Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Green volunteering grouch.

This year I offered my services in two areas of sustainability: firstly, I donated a considerable number of hours to our very own Lions Bay Climate Action Task Force and ended up chairing the Green Energy Sub-committee. Because I am so passionate about making a real difference in the fight against climate change, it was easy to spend 5 - 6 hours a day working on things such as the proposal to put microhydro in 2 of our creeks, reaching out to nearby communities doing the same thing and even writing up minutes, which I loathe.

I was also accepted as a volunteer by Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre in Vancouver, as a presenter of their Green Building 101 for Homeowners workshops. I've been to all except one team meeting, attended the training, and started familiarising myself with the 85 slides we are expected to present. Ditto the remark about passion, hours, etc above.

So why am I so frustrated? Arriving on time for meetings, actually giving up some hours after making the initial commitment and so on, appear to be completely voluntary as well. Here I am, with years of expertise and skills to offer, saying to these groups you can have it all FOR FREE, JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT... but all I hear is warm fuzzies about how we should be thankful for unprofessional, inexperienced individuals, because they are after all "volunteers". What's the bottom line? Nothing gets done, or it rambles along on an ad hoc basis, and at the end of the day, my time is just wasted. Silly me - I really thought volunteering was a great way to give back, to offer something valuable to the planet, thus ensuring the survival of us all.

So my new commitment to myself and our planet is to find a PAYING job in which I can make a meaningful contribution in the fight for a more sustainable way of life and hopefully assist in bringing about small changes that will all add up to REAL change. Because if you are getting paid, people tend to value your skills, time and experience.

Just as well no-one reads this blog except me. Frankly, bring on the Republic. Sometimes I really give up on humankind.

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