Category Archives: Environmentalism

Teaching Farley Mowat

Farley Mowat occupies a curious position in Canadian letters. He is a kind of Ernest Hemingway of the north, but in the academic world of English study, he is never dressed well enough to be invited to the party. Some … Continue reading

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Always a Working Light Bulb

No one who has lived in the west and has observed the rampant consumerism and waste will be surprised by yet another example of still functioning goods thrown away, but when people learn about the light bulbs, many are still … Continue reading

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The Dream of the Found Object

When I told my friend that I have a recurring dream in which I find stuff, she found it endlessly funny. In the dream, I am usually in a rush to go somewhere, and that rush has an extra push … Continue reading

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Found Sentences: The Environmental Movement and Going Back to Green

When Cousin Nick wanted to make a documentary about me he wasn’t that impressed when he interviewed my friend Mento Wong. Mento was a biker friend of mine who’d spent his life railing against conformity and worked as an operator … Continue reading

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Sentences from Student Papers

Although student papers are not the gold mine that some websites suggest, with anti-pedantic-teacher rhetoric and unlikely yet comical meanings, they sometimes offer thoughtful analysis and clever observations. These are a delight for the instructor, but unfortunately—and perhaps this says … Continue reading

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Ignorance, Knowledge, and the Environment

We often presume that someone who doesn’t care about their environment is merely ignorant. They just don’t know, we say to ourselves when pondering the person throwing recyclables in the trash, or making arguments about buying a larger vehicle. If … Continue reading

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The Walmart Generation

My ex-girlfriend’s mother was a member of the Walmart generation, and when I first met her she showed us around the house. Part of this tour meant that she pointed out the new coffee table. I realize now that it … Continue reading

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Yard Sale Culture

Sometimes he felt as though he’d wandered into a world where everyone’s life had been spilled out like a gut-shot man, as if their sentiment and possessions were stacked in boxes at a planet-wide yard sale. He thought of what … Continue reading

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Toys for Big Boys: Manboys and Manplay

When a local motorcycle and skidoo shop adopted the name “Toys for Big Boys” I would have thought it would mean death for their business. I would have guessed that the overgrown baby that is the man who loves to … Continue reading

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Wishcycling

As soon as I heard the word, and its definition, in a documentary about the New York waste stream, I knew, rather sheepishly, that I had been guilty of wishcycling. Many times I can remember standing over a recycling bin … Continue reading

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