TEDXToronto, Andres Reeves

Oxygenate was one of the community partners at TEDxToronto 2019. We are still getting over how inspiring, insightful and motivating it was. Oxygenate would like to thank all of the amazing speakers for sharing their stories and ideas and making the world a little more aware of what is happening around us. Although we would love to talk about all the amazing speakers, for this blog post I will highlight a speaker that we felt related to sustainability and climate change.

- Team Oxygenate at TEDXToronto

In this blog post, we will go over the wonderful TED Talks by Andrew Reeves who taught us the importance of our actions and it's consequences. Andres Reeves is a Toronto-based environmental journalist and the editor-in-chief of Alternatives Journal, Canada’s oldest environmental publication. His book Overrun: Dispatches from the Asian Carp Crisis answers some of the many questions like this.

  • Who knew that Asian Carp would be so detrimental to freshwater ecosystems around the Canadian Great Lakes?
  • Why did this happen and what do we need to do to prevent this?
  • How is climate change contributing to the spread of these fish?
- Infographic by Oxygenate

According to Andrew, Asian Carp were introduced to the U.S.A back in the 1960s when the government wanted to introduce an effective way to control algae blooms and aquatic vegetation in many bodies of water. As it turns out, Asian carp was the "miracle fish". Not only were they able to reduce the amount of problem vegetation, but they thrived in the bodies of water they were placed in. As a result, they dominated all life in their new habitats and threw off the natural ecosystems.

How did they end up in major lakes?


Long story short, the American government realized their mistake they made so banned the importation of these fish. Due to the fish no longer being needed, many of the owners of these fish didn't know what to do with them, so they just set them free in all/any body of water they could get to. This is when it went downhill.

What does this have to do with the environment?


Asian carp prefer to stay in temperatures near the shores of the Great Lakes. Since these fish are so great at adapting to slightly hostile environments, they were able to dominate their environment. Food was abundant so breeding and increasing their numbers were not an issue. The Asian Carp spread their aquatic empire. The spread of Asian carp in Ontario water could dominate the native fish population and their food supply.

Such a seemingly harmless act had a huge consequence. Not only was this unbelievable,The realization that even the smallest action could have a major consequence deeply resonated with us. It relates to our daily habits which affect on climate change. Such a small habit like  brushing your teeth with regular toothpaste can cause 74 million toothpaste tubes waste. There are many seemingly harmless actions that we do from everyday lives and they could contribute to the climate change.


Asian carp are just an example of the environment telling us that we have done something dramatically wrong to our ecosystems.

- Adnrew Reeves

Oh, it's just a plastic container, it's not like one little container will kill the Earth

is a thought that has run through most of our minds. And to be fair, one container won't kill the Earth. However, the problem arises when millions of people share the same thought and do not look at the bigger picture. Let us remember, climate change did not start because of one person, but a collective of millions of people who did not care enough to understand the consequences of their actions. We all need to evaluate or attitudes and actions towards the environment and really understand how important our green choices are.


Contact at info@oxygenate.ca

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published