Big Footprints Lead to Small Steps

Quaker farmer Robert Fensom attended a “Carbon Sabbath” workshop facilitated by Ian Thomson in Salmon Arm, BC, and here he reflects on his ‘footprint’.

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One foot in front of the other: it’s the usual way to get around for most folks, though many of us use cars and trucks which leave bigger footprints than a guy plodding along in his sneakers. Footprints are big news these days, at least carbon ones, not my size nines. Our choices and lifestyles give most of us larger footprints than our feet need. Some time ago I answered a questionnaire and took a workshop on carbon prints. I was actually surprised how low I was compared to many of my classmates, even though my back yard is forty-five acres and my house is twice the size of most folks.

Yes, I am one of a disappearing breed, a farming, Christ-centred, conservative Friend. No, I do not wear braces, black wool pants, and a straw hat. Blue jeans, western shirt, and a cap do me fine. My horsepower is a diesel-burning tractor, and I love any machine that saves my back and is cost-effective on our farm. I run chainsaws, riding-lawnmowers and a “Gator” (mini pickup) all of which burn fuel and give me black points on the carbon scale. So with some trepidation I set about working my way through the book at the workshop, calculating house size, heating system, car mileage for all vehicles, and air mileage per year. No stone went unturned.

Filed in: Ecological Justice


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