By Maryssa Fenwick
We hear it all around us, “do your part”. Do your part in reducing plastic waste, do your part to refuse single use items, do your part to pick up garbage on the side of the road, to drive an electric car, to bring reusable bags to the store…do your part. A good friend of mine recently made a comment about the lack of accountability as a producer in today’s “do your part” society. Now that does not mean we should halt our efforts in becoming genuine environmental stewards, but is does bring new light to an ongoing conversation. As consumers the blame is put onto us; where is the accountability for the producers? For the companies filling our grocery stores with single use items, plastic packaging, and un-recyclable items? For the fast food industry that continues to produce unsustainable products, handing out single use silverware, condiments, and straws daily? As the conversation shifts from what we should be doing, to what we must start doing to conserve our Earth, policies and laws must move in the same direction. We should all continue to do our part in the battle against waste in our country, to limit our plastic use, refuse unnecessary products and encourage our friends to do the same. However, we should also get involved in local planning, clubs and events that push producers to focus on the health of our environment over monetary gain. “Doing our part” is a multifaceted process, it requires more from us than simply bringing a reusable bag to the store. As consumers it is our responsibility to hold the producers accountable for their actions. Let 2020 be the year we collectively, consumers and producers, allocate our time and energy into being the change, into “doing our part”.