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Vy Manohara
Dec 10, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Vision: We envision the youth as empowered and taking action, demanding policy reforms that usher us into a future with environmental sustainability. Obstacle: Some of us lack knowledge of environmental issues, many of us lack knowledge of what to do about issues, and even more of us lack confidence in taking action and making a difference. Solution: Change begins with informing yourself on current issues and connecting with your community to take action. It can be as simple as writing a letter to government officials to as big as participating in a protest - regardless, change can occur at any and every level. A Current Issue You Can Take Action On: Almost 90% of global subsidies for agriculture are promoting or sustaining harmful farming practices. The problem is not insufficient funds, but not utilizing those funds for attaining sustainability goals. Reforms to Canadian crop insurance can allow us to keep supporting farmers economically AND improve environmental sustainability by promoting beneficial farming practices on a large scale. Get informed! You can be a part of this change! https://www.cosphere.net/single-post/insuring-a-better-future-reforming-canadian-crop-insurance
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Vy Manohara
Dec 02, 2022
In #UnleashValues
This class has truly been an eye-opening experience! Getting educated on incredibly pressing issues about the environment and learning tangible action items to help solve those issues was so valuable. The climate crisis and everything surrounding it always felt so hopeless before, it felt like we were on this path to doomsday and it's far too late to do anything about it. ENVR 430 really taught me how complex this little blue marble we live on actually is, and all of the things we can do to help sustain it. I envision a future where everyone has access to a remarkable course like this one, where kids my age are educated about the world around them and how they have the power to bring about systemic and individual change. Courses like these are what change the trajectory of a uni student's academic path and way of thinking, they really put a holistic perspective on the future and help situate someone who might feel incredibly lost in their 20s. I really hope that ENVR 430 continues on as its such a valuable course, and that other faculties and universities adopt a similar method of teaching!
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Vy Manohara
Nov 24, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Death is often seen as a morbid and somber event (understandably so), something that most people try to prevent or prolong. There's been a lot of media attention lately about the reforms to the medically assisted aid in dying (MAiD) policy we have here in Canada where they plan to expand the service to those with mental disorders as well. It's gained a lot of negative and controversial traction, many take the stance that the service shouldn't be expanded because individuals with mental disorders do not have the capacity to make a decision about ending their life. In opposition, others are advocating for the service to continue as it allows individuals to handle their death on their own terms, taking autonomy for any suffering they may be going through and would want to put a stop to. It got me thinking about how little choice we have when it comes to death (how we want to die, what happens to us after) and how others (family members, healthcare providers, funeral industry etc.) have a much larger say in it than we do. I envision a world where we reframe our idea of death and all that comes after, and rather place greater importance on the autonomy of an individual when it comes to their choices for death care. Systems (such as the death care industry or the healthcare industry) shouldn't impose on an individual's choices when it comes to death, rather they should offer a variety of options so the individual can make the call themselves. This should occur at the beginning of the process where they can choose to access MAiD if they wish (as it is currently very inaccessible), but also provide options for after. Such as whether they want to be buried or cremated, but also offering various ecologically friendly ways of cremation (aquamation, etc.). Having multiple options for death and death care can transform the way we approach it, it will provide autonomy and also allow an individual to implement values they hold true, to their last breath.
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Vy Manohara
Nov 15, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Until this week, I never really realized how much plastic is involved in my life. It's nearly everywhere and its inescapable, from shampoo bottles to receipts, baby wipes to food containers, plastic is something we can't avoid. Microplastics accumulate at alarming rates in our oceans and our landfills, they even begin to disperse through the air. We must slow down our plastic consumption and optimize our recycling methods to work towards a cleaner environment and greener planet! Given that the everyday consumer isn't going to slow down their consumption rates, going plastic-free is a big ask and in reality is very difficult to do. I envision a world where plastic use isn't a burden put upon the individual but rather mitigated by the systems that sell us these products. Banning single-use plastics (i.e shopping bags, straws, etc) is a start but large companies such as Johnson and Johnson should rethink the way they manufacture their products and have an alternative for the plastics they use. The beauty industry generates incredible amounts of plastic waste with their packaging as well, making the simple switch to biodegradable paper boxes or glass pots for makeup rather than plastic tubes can make a huge difference.
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Vy Manohara
Nov 04, 2022
In #UnleashValues
I envision a world where wealth is distributed in an equitable way, where people are paid fair amounts for their work and there's a limit to how much wealth a single person can have at a time. The incredible disparity that exists between the middle class and upper class doesn't sit right with me, those with exorbitant amounts of money automatically have ridiculous amounts of power that come so easily with it. In order to curve this imbalance of money and power, taxing the ultra-rich larger amounts that are proportional to their wealth can mediate this inequity. Also regulating the "philanthropy" they take part in can help distribute the wealth evenly, so they don't use DAFs or self-owned charities as loopholes for tax evasion. There should also be some sort of regulation or law against billionaires being able to buy out large corporations and do whatever they want with them.
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Vy Manohara
Oct 20, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Reading Animal Farm in grade 9 english class and watching the content about food and farming this week ended with me having the exact same reaction: "Well I wasn't expecting that" I realized that I didn't know very much about where my food comes from, how it's made, or how inequitable and inaccessible farming can actually be. The origins of my food are often something I overlook and take for granted when in reality, a burger is so much more than just a burger. It's the gallons of water that went into making it, the number of ranchers that fed the cattle, the farmers that planted the crops for the feed, and so on. I envision a world where farming can be done in a sustainable and non-exploitive way, where farmers can grow pesticide-free crops without falling into extreme debt and the land used for farming as well as the animals put on that farm, are treated well. Introducing larger farm subsidies could help alleviate the pressure farmers have to produce a high output of crops. They'd be less likely to use harmful pesticides to increase their yield and plant/harvest crops in a way that would help replenish the soil rather than deplete it. Moving towards a global social change that reevaluates our meat consumption could also make a huge difference in our cattle farming. The overconsumption and demand for meat and the cattle ranches we establish to keep up with that need is a pretty big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It also takes up a large chunk of land that can be used for other crops and so limiting how much meat we consume can reduce our need for these large cattle ranches. Rather, these animals can live in moderate numbers on a regular farm and keep the natural processes on the farm in check (i.e for fertilizer purposes, chicken companions, draft animals, etc.)
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Vy Manohara
Oct 11, 2022
In #UnleashValues
This basic human right that a lot of us have the privilege of acquiring however much we want whenever we want, is severely undervalued in the global economy. Water is crucial to existing and flourishing on earth, both for our human communities and our natural environment and you can't really put a price on something that vital. That being said, putting a price tag on it might be the only way we can ensure we use it responsibly. I envision a future where everyone has access to water in an equitable and necessary way, major emphasis on those last two words. Water crises around the world have shown us time and time again that this fundamental resource is actually finite and we don't have an abundance of it (contrary to what our water usage habits exhibit). The way the West and industrial corporations use exorbitant amounts of water yet pay little to none to use it, and leave very little of the resource for the rest of the world just furthers the inequities individuals in lower socio-economic demographics already face. In order to combat this unequal sharing of water, I believe some sort of compensation system should be in place for different sectors. For example, at the individual level I think water should be priced based on income and incentivized so that the first 100-200L are free and then beyond that there are different stages of pricing. At a larger scale, industries that use ridiculous amounts of water in their processing and manufacturing should have to pay some sort of "water tax". Hopefully, this helps regulates water usage and eventually decrease it to levels that are replenishable and we can push back our Day Zero. Implementing various water purification technologies is also a start, funding should be prioritized for communities where water is scarce so they can install water purification systems of their own. Through all these different avenues, an invaluable yet slowly depleting source will hopefully be seen as liquid gold and not taken for granted.
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Vy Manohara
Oct 07, 2022
In #UnleashValues
After listening to all of the stories from various indigenous groups around the world, the statement that stood out to me the most was from a group of indigenous women who said that "Canada is a corporation not a country". That statement sums up pretty well how our social systems (governments, businesses, industries, etc.) have developed their relationship with nature and how it affects BIPOC communities in alarmingly disproportionate ways. I strongly believe that the caretakers of the land, those who have been here for generations, those who continue to cultivate it, and those who take responsibility for making sure it sustains future generations, should have a say in how and what the land is used for. I envision a world where those with higher political and socio-economic power actively involve BIPOC communities in the management of the land that they take care of and occupy. These are the communities that know the area best and implementing community-based approaches to policy-making and industrial plans should be mandatory. Rather than further driving the inequity where one group continuously drains the natural resources and the other group is left with the consequences, the system should focus on ways to co-exist and preserve the land. At this point, the injustices have exceeded the point of reconciling with value and not hollow attempts at "fixing" things, so concrete reparations should be in order. Including providing greater funds for communities to have clean water, remove toxins in their lakes, provide clean and sustainable energy sources to power their homes, and reduce the impacts of environmental racism these systems purposefully inforced.
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Vy Manohara
Sep 16, 2022
In #UnleashValues
A future with a slower and more meaningful sense of fulfillment, both in what I buy and what that item means to me. Consuming less and investing in more durable items can be a hard ask, especially given that cost plays a huge part in an individual's purchasing power. For those who can't really afford to be sustainable by investing in pricier but more durable pieces, starting off with keeping the wardrobe you have and revamping your style with items you already own rather than splurging on a whole new set of clothes is a great way to start. If you do have an urgent need for a new pair of shoes, by all means thrifting is a good alternative (keeping in mind the harmfulness of thrift hauls)! Clothing swaps are another great alternative, and could add a bit more meaning to the items you own. Rather than going out to get a new jacket for the winter, I'd reuse my parent's clothes (clothes they've kept from the 80s and 90s!) because it works towards consuming less and I'd wear the items with the memory of them :) Giving the things I already own a new narrative can slowly start to change the way I buy and the way I keep #UnleashValues
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Vy Manohara
Sep 15, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Hi everyone :) I'm Vy and I'm a fifth-year (and hopefully last) Biology student at UBC! I'm taking ENVR 430 this semester because I really wanted to learn more about the climate crisis we're in and what it truly means to create a sustainable and equitable place to live. I'm excited to be a part of the next generation of incredible youth advocates who have the capacity to make huge strides in climate and environmental justice :)) Follow #UnleashValues to keep up with how our class navigates such a complex but crucial topic and hopefully you'd want to be a part of it too!
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Vy Manohara

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