the nature,together we will

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