Home / Op-Ed / Save the snow

Save the snow

author: ella mikkola | production manager

Climate change is on the horizon/Courtesy of Flickr

Let’s protect this winter wonderland

The Christmas break made me think about the winters I experienced as a kid. I remember snowball fights with my friends in -30 weather, wearing winter overalls that made us all look like the Michelin man. Then I started thinking about how I never experienced such cold winters later on as a teenager and young adult. Due to climate change, the temperatures in my home country of Finland have risen, precipitation has increased, snow season has become shorter, and the amount of soil frost has decreased, and the change is ongoing.

Every country reacts to the global warming in their own way, but the change is happening everywhere. Canada and Finland, both known as arctic countries, will suffer less since the annual average temperatures are lower in comparison to warmer countries. This is why it’s easy to forget that our globe is changing in a concerning way. Global warming should be everyone’s concern and our main priority. I am a walking example of this thoughtlessness.

I book a flight and fly somewhere at least once a year. I eat meat. I drive a car. It seems that I am a lost cause, but instead of dropping my gloves and adding more to my carbon footprint, I remind myself of the things I can do to make the trees grow so polar bears will still exist in the future.

Every individual comes from different circumstances, and there are different ways to find the best green alternatives. I try to ride a bike, or take the bus when possible. I eat meat only occasionally, and when I do buy meat, I try to choose the organic option. There are things in Regina that sometimes make my green-living harder. For example, recycling is very hard here compared to the way I am used to doing it back in Finland.

The city of Regina should put more resources into a better recycling system and the development of green energy solutions, as well as create a better public transportation system. The success of the U-Pass is obviously a sign that people are not against public transportation, it just needs to be made accessible. There are so many areas that can be improved locally by following examples from all over the world and within Canada itself. On January 1, Montréal became the first major Canadian city to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. Followed by this, in Manitoba, the Minister of Sustainable Development has posed a question concerning the possibility of Winnipeg becoming the next city in Canada to ban plastic bags. We should open this discussion in Regina, as well.

In these days when the orange villain on the other side of the border is ripping apart the hopes for a better future by backing out from global agreements like the Paris agreement, it is more important than ever before to fight against this unbelievable inequity. It is easy to blame the big companies and corporations for causing the climate change, but we all have our part to play in this disaster. Let’s face it, we humans already screwed up big time; now let’s at least try to give CPR to our globe that is slowly dying in front of our eyes. I’ll promise to try harder. It would be nice to still have a snowball fight in ten years.

 

P.S. Let’s not use those remote auto-starts and idle our cars for 15 minutes if not inevitably necessary.

About Ella Mikkola