Important to contribute personally

Norway is not the sole promoter of a transition to zero emission electrical energy for powering their frigid world. Sweden’s heavy equipment manufacturer Volvo is developing electric wheel loaders, haul trucks, and excavators at Skanska’s quarry near Gothenburg, Sweden. These machines match the Norwegians road vehicle, ship, and aircraft aspirations. Cold weather seems to initiate inspiration and stimulate forward thinking.

At first glance, technological advances seem to be the realm of government and large corporations. But never underestimate the little guy. My ancestors, one generation back, were no strangers to innovation. These people survived not only two world wars, but a depression. They were in Canada at the time of the wars, but the call for raw materials and supplies meant a shortage of goods at home. They were the ultimate conservationists long before the term was dreamed of. Grandma wasted nothing. Flour sacks were used for tea towels; butcher paper and any plastic bag from store bought goods were reused to the point of failure.

Organic food stuffs filled the cellar long before the modern refrigerator was even invented, let alone readily available. Canned and cured meats were the staple of the day.

Cows provided milk, butter, and cream for both home use and a supplement to the wallet with a cheque from the creamery. Pigs provided ham and bacon; chickens fed many a family gathering.

Barns and the main domicile were painstakingly built from finely crafted logs; lumber for the house was cut on Grandpa’s sawmill. Their home, small by today’s standards, met their needs.

Transportation was a team with wagon, horseback, or foot. In short they made little impact on the environment. Everything they consumed was raised at home. There was little need for foodstuffs to make thousand mile journeys on trucks from warm environments.

Today, numerous home owners are providing the electrical requirements of their residences with power generated by photovoltaic arrays, small wind turbines, and even hydro power on a small dedicated scale. Many have developed heat generation units that provide the warmth needed in the winter season from the decay of the grass they cut from their own lawns in summer. Saskatchewan is known for the ingenuity of rural folk who heat homes, workshops, and greenhouses with the heat from burning straw or hay bales.

The idea put forth is that conservation does not require a large amount of investment; many of the things we do in life can be modified to lessen our impact on the environment.

Growing our own vegetables, raising a few chickens or a beef eliminates the need of having these commodities shipped in from hundreds of miles away. If you do not own land, buy locally from farmers markets, self-pick berry farms or vegetable gardens. Purchase your meat from your local butcher shops or right off the farm.

Conservation of resources, along with utilizing novel ways to supplement your heating necessities, electrical needs, and transportation requirements, is a means for a personal contribution in the transition to a durable civilization.

Lorne Oja can be contacted at lorne@carbon2solar.com

Just Posted

Photos: Hundreds attend Red Deer Lights the Night

Cold weather didn’t stop people from enjoying holiday festivities

Backlog of irregular asylum claims has ballooned to over 28,000

OTTAWA — The backlog of asylum claims from irregular migrants awaiting a… Continue reading

Canada Post asks for halt to international shipments as parcel backlog grows

OTTAWA — Canada Post has asked its international partners to halt mail… Continue reading

Killer wildfire, bar shooting draw Trump to California

WASHINGTON — The killer wildfire in Northern California and the recent country-music… Continue reading

Trump visits as California struggles to locate 1,000 people

PARADISE, Calif. — President Donald Trump heads to Northern California on Saturday… Continue reading

UK leader fights back against critics amid Brexit upheaval

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May fought back against critics of… Continue reading

Workers at Quebec-run liquor stores begin 3-day strike, shutting down most outlets

MONTREAL — A labour dispute that began with stickers on store windows… Continue reading

Trump’s heated rhetoric not in line with U.S. actions: American senators

HALIFAX — Two outspoken U.S. senators — one Republican and one Democrat… Continue reading

B.C. government to bring lower transgender surgery to the province

VANCOUVER — Gwen Haworth says she always knew her gender identity, even… Continue reading

Action needed to reverse Canada’s wildlife decline, conservationists say

MONTREAL — Canada may be known for its wide-open spaces and wildlife,… Continue reading

Vancouver lawyer who prosecuted Khmer Rouge leaders welcomes genocide verdict

OTTAWA — A Vancouver lawyer who helped prosecute two of the Khmer… Continue reading

Trade war between U.S., China shows no sign of abating amid tough talk at APEC

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — Leaders from the world’s two biggest… Continue reading

Most Read