One summer when I was in university in Toronto, I took a job I was really passionate about: knocking on doors in different neighbourhoods to train residents about the recycling options available to them in their apartment buildings. As far as I was concerned, I was talking to people about how to ‘save the planet’. I’m not sure the people I spoke to felt the same way about being ‘schooled’ about environmentalism by a young woman interrupting their home life, but I can remember feeling enthusiastic throughout the time I was employed on the project. Something about sharing information about options that would help the world, excited me. It gave me the feeling that we could make a difference, together, on something as big as the health of the whole planet.
Over twenty years later, the stakes are much higher. The ‘climate crisis’ is real, and the consequences of decades of problematic choices are upon us. I am a little amazed that I was so bold back then about speaking to strangers about an issue I cared about, trying to convince them they should too. And yet, when I think about what is happening to our air, water, forests, animals and the earth, I feel moved to act, in the same way again today.
“Women, girls, trans and intersex people have the ideas, and they are willing to do the work.”
Now, I have the privilege of knowing and meeting more and more of the amazing women, girls, trans and intersex people that are generating the options that are helping the world. I see them leading the way in encouraging us to take the planet seriously, honour our relationship to the environment, and shift how we are conducting our economies and societies. Their courage about, commitment to and vision for a different path compel me. They have the ideas, and they are willing to do the work. And they are already changing the world. If we support and work together with them, imagine how beautiful our collective future will be.