Dreaming of blue skies and the smell of damp soil

Tell us what you are doing in your everyday life to stay green. Email asiple@postmedia.com. Photo by Twyla Siple / Interlake Publishing

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Fires are raging all over the world and, as one of my friends put it, the trees aren’t having a good time.

When I recently asked one of my gardening friends what her favourite cool word was, her answer came immediately: Petrichor. The smell of the soil after it rains.

Temperatures have been regularly exceeding 30 C and I think we are all looking forward to the end of fire season. “Smoke” has been the weather forecast for too long and I long for the smell of damp, fresh soil.

With people being evacuated from northern Manitoba due to a 25,000-hectare fire, plus over 600 fires in BC, over 300,000 acres of fire in California, and smoke from Europe and Asia making its way over the Pacific to blanket our North American skies, we are in some serious need of rain.

When it’s this hot, all I want to do is go find a cold body of water to swim in. I will pack my bikini and my floaty and head out with friends to find water to play in, but just how safe is it to swim in our lakes?

The RM of Gimli shut their beaches down briefly after raw sewage leaked into Lake Winnipeg, yet apparently, it’s now safe to swim in again, according to the province. And Lake Manitoba is only knee deep.

How is it that these things happen? Why is it that we can send people to space but we don’t have the technology to prevent sewage and pipeline spills and forest fires? We have the technology to connect to people inside space stations at the touch of a button, yet we don’t have space-type technology to resolve what’s happening right here on our beautiful planet?

What can we do, as everyday people, other than respect the fire bans and boil-water advisories?

If you’re a smoker, don’t flick your butts, period. Or better yet, switch to vaping. If you’re a fire maker, put your fire out before you depart. If you don’t want your fluids and solids contributing to raw sewage spills, consider compostable toilets. If you don’t want to contribute to global emissions, consider investing in an electric vehicle, start up a ride-share, or go in on a solar panel network with your neighbours.

As extreme temperatures continue to affect our world, we are lucky to have access to our natural resources that are so readily and easily accessible. Let’s focus on keeping it that way and do what we can every day to love our home planet. So far, it’s the only one we’ve got.

Please write to me and share your stories about what you are doing in your everyday life to stay green.

Email: aisple@postmedia.com.