Amanda is a Blue Dot volunteer, yoga instructor and adult educator.
Picture this: You’re six years old, in an unpaved outdoor space enclosed by a chain-link fence. Around you are dumpsters the size of shipping containers that are five times your height. You walk over to the nearest one, get on your tippie toes and look into the open slot on the side of the container. You focus finally rests on its contents and your heart sinks and your jaw drops open. You see hundreds of perfectly good books thrown away.
The good news? They’re there to be recycled.
This was me when I was a little kid in Toronto, long before we had curbside recycling. It was the moment when I realized just how much of an effect we can have as a collective. If every person recycles, it can have a massive impact. Fast-forward 25 years and the conversation is different. Really making a difference is now beyond our individual actions. We are now shifting our laws to encourage and promote recognition of environmental rights at all levels of government, to ensure all people in Canada have access to clean air and water, healthy soil and a stable climate.
Four years ago, I got involved with my community through a park cleanup that Blue Dot was hosting in Richmond Hill, Ontario. I found myself surrounded by people who cared about the environment just as much as I did — except they were different. They were talking about going beyond anything I knew and actually demanding the government change our constitutional rights. I was wide-eyed and had so much to learn!
I now live in Vancouver and get to work with the Blue Dot team here to strengthen our community by offering events and workshops that focus on how we can make a difference for our environment. I believe the Blue Dot community has the power to update our governing systems to include environmental rights. These rights will provide people with a touchstone to change the way we act as a society. If we take a stand for what we believe in, we can drive the change we want. This is evident by the powerful movements that came before us, against slavery and for universal health care and gender identity.
Blue Dot relies on the efforts of dedicated citizens taking action in their local communities. Humans of Blue Dot is an attempt to capture the unique stories of some inspiring volunteers who have generously given their time to advancing the environmental rights movement in Canada.