Andria Parker

As spring is only just starting to separate itself from the miserable 'winter' us lower-mainland folk endured this year, it is hardly arguable that our planet is going through some dramatic changes.

I must admit that the changes I have personally made to help better this situation are the lazy ones, and my half-hearted attempt to save the planet via whole foods and organic Vodka have not gone un-scrutinized.

My non-eco-friendly boyfriend can't seem to grasp the idea that organic peppers sold at $6.99 a lb really will help save the planet, and truth be told, neither can I. I'm only buying my veggies and fruit at Capers because Angelina Jolie was recently spotted buying Pink Lady apples, and an organic supermarket is the only place I can find them.

I have however, thanks to my new organic venture, come to a devastating conclusion. I am only trying to live 'greener' because Hollywood has declared 'green is the new black.' Yes, it's better than nothing, but can I really call myself an environmentally friendly person if I'm only doing it to look chic? Hardly. So I've set out to prove to myself and the world that I am in this for the right reasons. Save the Planet!

The first major step in changing my lifestyle is dealing with transportation. I have been reliant on my vehicles since I turned 16, and let's be honest here, not everyone is a bus person.

I admit, I am devastated to let my car go, but in the long run, I'm not only saving myself the gas money and the guilt, I'm also saving myself the embarrassment of people catching me singing "Hit me with your best shot" by Pat Benatar at the top of my lungs while stopped at a red light (it's a true story, I've had them laugh and point...)

I've decided the best way to get around, sans vehicle and public transit, is to cycle. My father, the Rev. Nick Parker, is known through the diocese for his spandex. He likes to think it's for his avid cycling skill, but I've seen the looks he gets when he walks into Synod in his state of the art "man-tights", and trust me, it's the spandex.

He has, however, graciously set me up with second hand gear and elbow pads for my endeavor. Now, I can assure you all, I will not be found gliding down

Burrard street
in tight tights or short shorts, so rest easy, but you will find me off the beaten path, either lying in a ditch or crying my way to the top of some hill screaming "I think I can! I think I can!"

I've decided my second step will be research. It's a no-brainer that not using a vehicle will benefit the environment, but eating organic produce  Becoming a vegetarian? Unplugging an un-used cell phone charger? Not taking a plastic bag at Safeway? These are things I have no answers for, and I pledge to find them.

The final challenge I have given myself in this green attempt is to spread the word. Trust me on this: If I can do it, anyone can! I used to drive over 100 kilometres daily, throw away my juice boxes, leave my computer on 24-7, and laugh at the movie "water world".

Not anymore. The biggest scrutiny, those of us trying to make a difference face, is the pessimistic people who say one person won't make a difference. I figure with the last step I am no longer just one person.

This is also where the church comes in. We, as a diocese, are one connected family, and hence, have the unique opportunity to recruit and organize large groups of people to benefit certain worthwhile causes on a large scale. All joking aside, the 'green' lifestyle is not a decision anymore, but clearly a necessity. So, I urge you to try and make a difference this month-personally or large scale.

For information on how your Parish can become more green visit or contact David Dranchuk at the Diocese of New Westminster for a pamphlet on '125 ways to green your parish.' The Diocesan Environmental Unit has also made an energy audits program available to all the parishes in the diocese, and as of April, only 26 parishes have taken advantage of this. Please make this the month you make the changes, no matter how small!

Contact the Youth Page Co-Editors: Kara Hawkes,; Andria Parker,