On August 20 of 2018, a 16-year-old from Sweden began skipping school every Friday to sit steadfast outside the Swedish embassy, with a painted sign and some flyers, in protest of inaction on climate change. Greta Thunberg was specifically calling out the failure of politicians to bring the country in line with the Paris climate agreement.
Well, it’s 2019 and memes really do come true. In reference to the ridiculous spoof internet challenges involving teens, Byron Román of Phoenix, AZ, posted to Facebook earlier this week that it would be great if the Internet could take up a more meaningful challenge than eating tide pods:
"Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens," Román posted on Facebook. "Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance, then take a photo after you have done something about it, and post it."
Nearly a tonne of waste is generated per person in Ontario each year. If we don’t have the facilities to deal with it and it’s increasingly becoming a state of emergency for the environment - why not just ban it? This is exactly what Ontario is now eyeing with the NDP poised to introduce a private member's bill that calls for the phase-out of single-use plastics by 2025.
Like everything on the planet, our lakes, rivers, streams, oceans and the water cycle itself are heavily impacted by climate change. It is important at every step of the way to remember that climate change = water change. Anyone who is interested in protecting our waterways must also be aware and vocal about the impacts of climate change.