The problem is that I'm no better than Doug.

Author:Atkins, Michael
Position::President's Note

I'm not by any stretch of the imagination an environmentalist.

I'm probably like you. I see what is going on around us and believe we need to act decisively on the environment, but not necessarily in my backyard.

Although I've owned a hybrid SUV for many years, I recently bought a van with no such environmental pedigree. I committed to buying the hybrid in the class but ended up getting a more traditional van for reasons peculiar to my aging body which had difficulty opening and closing the doors of the hybrid. As it happened, I gave up a substantial government subsidy in Ontario for the hybrid (no longer available in Ontario) and therefore paid a premium to pollute. I hated doing it but not so much that it stopped me from buying the van. I clearly loved my lifestyle more.

It's a long story. I bought a three-wheel recumbent bike, and the only way to store it and move it around was in a van. Nothing was going to get in the way of me getting the bike or the vehicle to make it transportable.

I justified all of this environmental terrorism on my part because in recent years I've stopped playing squash, skiing or sailing and the bike is the last way for me to break a sweat or go too fast down a hill and pretend I'm still at least immature.

I have another shocking admission.

I love Evian water. It just tastes better to me than almost any other drink now that I limit the Glenmorangie, Canadian Club, Cabernet, Makers Mark, and Stoli. But I digress.

The crime in the latter is the plastic. This is a topic my daughter Jackie never tires of lecturing me about. The truth is that plastic is invading and degrading our environment worldwide. We should be limiting it urgently. It is choking our oceans. If Evian water doesn't come in a glass bottle soon, I will have to go back to distilled products. This would not be good for me but a plus for the ocean.

I do belong to a reasonably earnest environmental investment group. Our goal has been to help make things better and if we can make a little money along the way that would be great as well. I've always looked at it as my personal cap-and-trade program.

I'm not sure it buys me absolution for the Evian water, but it has at least served as a little personal greenwashing.

We have invested in sustainable food products, a solar power network in Ontario, innovation in the oil industry...

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