Thursday, October 16, 2008

60 Percent Campaign – Election Blues and Halloween Dilemma

All I can say is thank god it’s over.

On the bright side, the Conservatives didn’t get their majority (oh yippy) at the conclusion of the latest Canadian election. Stephan Dion will be replaced and the Liberals will get their mojo back. Unfortunately the carbon tax now carts some serious baggage making it a tougher sell in the future. And Elizabeth May of the Green Party didn’t get elected. No one from the Party did. Needless to say dudes I’m seriously bummed.

But I’ll get over it. I’ve learned my lesson not to naively trust politicians, the media and general public on important issues such as climate change during an election campaign.

So I turn my appeal to you (yes you). Anyone who gives a damn about our future is needed at the grassroots level. You’re a reasonable, intelligent and stable person. You seem credible to friends and strangers. Know the issues and solutions regarding the climate crisis and start conversations. It’s only through word of mouth that people will start waking up to the problem and opportunities. And even if some don’t do much about it at least they won’t be so blind when others come forward with solutions that require their support.

What’s at issue? Eleven years. We have eleven years to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent by 1990 levels. Impossible? No. Know the obstacles but know that it’s not impossible to reach this goal. We just have to be clever.

What’s at stake? I think you know.

One more Kick at the Proportional Representation Can
I can’t help myself. Check out the discrepancy between the popular vote and how many seats the parties collected. This time around the voices of 19% of voters are not represented in parliament. Think this is unfair? Visit Fair Vote Canada to sign their petition.

The spooky season is upon us. What’s a girl on a garbage challenge to do with a holiday that revels in packaging? If I’m not supposed to produce garbage, can I really give kids candy with packaging that will end up in the garbage? I can’t really give out apples. A) Boring. B) Creepy C) Waste of apples.

Last year, I gave out fair trade organic chocolate, shipped from San Francisco. The chocolate was so tiny the goblins seemed dumbfounded that I could be so cheap (and believe me, those little chocolates were anything but).

So what do I do? Skip Halloween? Or dress up as Scrooge and lecture trick & treaters on reducing their carbon footprint? Surly there must be another way!

The challenge is to find treats with packaging that can be recycled. I can’t control what they do with the waste, but at least some will recycle it or it won’t take centuries to break down. That leads me to boxed raisons. Hmmm…. A) Boring. B) Waste of raisons.

The search is on to find something organic, recycle-friendly and affordable. The best I can come up with are the tiny organic dark chocolate bites made by Equal Exchange, which I gave out last year. Cost is $12 US for 46 pieces. For organic & fair trade candy, this is pretty good. I could order lots and give out two at a time. If anyone else has any bright ideas, please let me know.

Other tips to celebrate with a tiny footprint…

· Don’t drive the little goblins to trick or treat. Stick to the neigbourhood.
· Ensure your pumpkin is organic and local. Toast the seeds. Use the pumpkin innards for a soup or pie. Compost the rest of the pumpkin
· Use LED lighting or candlelight for your walkway. Keep your indoor lights off.
· Make your own costume from scratch or bought from a used clothing store. Be creative. I remember one gal dressing up as the orange fairy. She wore a fantastical orange outfit and put orange dots on the people she met. It was a great ice breaker.

In the News

Climate Change: New Exhibit at Natural History Museum
If you’re in New York, check it out. It will go on tour too. It really needs to come to Canada, particularly Calgary and Regina.

Fears rise that EU may drop climate pledge
If this happens, it’s very very bad news.

1 comment:

Rodney North said...

Thank you very much for bothering to order our Fair Trade mini-chocolates, but I'd like to be sure you and other Canadians know about a great Canadian source for organic, Fair Trade chocolates - Cocoa Camino. We in fact work with the same farmers and have very similar product lines.

We've also collaborated with them on the unique "Reverse Trick-or-Treating Campaign" to educate North Americans about the continuing problem of forced child labor in the West African cocoa trade (source of 70% of the world's cocoa).