Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gifts That Don't Add to the Clutter and Help Ensure Ontario's Green Future!

My birthday’s coming up. Oh, I know I don’t need to remind you. Shucks, you probably have it marked down in your calendar. April Fools Day. Must be Cheryl’s big day.

Now, I know you’re probably wondering “what wonderful little gift could I get for Cheryl?” Please, don’t get something on my account. No, no really, it’s my small way of reducing ‘things’ in my life. But if you are in desperate need to get me a little something or other, I’ve listed a few ideas below…a few ideas on what to get somebody that won’t end up in the next yard sale or worse, landfill. Not that I would do that to your precious gifts, my dear friends. But it happens…to other people.

Our Chat with Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Donna Cansfield
For the thrilling inside story on how twelve upstarts secured a date with the Ontario Ministry of Energy, click on the link. And on that note….

TO Do This Week

If You Live in Ontario

Please take some time to write to:

Premier McGuinty
Energy Minister Donna Cansfield

Let them know about your position on Ontario’s energy future. Now is not the time to be apathetic! You – yes you are going to help prevent billions of dollars of possible debt and radioactive waste that will last a quarter of a million years.

You can help prevent a quarter of a million years of radioactive waste by taking just a few minutes to write to these important decision makers. It’s too important, isn’t it? Please take the time to write. You’re voice really does matter.

The good news is that Cansfiend and McGuinty have expressed strong interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and have taken important steps in supporting these sectors, including the recently announced standard offer program, which boosts small-scale deployment of renewable energy projects.

However, the government is also considering the recommendation made by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to build new nuclear reactors. According to Cansfield, nothing has been decided yet.

Nuclear energy has far too many problems that have yet to be resolved. The UK’s Sustainable Development Commission recently recommended that its government not build new nuclear reactors, arguing that the pitfalls to nuclear energy out weigh the benefits. California is fading out its nuclear dependency as is Germany (hopefully). However, the Ontario’s nuclear industry is backed by powerful lobbyists.

The OPA report was hastily put together and as a result grossly underestimates the potential of efficiency and renewable energy. It also underestimates the economic costs and risks of nuclear power.

Tell McGuinty and Cansfield how you feel! Pass this message onto your friends and family. If you wrote to the politicians already, write to them again! If you have ideas on how to conserve, let them know! If you have ideas on convincing others to conserve, let them know!

Learn more…
Go Clean and Green
Ontario Public Authority
Ontario Ministry of Energy

Fine Gift Ideas for a Certain Special Somebody….
Have you ever been in a situation where you want or need to buy someone a gift and haven’t the foggiest idea what to get them? I think we’ve all been there. Have you ever bought them something like a candle set or book on Napoleon and wondered it they’d be truly appreciated and enjoyed?

Well, next time you’re in a situation like that why not buy them a promising experience? Now of course, you’ll need to know your friend’s taste, but a few examples of a promising experience include:
• Gift certificate to your favourite restaurant or take them out to dinner
• Theatre/opera/dance tickets (most theatres are pretty savvy and can sell you ticket coupons so that the recipient can chose his/her date)
• Tickets to a sporting event
• A night away at a Bed & Breakfast
• Movie coupons
• Magazine subscription (are they into sports, current affairs, fashion, the arts, the environment…?)
• Tickets to an art gallery or museum
• Tickets to a lecture – is someone amazing coming to town?
• Manicure, pedicure, facial, massage

The nice thing about this is that you are supporting your local economy, including local artists, and you’re providing your friend with a (hopefully) memorable time. If some of these experiences are too expensive for you, you could always convince others to go in on them with you. You are also cutting back on unnecessary and unneeded stuff.

Other Gift Ideas….
My friend March Gregoroff will love me for this one…. If you want to support local artists, why not tell your friends that you started a fund to buy a piece of art. If they want to buy you a gift, encourage them to contribute to the fund. Once you have a healthy sum, browse through the local art galleries, find something that you’re absolutely in love with, buy it and then invite your ‘contributors’ over for a little “art unveiling” party.

Another option is to ask your gift-giving friends to make a donation to your favourite charity. For example, if you like to make a donation on by behalf, you could give to Easter Seals, the Sierra Club or Doctors Without Borders.

1 comment:

red jane said...

I've been giving gifts of sponsoring a chimp at Fauna Fuoundation to those whose birthday it is, or with donations in kind to animal friendly, non-vivesection groups; they're hard to find because many groups still condone vivesection , like most health research groups; PETA has an online list of who tests and who deosn't. It's surprising.