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Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

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Sustainability for living things means having enough for all, forever.  

It can also mean taking care of our own generation so that the next generation has the same opportunities we do.  

Now if you don’t have kids or care about the future of our planet, then you can stop reading this article right now and move on. But if you have the slightest curiosity about helping Mother Earth survive in a healthy way for years to come, then I urge you to continue.  

At the beginning of July, I took a course at the University of Manitoba called What is Sustainability and How to Live Sustainably.

I had no idea. I understand we cannot all take two weeks to sit in class and learn, so let me sum up this important info for you: The planet needs our help!

In North America, we produce five times more waste than the planet can handle at our current rate. It’s simple, but I feel like I’m pushing a new religion or trying to sell something door to door.  

If you’re still reading, you care, so here’s the deal: we need to do more — more recycling, more reusing, simply being more conscious of our actions and how they affect our world.  

All the little things add up. So use less water, less hydro, pay attention and make the effort to recycle everywhere you go, drive less (take your bike or walk if possible), buy locally to reduce oil used in product importation, get out and enjoy nature at the park or one of Manitoba’s thousands of lakes, use real plates when camping instead of paper ones that end up in the fire, plant a garden, use a rain barrel to water your yard and/or garden, think about your ecological footprint, and so on.

Yes, some will call you a tree hugger, but I say, "Be happy they’re still around to hug!"
Do you have ideas for sustainability?  Join the cause and make good things happen.  This is the only planet we have and once it’s gone, so are we.

Dan Sylvestre is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge.

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