Christina is the author of All Out of Womb: A Collection of Birth Stories. She works part time for the recreation department for the Town of Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada, and is the Founder of Little Sprouts Eco-Club in Muskoka; a non-profit organization that educates children on the protection of their local resources.
Years ago I had watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, and while it opened my eyes to the state of our planet, I will admit, I was still in denial back then. After all, I didn't have kids. I was fresh out of college and just starting a lucrative job in the advertising industry. Life was good for me, and while his message was strong, and it did in truth shake me to my core, I figured it was a problem far into the future that I would one day need to deal with.
I feel as though that day is now.
Here I am at 32 years old, with two children and a husband, all of whom I feel responsible for ensuring a healthy future. Among other things, I can now see that climate change is a threat to that healthy future.
Aside from climate change, as a parent I’ve become concerned over the past few years about the foods and other household products my family consumes and uses. One could say this was the beginning of my passion for a better future for my family. After much research stemming from documentaries like Food Matters, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, many Ted Talks and articles from Facebook groups like March Against Monsanto and Food and Water Watch, our family decided to make the switch to an all-organic, non-gmo (genetically modified organism) household. The entire process took about a year to overhaul everything, right down to my vegan mascara.
When it came to household purchases, I felt back in control of ensuring a healthy future for my children. However when it comes to climate change, I’ll admit this task seemed much more daunting. Sure I can purchase organic bananas and ensure that their shampoo is made from all natural ingredients, but how do I ensure that they have good air quality? Or that their water won’t become contaminated? How can I be sure that they will have the same opportunities growing up that I had, without thinking of the many natural disasters that could potentially destroy so much of their resources here at home?
These were all questions that I would lay awake thinking about. I had that familiar feeling that I had with the organic switch; something needed to be done. I couldn’t just stand back and watch all of these things happening and do nothing anymore.
That time is now.
I began researching ways to combat climate change and came across the Climate Reality website. It was as if all the stars were aligning. There just happened to be a free training coming up in a few months in the city of Toronto, just two hours away from my home! I applied, crossed my fingers and waited for a response. At 10:00pm on a Tuesday night a few weeks later I received an email from Mario E. Molina, the Director of the Training. I had been accepted.
Since coming home from the Climate Reality Leadership Training in Toronto [held in July 2015] I’ve felt a renewed purpose to advocate for my children and educate others on not only the bad news about climate change, but the GOOD news too.
It helps me to connect with my fellow Climate Reality leaders and see what they are working on in their respective communities. It not only motivates me to do more for my own community, but it reminds me that there are hundreds of others just like me who actually do care, and who are putting their emotions into action.
I truly believe when I walked into the Climate Reality training that I was on the right path in my life. I have always been one to recycle and compost and care about the Earth, but this has given me one big push to really take hold of it and give it my all.