Saturday, 22 April 2017

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

While I was teaching, earth day was a major date on my calendar. I was on the environment committee at my schools and dubbed the Green Queen, by one of my colleagues. However, I'm pretty sure that my environment committee updates at staff meetings drove some people crazy. April was a busy month as we planned our earth day assemblies. I have fond memories of earth day songs, activities,  games, prayers, videos and skits...all in an attempt to teach and engage students in environmental issues.

I wish the educational work was over, that the fight had been won, but of course it will never be over. It's now forty-seven years since the first earth day. With the election of the current U.S. President, the environmental agenda has suffered a huge blow. His government's abrupt U-turn on Obama's policies have sparked today's Marches for Science all around the world. Click here The National to see a good recap of the current political situation regarding the environment.

It's encouraging that so many scientists and sympathizers turned out today. The Washington march had a science superstar at the helm. Good old Bill Nye The Science Guy is back. Not only was front and centre at today's march; his new television show,  Bill Nye Saves the World, started yesterday on Netflix. Click here Bill Nye the Science Guy,  to hear his interview on CBC radio's Quirks and Quarks show today.

We need leaders like Bill Nye and David Suzuki and events like today's marches to keep climate change in the spotlight. After that, it's up to all of us, to make environmentally friendly choices in our everyday lives.

I'm happy to report that this week I re-discovered a real gem: The Restore. Restores can be found all across Canada. It's such a wonderful, common sense idea. Stores and individuals donate building materials they can no longer use or sell. Customers can then purchase the donated materials at a fraction of their original cost. All the profits go back to Habitat for Humanity, the charity that builds houses for needy families. It's a win win situation for everyone. From their website: "Retailers often have high quality items that can no longer be sold in store. These items often get sent to a landfill. Donating end-of-line products and customer returns to a ReStore can substantially reduce waste. In 2015, ReStores across Canada diverted over 36,000 tonnes of material from landfills. Individuals can also help to reduce waste by donating items of value that might otherwise be thrown out."

So, if you re-model your kitchen and there's still life left in your cupboards, you can donate them to your local Restore. Here's a kitchen I saw this week at one of Ottawa's two locations.

Unfortunately I didn't think of the Restore a couple of years ago, when we were replacing some light fixtures. I wish we had, because they have an amazing selection. Here's a sample of the tiles available.

            Need a door or window? They are all sorted, measured and well organized.

Click here, The Restore, to learn more. For other environment themed posts you can read my gloomy "The Sin of Bottled Water," from December of last year. On a happier note, there's also my Ottawa Citizen piece about Giveaway Weekend (June 10, 2016)  here in Ottawa. That reminds me, we must be getting close to this spring's version of Giveaway Weekend!

Remember - Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle!

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