So, after a weekend spent walking in local parks and natural areas and listening to my heart, as well as to what my friends were saying, I came to the decision to continue to leading tours.
I absolutely love leading educational natural and cultural history tours with people keen to learn about the places we visit. I firmly believe that I’m “called” to do this work. From a very young age, I’ve known that my mission in life is to save and restore wild species and areas. My way of doing this has been and continues to be as a naturalist,interpreter and educator.
As I acknowledged in my previous post, I’m fully aware of the extra greenhouse gases I’m contributing through my personal consumption of goods and services and that of my guests. I’m equally aware that everything that my wife and I do to live generates waste, of which one are greenhouse gases and in particular, carbon.
For years, we’ve been committed to reducing our carbon footprint. We’ve always been good at refusing to buy things we don’t need, buying used goods where possible, and recycling most everything we dispose. We live in a small suite.
According to BC’s Ministry of Environment, each resident of the province produced about 13 metric tonnes of carbon in 2018. Back in 2015, I used an on-line carbon calculator to determine that our joint footprint. Unfortunately I can’t recall nor can I find a record of it, but I believe our combined footprint was considerably less than this, around 6 – 8 metric tonnes. I could be wrong, so don’t quote me on this.
I started leading tours in 2016 which has increased our carbon footprint. By how much I don’t know yet. I haven’t been keeping track but it is something that I intend to do. I then will be offsetting the emissions through a not–for-profit that invests my money in the developing renewable energy sources and making them financially accessible for the masses.
The enemy of the good is the perfect some wise person once said. So true. I’ll never be perfect when it comes to not emitting any greenhouse gases (even for quite awhile after my death!). However, I’ve reminded myself that I am doing good to reduce them.
Meanwhile, as a tour guide, I have the opportunity to encourage others to do the same.
I think to some degree my ethical struggle over whether to continue guiding tours was influenced by a powerful and devious narrative that dominates our times. This narrative places the responsibility of fighting climate change on the shoulders of individuals, like myself. But the narrative as perpetuated by government and corporations is intended to deflect our attention for their responsibility and the lack of them taking it seriously.
It’s a narrative that we need to aware of and not be taken in by it.