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. She had made a quick trip to Canada, but was just as quickly jetting back that same night to one of her multimillion 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 preaching.
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 said, “Do you think Jane Fonda washed out Ziploc bags?” He looked at me with one of those “what in the blazes are you talking about?” looks. After explaining my aggravation with Jane’s interview, I decided to take an inventory on how environmentally-friendly our own lifestyle was.
Well, I already mentioned reusing plastic bags – actually I prefer using containers (I mean, some of my Tupperware is older than my kids and they are in their 30s). We recycle all cans, glassware and paper. Gently-used clothing and household goods are donated to local charities.
We have planted hundreds of trees around our yard and every summer I plant a large vegetable garden and many ﬂowers – my friends and family enjoy the extra produce and the butterflies and bees enjoy the flowers. Cattle graze the outside perimeter of our farmyard (I suppose I should apologize for 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 and raised money for various clubs and sports teams. Our son was a tenacious bottle and can picker (a great way for a kid to earn some cash while keeping the countryside clean). I’m sure he learned to spot them from half a kilometre away in order to give me ample time to slow down and stop the vehicle.
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 know to bring a sweater when they come to visit, and the fireplace is a good way to use up the dead wood found amongst the 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 through our Saskatchewan snowbanks in a Smartcar.
So, can we do better? You bet we can and we will continue to try, but I don’t think I need to take any advice from any celebrity on taking better care of Mother Earth. Sorry to get into a scrap with you Jane, but you started it and you came into my backyard to do it. So, Ms. Fonda (or Neil Young, David Suzuki or any other jet-setting, high-living, finger-pointing, self-appointed saviours of the universe), anytime you are available, I’m more than ready to compare carbon footprints!