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Canada must learn to live better with less

Friday, November 28th 2014 9:20:28am

Report challenges Canada’s leaders to focus on solutions people want

For immediate release: November 28, 2014

Canada is poorly equipped to deal with the inevitable environmental and economic challenges that lie ahead, says “The Next Wave”, a report on the future of the environmental and sustainability movements in Canada.

The report summarizes the downward environmental, economic, and social trends, concluding that they are all related to our unsustainable consumption of resources.  “Deep down, we all know this,” says the author, Chris Winter, a 30 year veteran of the environmental movement. “From backyards to boardrooms, people are consistently saying we face dark days ahead, and that we have little faith in our collective ability to avoid them.”

If there is hope, Winter says, it lies in our common desire for a better life.  “We all believe that Canada is a great place to live, and we all want our communities to be a great place to live. What we need to do is show people that we can all live better with less.”

This simple approach leads to some challenging recommendations for Canada’s environmental, business, and government leaders, such as:
  • Shift the focus away from problems to solutions.  Help people live better with less.
  • Promote a new vision for Canada, based on quality of life and the ability to live better with less.
  • Organize new social voices, such as CivicAction Canada, to help set a new national agenda.
  • Shift government climate plans to provide integrated, high-level solutions for the transition to a sustainable, energy-efficient society and economy.
  • Develop coordinated national campaigns to promote solutions people want, such as urban villages, transit and safe cycling, energy conservation and renewable power, local food, and local green jobs.
  • Facilitate organic change.  Provide the products, services and incentives that make a conserver lifestyle easy, affordable, and desirable.

“The next wave has to be about hope, not despair," said Winter.  “Not the hope that we can solve climate change or avoid an economic crunch, but the hope that there is a better way of doing things.  We have to build the commitment to invest in our future.”

The report is available free of charge at www.canadaconserves.ca.

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For information:  Chris Winter, chris@canadaconserves.ca.

Chris is currently in Greece as part of a year-long family world tour. To arrange an interview, please contact Michael Zupanic at Environmental Communication Options at mzupanic@ecostrategy.ca or 416-972-7404.