Editorials - March 11, 2021
Waste not, want not
A U.N. report released last week outlining global food waste was an eye opener. According to the report, nearly half of all fruit and vegetables produced globally are wasted each year. Roughly one-third of the food produced every year gets wasted, approximately one billion tonnes.
This amount of food waste directly impacts the environment by causing farmers to have to produce more than we need. It also fills our landfill sites at an ever-increasing speed.
While food waste occurs at every step of the chain, from the farm through to processing, consumers can most affect the losses at the retail and home levels. Much of the waste is directly attributed to consumer behaviours. Marketing schemes such as discounting multiple purchases have increased the amount of food thrown out. And tools that seemingly give consumers more information such as “best before” dates have caused even more waste. Rarely do foods go bad by their expiry dates, but most households in developed countries throw it out the day after the date on the package and just buy new. In reality, those dates are often the last date a manufacturer has tested for optimal flavour quality or texture.
As consumers, we need to be more aware of the resources that go into all of our food and take steps to minimize the waste. Our grandparents would be appalled to see our garbage. – DS
Champing at the bit
What a difference (less than) a day can make – more like 18 hours.
That’s how long it took Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) to fill its first vaccination appointment schedule for adults aged 80 and up and Indigenous adults aged 55 and up. More appointments opened on Friday.
That first block consisted of 3,500 appointments and they were full in just 18 hours. A news release from HPPH stated that demand was expected to be high, but that residents exceeded those expectations. The release also stated that HPPH appreciates “the enthusiasm of those eager to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.”
It’s nice to hear that about Huron and Perth County residents as attitudes persist throughout North America, mostly in the U.S., but also in Canada, of people taking the wait-and-see approach. Some are skeptical of the science, sure that they know more than the world’s smartest doctors, scientists and public health officials, while others would rather contract the potentially deadly virus than receive a vaccine. Unfortunately, like so many aspects of life in this pandemic, vaccine hesitancy is seemingly following party lines – at least in the U.S. The Pew Research Center recently released a report showing that only a bit better than half of Republicans (56 per cent) are keen to get vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to 83 per cent of Democrats.
Vaccine hesitancy, however, has been dropping when compared to numbers from last November. Confidence has been growing as more people get vaccinated and show no signs of serious side effects or deaths as a result of the inoculation.
Locally though, it seems, people are using their brains and are willing to follow the science, trusting those who know more than they do. Let’s hope the trend continues, because as more people are vaccinated, fewer will contract the virus, which can only benefit the community. – SL
Canada Post needs to pick a lane and stay in it to make sure it’s doing the best it can.
The beleaguered crown corporation recently reached out to people through postage-paid “postcards”, which is in quotations because they are pretty flimsy for that purpose. The move, which wasn’t very well advertised, has caught a number of people off guard.
For those who weren’t aware of the products, or who simply didn’t want to waste time filling them out, the postcards were quick to find the recycling bin. The problem with awareness, however, seems pretty prevalent as numerous news organizations and individuals have taken to social media to talk about the cards after they arrived.
That kind of groundswell is great, but should have happened before the cards ended up in the mailboxes of Canadians, that way some of them might not have ended up in the recycling. Canada Post needed to put more of an emphasis on getting the word out, which is ironic as that’s the entire company’s reason for existing. The crown corporation also needs to decide whether or not it wants to be a letter-carrying company. With a definitive focus on trying to be the package carrier for Canadians, the emphasis on letter mail (and other mailbox-bound mails like newspapers and periodicals) seems to have dropped in recent years. Hardly a week goes by that Citizen staff doesn’t field a phone call from someone whose newspaper didn’t make it to the box, along with the rest of their mail.
If Canada Post wants to continue to be in charge of letter mail, it should focus on boots-on-the-ground initiatives, advertise programs like the postcards and remind Canadians it doesn’t just deliver parcels. – JDS