In the US, half of all landfill space is occupied by paper. While some paper also gets dumped or incinerated to create dioxin, smog, and greenhouse gases, most goes to landfills. It litters my area, and even when picked up and put elsewhere, new paper quickly comes in to take its place. Paper (some of which is recycled) running its full life of being reprocessed a whopping four times or finding itself in a not uncommon scenario in which the cost of heavily-subsidized, virgin fiber is cheaper than reprocessing, also ends up in landfills. That is how recycling works.
Forests are currently being laid to waste in the very areas that I ride through: for toilet paper, copy paper, newsprint, and lumber. Ancient forests, that have existed longer than Quebec, longer than humans, are now destroyed as trees are cut down and entire rivers are diverted, including both the Romaine River and the Rupert River, this very summer. One purpose of this trip is to build into my awareness the life behind these resources, resources that I experience every day.
I will be practicing a vegan diet as part of a conscience choice--veganism is a lifestyle demonstrated by all non-human primate species, with minor variation. Veganism is the most psychologically healthy option I have, intersecting with a practice of consent and allowing me the freedom to more readily comprehend what I consume.
These are my personal reasons for veganism, and I recognize that they do not hold true for everyone. Moreover, just as I do not want to force animals to die, I do not want to force individuals, especially those who are not a part of my community, to unquestioningly accept my lifestyle choices. What I want my analysis to inform is a process of figuring out what makes sense for sustainable independent communities.
I can teach individuals or groups foraging and mushroom-hunting along the way to inform this independence. I will be leaving a lot of "night soil" in the forest for more plants to grow on in following years. That is part of my acknowledgement of my relationship with wild spaces.
So: for fifty days, on a bicycle, I will slow down and engage with the boreal forests every day. I am committed to harvesting only what will grow back quickly. Any bioregional advice people may have on plant life and sustainable harvest techniques would be very much appreciated.