A big new year’s
THANKYOU to Gillian Elcock, Martha Barchyn, Loise Pothier, David Suzuki
Foundation, Sheila Orr, Marianne Raedler, Tim Isaak, Tim Henderson, Alastair
Wilson, Ann Tasko, Craig Harrold, Laura anderson, Dawn Burron, Camilla Turner,
Amelita Kuchner, Joyce Berto, Margaret Fear, Lynn Daniel, Chris Morrison,
Anthea Archer, Alice Davis, Nancy Turner, Taannia Dancer, Marya Nyland,
Jayne Gerlach, Louise Irwin, Saul Arbess, Robert Milman, Maurice Tozer,
Fran & Bill Ashwell, John Boquist, Patricia Kahr, Roger Colwill, Wayne
Madden & Katey Bloomfield.
can be made to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria V8X 3X1. For receipt, please
include a stamped addressed envelope.
Are you (or your school or group) planning something for Earth Week 2000
in the week of April 21st – 30th ? The team that is
coordinating events would like to know. Call Doug Koch, 383-5765.
Hands-on volunteers wanted to help with stream restoration, trail-building
project and interpretation work with school children at Swan Lake Nature
Sanctuary. Joan, 479-0211. firstname.lastname@example.org
For sale : New ABS plastic laundry tub, metal legs, CSA approved. Old
electric ringer/washer, runs, needs hose. $70 each. 920-0036.
Work/Trade position available at O.U.R. EcoVillage, suit
indiv/couple who want to live sustainable rural life. Skills in gardening,
farm labour, community living desirable. Must have valid drivers license.
Anyone interested in organizing a Pesticide Reduction Campaign ?
Andrew Hunter has files and resources he’d like to hand over – call him
Volunteers wanted to join proposed work party to start restoring
the southern portion of the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, near Viaduct
Flats Wetlands, which is being overwhelmed with broom and blackberries.
Suggested 1 – 3 hours per week – Paul Gareau, 592-9089
Volunteers wanted to help create an Eco-Tourism Map of South
and Central Vancouver Island for hikers, visitors and conservationists.
Do you know of a special local recreational trail, forest stand, patch of
beach, horse trail, stretch of river that's ideal for kayak or canoe, or
significant historic location ? Experience shows that special places receive
better protection when used by the public. Syd, 381-1141.
Is your organization involved in transportation, agriculture, energy,
global warming or other environmental issues ? The Harmony Foundation is
offering an exciting educational opportunity to learn how to plan and launch
effective climate change initiatives at a new one-day training. Call
(250) 380-3001 www.harmonyfdn.bc.ca/~harmony
Help wanted : I am writing a book on global solutions to climate change,
and am looking for voluntary help gathering data and assembling material
– could suit a student practicum. Call Guy, 881-1304.
Running a green business, or progressive organization or committee
? Then check out the Victoria Green Pages at www.greenpages.victoria.bc.ca
for contacts and committed people. Plus instructions for the Victoria-Action
list, opportunities for eco-volunteering, and photos from recent demos in
NEW CRD DIRECTORS
are our new CRD Directors. (P = Parks Committee; E = Environment Cte; Plg
= Regional Planning Cte; RTE = Round Table on the Environment). Directors
are also on other committees. All directors make final decisions on committee
Don Amos, 656-1139,
(E) 478-7882 fx478-7864
(P) 653-4678 (tel & fax)
Bill Camden (E)
386-0500 fax 386-6151
(E,P) 539-2890 fx 539-2523
Beth Gibson (E)
478-5541, fax 478-7516
475-1775, fax 475-5400
(Plg), 642-1633 fax642-5274
(Plg) 652-4444, fx652-0135
475-1775, fax 475-5400
Alan Lowe (Plg)
385-5711, fax 361-0348
Jane Lunt (E),
385-5711, fax 361-0348
(Plg) 642-1634, fx642-5274
(E) 656-0781, fx 656-3155
(E), 475-1775, fax 475-5400
Ray Rice (P),
414-7100, fax 414-7111
(E, Plg) 474-1773 fax
(P, Plg, RTE), 385-5711 fax
(E,P) 475-1775 fx475-5400
A MASTER COMPOSTER
the sight of freshly turned compost thrill you to your roots? Then you would
make a terrific Master Composter! The Victoria Compost Education Centre
is looking for enthusiastic people to learn about composting and share their
knowledge with others. The Master Composter Program involves three evenings
(Wed March 8th, 15th, 22nd) and three Saturdays
(March 11th, 28th and 25th). Participants
are also asked to complete a 30 hour practicum. Call the Compost Education
Centre at 386-WORM, or come to the information night on Wednesday Feb. 2nd,
7pm, at 1216 North Park St.
to YES! MAGAZINE
Magazine is a joy to the senses, especially if you are working to create
a more just, sustainable, compassionate world. It is published by a collective
on Bainbridge Island, and enjoyed by people such as Patch Adams, Joanna
Macy, Vicki Robin, David Korten, Paul Hawken and Donella Meadows. They have
just produced a special issue on Climate change, "The Earth is Heating
Up – But it’s not too late to act", which is full of powerful stories,
and thanks to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, I have free copies to give
to anyone who wants to know more. Send a large self-addressed stamped
envelope ($1.50) to Guy Dauncey, 395 Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1. www.yesmagazine.org
OF CHANGE CONGRESS, VICTORIA
of global warming (see cover), there’s a major conference coming up in Victoria
March 19th – 22nd : the Climates of Change Congress
: Mapping the Transition to a Sustainable Energy Future, with some very
high calibre speakers including John Topping from The Climate Institute,
Martin Burger of Blue Energy (tidal turbines), Peter Bunyard (Science Editor
of The Ecologist magazine), Eric Taylor (Environment Canada), the singer
Ann Mortifee, green economist Hazel Henderson, and many others, including
solar, wind, geothermal, cold fusion and ‘zero point’ energy experts. Full
advance registration for those living lightly is $200 (bursaries available).
Evening presentations $6/$10. For full details, call 391-9223. www.climatesofchange.com
out of the Ferrara train station, I noticed something was clearly different.
A thousand bikes were parked in a jumble, many askew and toppling over.
A professor told me: "I have six bikes. Two in Pisa for when I go there,
two for getting around Ferrara, a nicer mountain bike and a road bike too."
It began to rain, so I scurried to a nearby phone booth. What a strange
shape, I thought, until I realized it was specially designed for cyclists
with bikes! How civilized. As the rain continued, cyclists responded by
riding with umbrellas. Not that the whole town is a cycling paradise. At
the outskirts things were more "normal", with trucks and cars cascading
down the asphalt - it's in the heart of Ferrara where something special
happens. Ferrara, with 140,000 people, sports 100,000 bicycles. The town
is small and compact. Dating back to medieval times, the streets are cobbled
with old stones and bricks. Most of the old town centre is off limits to
private cars, and motorists park their car at the edge and rent a bike to
get around, or hop a taxi or bus. A few streets are off-limits to motorized
traffic, reserved for shoe and pedal power. The top of the city's ancient
wall even doubles as an elevated bike path ! Opposite the 14th century Estense
Castle I plunked down 18,000 lire ($10 US) and pedalled off. No petrol for
this traveller, just a few steaming cappuccinos (cappuccos, as they say)
and an occasional hazelnut gelato. In Germany and the Netherlands, specially
signed bicycle paths make it clear that the bicycle has its place in the
transportation engineer’s bag of tricks. In Ferrara there is little engineering
- without fanfare, cyclists just do their thing. The bicycle has woven its
way into the local culture. City workers have free white bicycles for local
errands; hotels offer free bicycles to their guests; at the train station
one can hop aboard the ‘Bicibus’, a special bus that takes passengers and
their bikes to the Adriatic coast. Theft isn't a huge issue, since there
are so many bikes to go around. Ferrara has joined the European movement
"Cities for Cyclists" to compare notes (www.ecf.com/).
30% of trips in this town are by bike, which is higher than in Copenhagen.
After riding the streets of Ferrara, a simple solution emerges like a phantom
out of the mist : from the seat of a bicycle we can solve the climate crisis
and make our cities more liveable. And eat well, to boot.
Gomberg is Greenpeace’s Climate Change Campaigner
for an alternative to the global economy – one that will bring heart and
soul back to local communities ? Over the last 15 years community activists
around the world have been inventing community currencies, as an alternative
to the federal dollar. First, there’s LETS, the Local Employment and Trading
System invented by Michael Linton in Courtenay in 1985. By forming a LETSystem,
local people create their own currency and use it to trade their skills
and resources without need for normal dollars. Since 1988, 500 LETSystems
have been established in Britain. Victoria has a LETSystem with 100 members,
who trade everything from food and babysitting to hall rentals. To find
out how it works, or call 380-4824, or come to the Information Evening on
Wed Feb 16th (see Diary). This stuff is taking off globally -
on Thursday 17th, Stephen DeMeulenaere is giving a talk on his
travels researching community currencies in South America (see Diary). Next,
there are HOURS – a community currency invented by Paul Glover in Ithaca,
New York, with 11 systems in Canada and 46 in the USA. The latest is on
Salt Spring, where the group held its first meeting in the fall and has
signed up 115 members, including local retail businesses, the Driftwood
newspaper and a dentist. The Hours uses printed notes, called ‘Salt Spring
Hours’ - a quarter-hour note is worth $3 - a full hour is $12. By mid January,
they had issued 630 Hours, and donated 90 Hours to non-profit groups. See
Finally, there are TIME DOLLARS, invented by US civil rights lawyer Edgar
Cahn in 1987, in use in more than 200 projects in the USA and Japan (www.timedollar.org).
The Time Dollar enables volunteers who take part in charitable work to be
"paid" in time donated by other volunteer workers. Time dollars
are tax-free, and can be used to pay for health care as well as other health
services. Everyone gets the same – an hour is an hour, whether you are a
lawyer or a teenager tutoring 14-year olds after school. Americorps has
an educational grants program that allows students to pay tuition fees or
student loan payments with Time dollars. It’s all about building a more
civil society, where social capital matters as much as financial capital.
to David Boyle at the New Economics Foundation in London)
up your trees and shrubs to the sun with thoughtful pruning.
your garden’s energy with balanced soil and compost.
your senses with new plantings and landscaping.
seeds for the healthiest plants. Open-pollinated vegetables, old-fashioned
flowers and herbs.
catalogue, send $2 to
Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1
that time of year, when the soil starts warming and the seeds start thinking
about germinating for another glorious summer. And what better place to
celebrate it than Seedy Saturday, where gardeners gather to share, buy and
swap seeds in an atmosphere full of intention and hope for the coming harvest.
Crimson-flowered broad beans ! Turk’s Turban squash ! Lemon cucumbers !
Ancient grains ! In the Victoria event (Feb 19th, see Diary),
there are workshops by Lifecycles on ‘How to Start a Garden from Scratch’
and by Carolyn Herriot on ‘Creating Edible Landscapes’, plus the Seedy Café
and displays from local nurseries and heritage growers. If it’s rare, ancient
or heritage, it’ll be there ! Seedy Saturday’s are also happening on Salt
Spring (Feb 12th), Galiano, Courtenay and Vancouver.
a reminder to check out the government’s paper on tax-shifting, so that
we can start paying taxes on pollution and other ’bads’, and less on income.
The paper is on the Ministry of Environment website www.env.gov.bc,
where you can click on ‘What’s New’ to see it.
these out ! Al Rycroft’s Island links, which includes a really great listing
for governments and political parties www.islandnet.com/~emerald/.
Next, Paul Hawken’s personal report on the WTO Battle in Seattle. It’s 7000
words, but it’s had some readers close to tears : www.worldtradeobserver.org/hawken.htm
the Hague Appeal for Peace, about which more next month, at www.haguepeace.org/.
OF THE MONTH
of the Month’ is taking a break.