Saving Planet Earth: Sometimes it Feels Hopeless

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Saving Planet Earth: Sometimes it Feels Hopeless

Leave it to David Suzuki to change my mind.

David Suzuki speaks to a rapt audience in Montreal during a benefit concert as part of his Blue Dot Tour – October 15, 2014. (Photo: Sylvain Lalande)

From left to right: Marc-Antoine Saumier, Account Manager, Enterprise Group – Domtar; David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation; Donna Atkinson, Advisor, Internal Communications – Domtar (Photo: Sylvain Lalande)

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How @DavidSuzuki recharged my passion for the planet at #BlueDot
Friday, October 31, 2014 - 11:45am
By Donna Atkinson, Advisor, Internal Communications – Domtar
I’m no Queen of Green, but I try to do my part for the environment: I walk more than I drive, I opt for re-usable water bottles and grocery bags, and I hang-dry my clean laundry instead of using an energy-hogging appliance. I’m well aware that there’s much more I could do (the list feels endless) and I often ask myself: In the battle to save our planet, am I doing enough? Sometimes it feels like the world is beyond saving. How can I make a real difference? Is it pointless to even try?
This was on my mind when some colleagues and I attended a benefit concert hosted by Dr. David Suzuki, renowned scientist and iconic champion for Mother Nature. The event – sponsored in part by Domtar – was one stop in a two-month cross-Canada campaign, called the Blue Dot Tour, in which ordinary citizens are called on to take extraordinary action on behalf of the planet.
Dr. Suzuki asked the crowd: “What’s more important than the right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat healthy food?” Put that way, it’s pretty hard to dispute the importance of fighting the good fight. Any thoughts of quitting were gone. But how can one person and her recycling bin make a difference?
And that’s actually the message of his tour: by bringing people together around the cause, he’s showing us that it’s not just about our individual actions. Greater than the sum of our parts, there’s power in numbers. By no means is this a new formula; humans have consistently changed the course of history by uniting their efforts (for better or for worse).
So what does this mean for me? For one, it reinforces my commitment to our company’s EarthChoice Ambassadors program. It gives me the opportunity to directly connect with colleagues and the community on sustainability issues through education and hands-on activities. In my personal life, I would like to become involved in larger environmental initiatives, and will look for new ways to join my actions with others.
The Blue Dot Tour was a refreshing reminder that there is hope if we don’t give up and if we continue to work together. To quote Dr. Suzuki: “Something is impossible only until someone decides it is possible.”
Donna and Marc-Antoine are members of Domtar’s EarthChoice Ambassadors at the company’s head office in Montreal. This group of employee volunteers brings Domtar’s sustainability message to the grassroots level across the company and in the community by encouraging and demonstrating environmentally and socially responsible practices. With teams at 15 locations to date (and counting), Domtar has publicly committed to having the EarthChoice Ambassador program at all its sites by 2020.
David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. He is renowned for his radio and television programs that explain the complexities of the natural sciences in a compelling, easily understood way.
This article was first published on our blog Fiberlines: an online space where you’ll get insights about our business and our products, stories about our host communities, and opinion about industry innovation and sustainability trends. Check it out at or follow us on Twitter (@DomtarCorp), LinkedIn or Google+ (+domtar). 
Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Blue Dot Tour | David Suzuki | Domtar | EarthChoice Ambassadors | Environment | Events, Media & Communications | Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives | Social Impact & Volunteering | fiberlines | sustainability