Climate Action

Ten Simple Ways to take action on Climate Change

An image I captured during a pipeline protest in February 2019

An image I captured during a pipeline protest in February 2019

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.
Think of it—always”

Mahatma Gandhi

I heard this quote the other day, and I found it soothing to my soul. All through history the way of truth and love have always won.

HOPE is an incredible force and during our current times of environmental strife, I believe we all need to focus on optimism and individual/collective action!
But where do you start?
This is a question I often hear, and it is my goal to try my best to help people answer it for themselves.

I am fortunate to have a solo-exhibition this April 2019, and both the gallerist Sarvenaz Amanat and co-curator Allison Thompson, have been incredibly supportive of both my work and my mission to empower community.
I have coordinated a two part speaker series, which will be a free, public event that hosts fantastic speakers such as:

Izzy Czerveniak, Western Organizer of David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot Movement
Erzsi Institorisz, Co-Founder of GreenSeeds Music Society, Climate Reality Project Leader, Suzuki Speaks and ButterflyWay Project Ranger with the David Suzuki Foundation
Dr. Elaine Leung, Founder & Executive Director of Sea Smart
Marin Davidson, Events Director of Vancouver’s chapter of Surfrider Foundation

I will posting more on these events this week!

In addition to this inspiring line up of female activists, I will also be speaking about my personal experiences with low carbon living and how I got started.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been compiling data to make a list for sustainable lifestyle alternatives, and I came across this post by Diego Arguedas Ortiz, who is a science and climate change reporter for BBC Future.
I have looked at hundreds of documents, posts, etc. and this is the best compilation I’ve ever found.

I love how he briefly addresses the specific impact with each step and provides an accessible solution.
I had to share this brilliant post!

Please check out these simple steps.

To mitigate climate change, the number one goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources (Credit: Getty)

To mitigate climate change, the number one goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources (Credit: Getty)

In a report published in September 2018, the world’s leading climate scientists made their starkest warning so far: our current actions are not enough for us to meet our target of 1.5C of warming. We need to do more.

It’s settled science that climate change is real, and we’re starting to see some of the ways that it affects us. It increases the likelihood of flooding in Miami and elsewhere, threatens the millions of people living along the Brahmaputra River in north-eastern India and disrupts the sex life of plants and animals.

So we don’t need to ask whether climate change is happening – or whether humans are causing it. Instead, we need to ask: “what can we do?”

What can you do that will have the biggest impact? Here’s our guide.

1. What is the single most important thing humanity has to do in the coming years – and what does that mean for me?

The number one goal? Limiting the use of fossil fuels such as oil, carbon and natural gas and replacing them with renewable and cleaner sources of energy, all while increasing energy efficiency. “We need to cut CO2 emissions almost in half (45%) by the end of the next decade,” says Kimberly Nicholas, associate professor of sustainability science at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), in Sweden.

The road towards that transition includes daily decisions within your reach – like driving and flying less, switching to a ‘green’ energy provider and changing what you eat and buy.

Of course, it’s true that climate change won’t be solved by your buying or driving habits alone – although many experts agree these are important, and can influence others to make changes too (more on that later). Other changes are needed that can only be made on a bigger, system-wide basis – like revamping our subsidy system for the energy and food industries, which continue to reward fossil fuels, or setting new rules and incentives for sectors like farming, deforestation and waste management.

One good example of the importance of this regards refrigerants. An advocacy group of researchers, business-people and NGOs called Drawdown found that getting rid of HFCs (chemicals used in fridges and air conditioning)  was the number-one most effective policy to reduce emissions.That’s because they are up to 9,000 more warming for the atmosphere than CO2. The good news is that we have made global progress on this, and two years ago 170 countries agreed to start phasing out HFCs in 2019

This is important because we need “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society to deal with climate change, says the IPCC report. “Everyone is going to have to be involved," says Debra Robert, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the group tasked with the report. 

2. Changing how industries are run or subsidized doesn’t sound like anything I can influence... can I?

You can. Individuals need to exercise their rights both as citizens and as consumers, Robert and other experts say, putting pressure on their governments and on companies to make the system-wide changes that are needed.

Another way, increasingly undertaken by universities, faith groups and recently even at a countrywide level, is to ‘divest’ funds out of polluting activities – such as avoiding stocks in fossil fuels, or banks that invest in high-emission industries. By getting rid of financial instruments related to the fossil fuel industry, organisations can both take climate action and reap economic benefits

3. Other than that, what’s the best daily action I can take?

One 2017 study co-authored by Lund University’s Nicholas ranked 148 individual actions on climate change according to their impact. Going car-free was the number-one most effective action an individual could take (except not having kids – but more on that on that later). Cars are more polluting compared to other means of transportation like walking, biking or using public transport.

One ranking found that going car-free is the most effective action one person can take (Credit: Getty)

One ranking found that going car-free is the most effective action one person can take (Credit: Getty)

In industrialized countries such as European nations, getting rid of your car can reduce 2.5 tonnes of CO2 – about one-fourth of the average yearly emissions (9.2 tonnes) contributed by each person in developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“We should choose more efficient vehicles and, whenever possible, switch directly to electric vehicles,” says Maria Virginia Vilarino, co-author of the mitigation chapter in the IPCC’s latest report.

4. But isn’t renewable energy extremely expensive?

Actually, renewables like wind and solar are becoming increasingly cheap across the world (although final costs are subject to local circumstances). The latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) found that several of the most commonly used renewables, like solar, geothermal, bioenergy, hydropower and onshore wind, will be on par with or cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. Some are already more cost-effective.

Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa (Credit: Getty)

Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa (Credit: Getty)

The cost of utility-scale solar panels has fallen 73% since 2010, for example, making solar energy the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa.  In the UK, onshore wind and solar are competitive with gas and by 2025 will be the cheapest source of electricity generation.

Some critics argue that these prices disregard the price of integrating renewables on the electricity system – but recent evidence suggests these costs are ‘modest’ and manageable for the grid.

5. Could I make a difference by changing my diet?

That’s a big one, too. In fact, after fossil fuels, the food industry – and in particular the meat and dairy sector – is one of the most important contributors to climate change. If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the US.

If cattle were their own nation, they’d be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (Credit: Getty)

If cattle were their own nation, they’d be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (Credit: Getty)

The meat industry contributes to global warming in three major ways. Firstly, cows’ burping from processing food releases lots of methane, a greenhouse gas. Secondly, we feed them with other potential sources of food, like maize and soy, which makes for a very inefficient process. And finally, they also require lots of water, fertilisers that can release greenhouse gases, and plenty of land – some of which come from cleared forests, another source of carbon emissions.     

By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet's carbon footprint by more than 40%

You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to make a difference: cut down gradually and become a ‘flexitarian’. By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet's carbon footprint by more than 40%. A larger-scale approach could be something like banning meat across an organisation, as office-sharing company WeWork did in 2018.

This explainer of sustainable diets by the World Resources Institute (WIR) and its longer associated report provides more answers to questions about food and carbon emissions.

6. How harmful are my flying habits?

Planes run on fossil fuels, and we haven’t figured out a scaleable alternative. Although some early efforts to use solar panels to fly around the world have had success, we are still decades away from commercial flights running on solar energy.

A normal transatlantic round-trip flight can release around 1.6 tonnes of CO2 – almost as much as the average yearly emissions of one person in India.

A normal transatlantic round-trip flight can release around 1.6 tonnes of CO2, according to Nicholas’s study – almost as much as the average yearly emissions of one person in India. This also highlights the inequality of climate change: while everyone will be affected, only a minority of humans fly and even fewer people take planes often.

There are groups of scientists and members of the public who have decided to give up flying or who fly less. Virtual meetings, holidaying in local destinations or using trains instead of planes all are ways to cut down.

Wondering how much your travel contributes to climate change? Measure your carbon emissions in this calculator by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

7. Should I be shopping differently?

Most likely. That’s because everything we buy has a carbon footprint, either in the way it is produced or in how it is transported.

For instance, the clothing sector represents around 3% of the world’s global production emissions of CO2, mostly because of the use of energy to produce attire. The hectic pace of fast fashion contributes to this figure as clothes are discarded or fall apart after short periods.

The clothing sector makes up about 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions (Credit: Getty)

The clothing sector makes up about 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions (Credit: Getty)

International transport, including maritime and air shipping, also has an impact. Groceries shipped from Chile and Australia to Europe, or the other way around, have more ‘food miles’ and usually a higher footprint than local produce. But this is not always the case, as some countries grow out-of-season crops in energy-intensive greenhouses – so the best approach is to eat food that is both locally grown and seasonal. Even so, eating vegetarian still beats only purchasing local.

8. Should I think about how many children I have (or don’t have)?

Nicholas’s study concluded that having fewer children is the best way to reduce your contribution to climate change, with almost 60 tonnes of CO2 avoided per year. But this result has been contentious – and it leads to other questions.

One is whether you are responsible for children’s climate emissions, and the other is where are these babies born.  

If you are responsible for your kids’ emissions, are your parents responsible for yours? And if you are not, how should we consider the fact that more people will likely have more carbon emissions? We also could ask whether having offspring is a human right beyond questioning. And we could ask if having children is necessarily a bad thing for solving climate change: our challenges may mean we will need more problem-solvers in future generations, not fewer.

Those are hard, philosophical questions – and we’re not going to try to answer them here.

Children lead to more CO2 emissions – but they may also be future environmentally-minded problem-solvers (Credit: Getty)

Children lead to more CO2 emissions – but they may also be future environmentally-minded problem-solvers (Credit: Getty)

What we do know is that no two people have the same emissions. Although the average human releases around 5 tonnes of CO2 per year, each country has very different circumstances: developed nations like the US and South Korea have higher national averages (16.5 tonnes and 11.5 tonnes per person, respectively) than developing countries like Pakistan and Philippines (around 1 tonne each). Even within national borders, richer people have higher emissions than people with less access to goods and services. So if you choose to take this question into account, you have to remember that it’s not just about how many children you have – it’s where (and who) you are.

9. But if I eat less meat or take fewer flights, that’s just me – how much of a difference can that really make?

Actually, it’s not just you. Social scientists have found that when one person makes a sustainability-oriented decision, other people do too.

Here are four examples:

Social scientists believe this occurs because we constantly evaluate what our peers are doing and we adjust our beliefs and actions accordingly. When people see their neighbours taking environmental action, like conserving energy, they infer that people like them also value sustainability and feel more compelled to act.

10. What if I just can’t avoid that flight, or cut down on driving?

If you simply can’t make every change that’s needed, consider offsetting your emissions with a trusted green project – not a ‘get out of jail free card’, but another resource in your toolbox to compensate that unavoidable flight or car trip. The UN Climate Convention keeps a portfolio of dozens of projects around the world you can contribute to. To find out how many emissions you need to ‘buy’ back, you can use its handy carbon footprint calculator.

Whether you are a coffee farmer in Colombia or a homeowner in California, climate change will have an impact on your life. But the opposite is also true: your actions will influence the planet for the coming decades – for better or for worse.

Post by Diego Arguedas Ortiz, who is a science and climate change reporter for BBC Future.

The Climate Reality Project


In June 2018, I was informed that my application to become a Climate Reality Leader was accepted and I received an invitation to participate in a three day, intensive training program lead by Former Vice President Al Gore in downtown Los Angeles, in August (2018).

It was the most inspiring three days of my life! 

There were 2300 attendees from over 50 countries, all gathered to dedicate themselves to becoming ambassadors of climate change awareness and engage our communities with resources, empowerment and action. Talk about finding my tribe! I met so many cool cats from around the globe and was connected with a number of Vancouverites that share my concerns and passion in advocating for change.

During this convention we learned about climate science, solutions to solve the crisis and communication techniques to rally the public behind those innovative solutions. 
We heard from esteemed panelists, including; distinguished scientists (my favourite Veerabhadran Ramanathan), professors, firefighters, politicians ( LA's mayor Eric Garcetti, was one of my favourite speakers), poets, musicians, celebrities, inspiring young activists (Nalleli Cobo), renewable technology innovators and CEOs, even the chairman of Walt Disney Studios (Alan Horn). 
And on top of all this, Mr. Gore radiated through every discussion, through every panel and to witness his unbridled passion and optimism through his 2 hour enthralling slideshow; well I just can't find the words to describe how impactful this experience was. 
One of the most powerful lessons I took away is that one person CAN make a difference; and Al Gore is living proof that. I have never been more inspired or felt more empowered to try and do my part as an individual citizen!
Upon accepting this training, I committed to a contract that binds me to 8-10 annual acts of leadership, until the end of anthropocenic threat (so probably for the rest of my life), and I couldn't be more dedicated to this fulfil this life long commitment. 

In 2019, I plan to organize a number of public talks and events here in Vancouver. I look forward to sharing these details with you in January! 🌎✌🏻

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few images I captured during this event and if anyone else is inspired to take part in this project - check out the Climate Reality Project or feel free to get in touch with me and I can point you in the right direction. I have access to incredible resources and I can’t wait to share these with my communities online and in person. If you want to get started right away, check out 100% committed to get inspired and see what people are doing around the world to drive renewable alternatives.

I couldn't help by try to capture a brief video of his radiant energy as he closed the conference. I saw a sign that stated not to record the event, so I respected these rules, however I am grateful I snuck a little capture at the end, as his unbridled passion and conviction continues to inspire me when I feel challenged in my pursuits of promoting awareness and action for climate change.



Last week I attended a screening for the film BLUE. This is hands down one of the most powerful films I have ever seen! I watch A LOT of documentaries, and they all touch your heart, but this film, literally grabs your heart!  I would encourage everyone to attend a local screening and bring friends and family with you!  Every human on the planet needs to be educated on the dire state of our oceans. We are in a critical situation, and I feel like people don’t realize just how close we are to the brink of global catastrophe; nor how imperative oceanic systems are to sustaining all forms of life.  I promise, if you dedicate an hour and a half to watching this film, you will be compelled to do your part. However big or small that is, we all need to act!


I especially loved how the film ended with a direct call to action in the form of a typographic fish (pictured above), composed of actions that every individual can easily engage in; ones that will help in sustaining the world's oceans.

Check out the film's tailer below


The film also has a fantastic website ! It hosts incredible images,  educational programs for youth, comprehensive information regarding the challenges they present in the film, and a well prepared resource page for individuals and for communities wanting to take action. I would urge anyone that is passionate about the oceans, check out this site and commit to some of the lifestyle suggestions that will greatly impact the oceans in a positive way! 

I hope you enjoy this film as much as I did, and thank for your continued interest in this blog and for doing your part to protect the environment! 


World Oceans Week - How Can You Help Save The Oceans?


3 Simple Steps To



Documentaries have always played a powerful role in generating public awareness and I want to share films that I've found profoundly inspiring and that have ultimately, changed my life. All of these films are currently available on NETFLIX. For more info,  click the images icons for direct links to the film websites.

Mission Blue, is going to be my number one recommendation. It is a film that captivated my heart and ultimately inspired my dedication to 'doing my part' for the world I so dearly love.  Dr. Sylvia Earl is a true hero of our times and I am confident that this documentary (available on Netflix) will touch your soul. See the trailer below.



So now you're inspired, and further educated on the many challanges facing our world's oceans.
How do you become apart of the solution you may ponder?
GREAT NEWS, it is easier than you think to start making a difference in the world, and there are thousands of resources available at your finger tips. 
Here is a tangible list of ways the average individual can make a positive impact through acessible lifestyle changes:
(I found this awesome list through Sea Legacy, be sure to check them out) 



This is an easy one! We can all reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by turning off the lights when we leave a room (it actually does make a difference!), using energy efficient appliances, turning down the thermostat, carrying out an energy audit for our homes and businesses, shifting to compact fluorescent light bulbs, taking public transit whenever possible, buying fuel efficient vehicles, vacationing close to home, and flying less.


You can also neutralize all or part of your greenhouse gas emissions by investing in carbon mitigation projects. The idea is to pay an organization that will tangibly and verifiably curb its own GHG emissions to neutralize yours and make you carbon neutral. The process is known as carbon offsetting. The offsetting is achieved through the purchase of carbon credits. Each credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide.


One of the easiest things you can do to help take pressure off of over exploited fisheries is to learn about which seafood items are “ocean-friendly”.  You can download and print a seafood guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


Let’s be the generation that rejects the unnecessary use of plastic. There are so many avoidable uses of plastic and we need to speak out, write to companies, request stores downsize their packaging, and take every opportunity to avoid single-use plastics.


Did you know that barely 5% of our oceans are protected? According to the UN, we need to protect at least 10% by 2020 if we want to maintain our planet’s ecological integrity. Want to see where these Marine Protected Areas exist and where new ones are being proposed? Check out this interactive map by our conservation partner, the Marine Conservation Institute.


The beef industry is one of the main causes of climate change. Just a simple shift from eating less or no beef, to a more vegetarian or low meat diet can have a huge impact on how rapidly our oceans cope with carbon inputs and warming trends.


Palm oil may be the ultimate icon of globalization – an ingredient directly responsible for some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems that has nonetheless permeated our lives so stealthily we barely noticed. Because palm oil is literally in almost everything we buy, it takes a lot more resolve to educate ourselves. You can download a list of what to buy and what to avoid here.


Carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel (coal, petroleum, and natural gas) and is released as carbon dioxide (CO2) when they are burned. A carbon tax is usually defined as a tax based on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from burning fuels. It puts a price on each tonne of GHG emitted, sending a price signal that will, over time, elicit a powerful market response across the entire economy, resulting in reduced emissions.


If you are lucky enough to own shares in companies, you have the option of investing in companies whose climate change policies you approve of and you can also divest (sell) shares of companies whose climate change policies you disapprove of, and most importantly, you can use your voice and vote on company policies as a shareholder.


Motor oil and other hazardous materials often end up washing into coastal areas because they aren't disposed of properly. This pollutes the water and hurts the overall health of our oceans. Be sure to dispose of hazardous materials in an environmentally-safe way.


From home, you can explore beautiful visual stories by our collective of world-class photographers over on our Maptia channel, The Thin Blue Line. And when you’re out and about, take every opportunity to stick your head under the thin, blue line and spend time in the ocean. You might hear whales singing or see a gathering of bioluminescent creatures. Pay attention, these are our fellow travelers on our journey through space and time.

Ok, so that's a fairly large list, but do not feel overwhelmed!
All you have to do is choose a couple of commitments and see where it takes you.
I am confident you will see the added health benefits of living sustainability, and feel a whole lot better knowing that you're contributing to a sustainable future. 
Here are a few links of my 'GO TO' resources, that have aided me in tackling these lifestyle changes:

David Suzuki Foundation
Queen of Green  
My Plastic Free Life
City Of Vancouver - Green Living
Green Choices 
Wiki How - Eco Lifestyle
Plastic Free Living 
Global Stewards

Here are a few pdf links for DIY eco friendly recipes:
Home Care
Hair Care
Body Care
Baby Care
Reef safe Sunscreen List

Ted Talk - Weekday Veg  
Amazing Vegetarian Recipes
Eating Sustainably
Carbon Foodprint
Sustainable Restaurants in Vancouver

The Ocean Clean Up
Surf Rider
5 Minute Beach Clean Up
Al Gore's Climate Reality Project
Dogwood BC
Suzuki Foundation
Sum Of US
Sea Legacy
Georgia Straight Alliance
Care to Action


3. Take Action

Ok, so we have the inspiration, we know what kind of changes/actions are required to live sustainably and we have a great list of resources to work with.
Now it's time for the last and most important step, to TAKE ACTION. 
Just START, right here, right now. As simple as that. No more excuses, delays or questioning if it's even going to make a difference (you have my word, it will!). 
No one expects you to become an 'eco warrior' overnight, but starting somewhere is KEY, and I promise it gets easier, and easier. 
As previously mentioned in step 2, choose a few lifestyle changes, and dedicate yourself to implementing them into daily life. And Voilà, you're on your way to saving the ocean!

And great news, it doesn't have to stop there. For those keen to get really active, there are hundreds of ways you can get involved through participation! 
I have to say, I've found it incredibly up lifting to connect with like minded, eco conscious individuals, and it's always inspiring to see others actively trying to do their part.  Millions of humans are connected to these issues, and millions of people are finding ways to contribute to a brighter future. Who doesn't want to be one of these humans, or hang out with them?
So get on out there, and make some new friends, join a local Shoreline Cleanup or a Climate Change Rally. Start an event in your community or simply sign petitions in the comfort of your home.  Support Indie films that are educating the masses, and attend premiers and film festivals.  Shop 'LOCAL' and support small businesses that are ecologically responsible, like waste free shopping or local Farmers’ Markets.  There are plenty of ways to adopt a minimal , responsible consuming lifestyle, and I think everyone could benefit from this; if not only for your own health/wellness. 

And perhaps most importantly, get outside and connect with nature
Spend as much time outdoors as possible. Personally, it's where my soul comes alive and all of my worries melt away. I always feel connected, grounded and balanced while immersed in the natural world, and there is no substitution for this; it's experiential, and full sensory bliss. 

I truly believe if everyone deeply connected with their environments, they would in turn find value in nature.  And as history clearly shows us, what humans value most, is often preserved. 

Californian Coast - 2013   

Californian Coast - 2013


Fighting For The Future

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”
 -Thomas Jefferson

Kinder Morgan Protest, Burnaby Mountain, April 7th 2018  | With my lifelong friend, Wes McVey.

Kinder Morgan Protest, Burnaby Mountain, April 7th 2018  | With my lifelong friend, Wes McVey.

Four years ago, I dedicated my career to creating compositional artwork that advocates for awareness and preservation of nature🌎 I could no longer sit back and watch the illogical management of natural environments, without trying to make a difference or have my voice heard.  It has become the driving purpose of my being, and my ultimate inspiration.
Along this soulful journey, I’ve connected with many kindred spirits, and standing up for what I believe in, has become the greatest honour of my life. 
I will gladly commit my days on this Earth, to promoting stewardship and action towards a sustainable future.

I stand in solidarity with the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, Squamish and all other indigenous and environmentalists alike. Thank you for leading this resistance 🙌🏻 and for protecting the land for all citizens of the world. I am proud to support these defenders in protest and have found optimism through the sheer passion of others, enduring the fight against corporate greed.  #stopkindermorgan