Jessica Correa discusses what people can do to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions
On Sept. 11, Jessica Correa, the founder of the social enterprise Random Acts of Green, gave a presentation on how every person can make a difference for the environment through small daily acts. The talk was organized by MASU.
According to their website, Random Acts of Green is “a social enterprise whose mission is simple, yet ambitious: to educate, entertain, engage and empower the public to participate in more sustainable behaviour, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.”
During her talk, Correa discussed ways people can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and what her organization is doing to promote community involvement.
“What is the urgency to act here?” Correa asked the audience. “What is the call to action? Why is it so important for everyone here to take action as soon as possible?” She had everyone pull out their cellphones to do a quiz that gaged how knowledgeable the participants were on climate change. A couple of the facts from the quiz were that reducing beef consumption is the most effective way to reduce our carbon footprint and that more than half of the food in Canada is being wasted.
Correa then outlined some of the simple ways people can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions every day. These simple acts included using reusable products like water bottles, driving an electric car, reducing food waste, washing your clothing in cold water, air-drying your clothes, reducing meat consumption and turning off the lights.
“Small changes do add up, whether it’s one, two or three random acts,” said Venna Penney, the MASU Vice President of Student Life.
Correa also talked about Random Acts of Green’s new app, which quantifies the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced per green act. “How it works is that you can actually log your green acts on the app and then you can earn green points,” she explained. “Those green points are actually quantified based on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced, so the more CO2 you reduce the more green points you earn.” People then compete against one another to see who can get the most green points, and the people with the most show up on the app’s leaderboard.
At the end of the talk, Correa asked for questions from the audience. One student asked whether or not she thinks there’s a place for ecological grief.
“Unfortunately ecological grief actually kind of stuns people and makes people kind of depressed. In my experience, we really need to get people to act and that’s where we’re going to see more hope,” said Correa. “Collective action is really what we’re trying to express … being willing to aim for progress and not perfection. When people start to feel that sense of anxiety and ecological grief it’s only because they feel like there’s nothing they can do and we really want to help overcome some of those feelings.”
“You know that everybody here in this room is doing something positive, and you know that of the people back in Fredericton that just heard this presentation yesterday and [the people] back in Charlottetown who heard it too,” Correa said to close her presentation. “One or two green acts at a time really does add up and it really can help us sew a community thread across the country and build that collective impact that we know we so desperately need. I’m hoping that I can count on you here today to do that.”