Not long ago I watched with interest as celebrity Jane Fonda answered media questions re: her opposition to the oil sands and proposed pipeline project. (Interestingly enough, she did not seem to know what OPEC was.) After a quick trip to Canada, she was just as quickly jetting back to one of her multi-million dollar homes in the USA.
It seems that more and more celebrities are taking it upon themselves to use their star power to support some cause connected to the protection of the environment. While I don’t mind them using their status to raise awareness, I do mind when they haven’t done their homework or when they finger-point at the rest of us while they don’t follow their own preachings.
The interview annoyed me and lingered in my mind. One day as I was washing some Ziploc bags for reuse, I turned to my husband and asked, “Do you think Jane Fonda washes out her Ziploc bags?”
He looked at me with one of those “what in the blazes are you talking about” looks. After explaining the reason for my question and my aggravation, I decided to take an inventory on our own lifestyle to see how environmentally-friendly it was.
Well, I already mentioned reusing plastic bags, actually I prefer using containers (some of my Tupperware is older than my children and they are in their 30’s). We recycle all cans, glassware and paper (and there is no curbside pick-up, so we haul it a fair distance). Gently-used clothing and household goods are donated to local charities.
We have planted 100’s of tree around our yard and every summer I plant a decent-sized vegetable garden and many flowers. My friends and family enjoy the excess produce and the butterflies, birds and bees enjoy the flowers. Cattle graze the outside perimeter of our yard (sorry about the methane gas) and the natural ravine is a fine home for waterfowl, foxes and coyotes.
When our children were young we picked roadside garbage many, many times and raised money for various clubs in the process. Our son was a tenacious bottle and can picker (a great way for a kid to earn some extra cash while cleaning up the countryside). I’m certain that he learned to spot these items from half a kilometre away in order to give me ample time to slow the vehicle and stop.
Our home has no AC, except for our bedroom and that was installed just this summer. The thermostats are set low in the winter (we have one in each room), so my friends who visit know to bring a sweater. The fireplace is a great way to warm up the house and use up dead wood which is scattered in the grove of trees. Our appliances are all energy-efficient, but I am yet to be convinced that they are longer-lasting.
Yes, I do drive an SUV but I would like to see one of those celebrities navigate their way through our Saskatchewan winters in a Smartcar!
So, can we do better? You bet we can and we will continue to try, but what I don’t need is advice from some celebrity on how to take better care of Mother Earth when they themselves are among the worst polluters on the continent.
I’m sorry to get into a scrap with you Jane, but you started it and you came right into my backyard to do so. So, Ms. Fonda (or Neil Young, David Suzuki or any other jet-setting, high-living, finger-pointing, self-appointed saviour of the universe), anytime you are available, I am more than ready to compare carbon footprints!