“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

I love Margaret Mead’s famous quote because of its simple truth. I’ve been fortunate in my life to know people who believe in themselves, in good causes, and in the community around them – and those people have taught me to do what I can to help influence positive change.

When I heard about Sustainable Waterloo Region and the work they’re doing to advance the environmental sustainability of organizations across Waterloo Region through collaboration, I knew I wanted to get involved. I wanted to be part of that change, to really give back to our community and make a lasting difference in the world. Each of us has a vested interest, whether we recognize it or not, to do whatever we can to ensure that our planet and our environment are nurtured to sustain us for generations to come.

The work being done by Sustainable Waterloo Region and the members of the Regional Carbon Initiative are proof that collective individual efforts can have a greater impact. Since the Regional Carbon Initiative began in 2009, member organizations have reported total GHG reductions of 154 tonnes – and those are only the results we know about. There are other organizations out there making changes to reduce their carbon footprint.

As a society, we’re past the point where we can get away with thinking that our individual efforts don’t make a difference, because they do. Whether it’s recycling more, using fewer “disposable” products, or turning our cars off instead of letting them idle, if we all do something, then we’ll see real results. It could be that your individual effort inspires someone else to think about their own practices, or gives someone a simple idea for a big change. The collective results of the Regional Carbon Initiative members is proof – if we work together, we can all make a difference.

Kelly McMath