Thursday, June 02, 2011

Photo credit: Jonathan Rausseo

I joined Katimavik because I was sick: Sick of being a hypocrite. Sick of being an indirect activist. Sick of being unable to measure any sort of change. I felt like I was pointlessly trying to 'raise awareness' and motivate OTHER, uncaring people to become environmentalists so THEY could change civilizations' selfish and uncaring system while I myself did absolutely nothing. I wanted to stop wasting time and start doing something concrete with MY environmentalism.

Well I guess substantial hands-on volunteer work that had me directly preventing countless waste and destruction and helping countless needy people in the same fell swoop was the cure. In 6 months, I've become an organic, localvoric, occasionally-freegan vegan and gone from the Canadian average 4.5-earth demands to less that 1. I've learned to live almost entirely off of recycled and second hand products and gone from spending $200-$400 a month to spending $20-40.

I’ve cut motor vehicles out of my life and gone from 160 pounds of lean to 175 pounds of lean muscle. I can confidently and honestly say that I live a sustainable, environmentally sound lifestyle, and, in doing so, I can say I’m definitely living a life in line with my values, I’m definitely being a directly engaged activist, and I’m most definitely making concrete, measurable progress towards change.

Katimavik and uOttawa have also taught me something else. I once though that most people were too selfish to be activists, but I've come to discover I was wrong. Sure, there’s always going to be some people in the world that’ll go out of their way to buy uberhugedeathsufferingandhorriblechaosmobiles if only for "shits and giggles", but I’ve come to see that SOME people is definitely not MOST people. Most people do care about worldly issues - most people want to do good - it’s just that, with all the aggressive bullying and guilt tactics used to force us into being activists it’s tough to feel like we can truly decide to act of our own free will, am I right? Unlike ‘lack of will to change’, ‘desire to defend opinions’ is an ideal I can most definitely relate to.

My honest cross my heart and hope to die stick a needle in my eye opinion is that environmentalism is the cheapest, healthiest, and most satisfying way to live, and I will continue to publish facts and data which support that, but if you have a justifiable reason to believe that the environmental action isn’t the most practical action in any given situation, even if that reason is ‘I don’t care’, I have absolutely no right to tell you you’re wrong. I can only request that you do one thing: ask yourself if all your reasons are completely legitimate. Not just for environmental decisions, but for everything.

Thanks for hosting Shredder and I at the University of Ottawa, everyone. I actually feel bad for everyone else in my Katimavik house because there’s no way that their jobs could’ve been as epic as this one. It's been an awesome experience.


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