The environment is our responsibility too

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Canadian Environment Week takes place from June 1-7 this year with the theme of “Strengthening our environment today for   tomorrow.” On their website, Environment Canada says the Canadian government is taking steps to preserve and enhance the natural environment through     science, such as maintaining air and water quality, and by creating a game plan fo

Canadian Environment Week takes place from June 1-7 this year with the theme of “Strengthening our environment today for   tomorrow.” On their website, Environment Canada says the Canadian government is taking steps to preserve and enhance the natural environment through     science, such as maintaining air and water quality, and by creating a game plan for a more environmentally-friendly tomorrow through the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
When we think of pollution, we often envision large industrial companies as the main contributors and often overlook the effects our own actions have on the    environment. Large companies and the government have a large role to play in taking steps to minimize the pollution in our country and it’s nice to see Environment Canada is at least saying they will. But as Canadian citizens, don’t we all have a role to play in ensuring our own health and safety in the future by doing our part to         preserve the environment?
Undoubtedly, here in the Pontiac, we have a much smaller negative impact on the               environment than large cities like Toronto, but that’s not to say       our actions don’t harm the        environment as well. Our daily actions have repercussions on the natural world around us too.
Every personal initiative, regardless of how small, adds to collective efforts. How many of us throw out recyclable materials rather than taking the time to wash them out and recycle them? How many toss out banana peels and other compostable materials? And haven’t we all driven      somewhere when we could have easily walked?
Littering is also a problem in the Pontiac that has negative effects on humans when the  materials contaminate soil and waterways and on wildlife who may consume the trash or become caught in it and perish. Not to mention, litter doesn’t look good.
Instead of “cleaning” out your vehicle by throwing the materials along roadways, why not bag it and wait until you get home? And instead of tossing tires and bags of garbage along back roads, why not dispose of them properly? It may cost a bit, but considering the  long-term effects, isn’t it a small price to pay?
Pollution has been related to cardiovascular disease, irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, headaches, nausea, chronic         respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys.
Canada is a vast and fertile land, benefiting from lakes and rivers which give us a large part of our renewable energy resources. Our land is exceptionally rich and, as Canadians, we have every      reason in the world to preserve this environment. Recycling,    composting, walking instead of driving, and not littering are small  steps we can all take to preserve our planet for generations               to come.
Allyson Beauregard, Editor