“Tomorrow” at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House

By Marina Schor

Last night (October 18th), I had the pleasure of attending the viewing of the documentary “Tomorrow” at the Collingwood Neighborhood House. We had a full house while watching this amazing documentary that guided us through the main problems our world faces today and, even more importantly, to solutions to those problems. The documentary touched on topics such as climate change, methods of food production, as well as the three R’s (reducing, reusing and recycling).

As a student in the faculty of Land and Food Systems, I am inserted in the context where conversations that surround food happen very often. I am aware, however, that that is not the case for everyone. Quite on the contrary. Very rarely do we see conversations being had about how food is produced, and where it comes from. There is often the notion that we should “buy local and organic” but even that does not seem to be backed up by an explanation as to why during informal conversations. The documentary “Tomorrow” made everything blatantly clear. And it did so in a positive and optimistic way, which is why it got chosen to be shown in the first place.

From the community gardens in small towns in England and big cities like Detroit to the complete change in energy sources that Copenhagen is undergoing, we were introduced to several different solutions to our current world problems. I’d like to highlight one of them that really struck us as we had a discussion after the documentary.

Certain places in the world that have managed to identify that the main reason why their food system and the economy aren’t working so well is the fact that the money and food come and leave very fast. There is no closed cycle within the communities that allow for them to be self-sufficient or even depend on their local farmers. As a solution, they decided to create their own currency! One of the greatest examples given in the documentary was that of Bristol. The population and government simply decided to consider a different form of “money” their money. This has allowed for the cycle to be much more closed, given that their currency is only accepted within their own communities. Very few of us had heard of initiatives like this before, and a great question that came up once the documentary was concluded was “Would this work in a place as big as Vancouver? Could we do it here?”.

That was the tone of the night and of the discussions. A tone of proactivity and optimism towards the future. We discussed Vancouver’s initiatives toward sustainability such as composting and recycling, bike lanes, and a focus on local food production. It was great to be able to talk to so many people who hope to make a change and to highlight the positive things that are being done in our city.

We finished up the night talking about a change that we were committed to undergo within the next year that will allow for the world that we live in to be a better place. There was no better way to end the night, and I extend a great big thank you to the Collingwood Neighbourhood House for an amazing event!