When looking at the environment and how little Canada is doing on an international stage, the government is who usually catches most of the blame. They do have much of the blame to take by the policies they are making internationally, but when it comes to reducing emissions, all Canadian citizens have a significant ownership.
According to the David Suzuki Foundation Canada is the 8th largest contributor to the emissions in the world but Canada only contributes less than half of a percent of the world’s population. The David Suzuki Foundation also says that per person in Canada, each Canadian spends 2200 dollars on energy use for a year! That is a fairly high number which is why a lot of the owner ship for emissions is on us.
The reason why I say that we play a large role is because the David Suzuki Foundation also explains how majority of our emissions come from the use of automobiles, and the heating/cooling of our houses. Those are things we use by making a relatively personal decision.
This is clearly detrimental on a global scale but that doesn’t seem to affect many people to cut emissions. But these emissions are affecting us in an even more personal way. With these emissions, smog is becoming more and more harmful. With smog comes a collection of lung and heart problems. Health Canada says the worst type of smog is ground-level ozone which comes mainly from burning fossil fuels and transportation; which is what majority of Canada’s emissions are comprised of.
In this case we are slowly killing ourselves and putting blame on the government by saying “they refuse to take a strong stand against climate change, that’s why Canada’s emissions are so high!” but in reality, we have a huge role to play in controlling emissions.
I know from a personal perspective, when its 30 degrees outside or -30, the first thing I do is either turn up the heat or AC. Furthermore, almost every Canadian uses a car almost everywhere they go, even if they have alternative methods of transportation. For myself, a GO bus to Guelph passes by a bus stop, 5 minutes away from my house (walk) but I still choose to drive to school every day. I’m sure everyone does things that they know aren’t good for the environment but simply cannot be asked to take the harder, but greener way (i.e. changing main energy source to solar – too much time and effort).
I am not saying that the government doesn’t have a big role to play, they do but in a different sense. They cannot force us to stop using so much energy but what they can do is provide us with more efficient and green alternatives. What I am saying is that we, individually as Canadians play just as an important role, if not more important. We need to a) change as much as we can and b) encourage the government (as best as we can) to provide better and more environmentally safe innovations for a reasonable price.
In conclusion, here are some simple everyday things you can do to help reduce your emissions!