Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Wheel of Change Spins in the Candlelight: Earth Hour 2010

Earth Hour was a success for us in the market square of downtown Kingston on Saturday! The KSC (Kingston Sustainability Centre) had a comprehensive, informative and fun display. Collectively, we who volunteered talked to about one hundred and fifty people! Featured was the Wheel of Change which prompted people to "take a turn for the better" by choosing an environmental challenge. Actions of great impact on an individual and community level were displayed on a corresponding info board. Steps ranged from one to three star level challenges from turning the water off while brushing your teeth to starting a community garden. Our categories of focus for this educational tool were waste, water, energy, transportation and of course - food! Talking to people, sharing and spreading in eco consciousness was an empowering and hopeful experience. People of all ages added these challenges to their already impressive plethora of environmental initiatives. It was a pleasure to see that the people of Kingston are making serious efforts to do their part in suport of sustainability. This was at least true of those who made it out to earth hour and turned off their lights and hopefully their power!

The evening itself consisted of accoustic and percussive entertainment and excellent performances by local artists while people shared an optimistic atmosphere of synergy. The moon and candlelights shone brightly and reflected the light in the darkness that the momentum of the current environmental movement represents. Another aspect of the KSC display involved a bike that converts human generated energy into electricity. To illustrate this we had people pedaling to turn on an energy efficient lightbulb. (below) It really was an illuminating method of showing how much effort and resources is actually needed for the smallest amount of energy use. This was yet another visible manifestation of how one person's force can account for alot of impact. Please use your personal power for environmental change!

Friday, March 26, 2010

UNLESS: Seuss & Sustainability

Motivating ourselves to maintain an enthusiastic and positive atmosphere at the sustainability centre has been interesting and fun! One of the ways we have done this so far is beginning the day with children's literature. Stories such as The Lorax teach crucial lessons about the effects of human behaviours (thoughts and actions) on earth's ecosystems - it is important to invite into the conversation those who will inherit the future of this planet!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sustainability Centre for Earth Hour

I would like to share the warm welcome that the folks at Kingston Sustainability Centre gave us upon arrival! As part of the program I am currently enrolled in, myself and two other students - Dave and Emily - have started a three week placement. We are very exited to be working with environmental initiatives, projects and displays! Promoting awareness and advocating for lowering one's ecological footprint are a main focus. I will use eco-veg footprint as a blog-log for documentation of our ideas and experiences. It is our third day into the centre in beautiful downtown Kingston, ON and we have already learned about SO much. Our current focus is collecting, organizing and presenting/displaying/distributing knowledge about water, waste, energy and food. You may have guessed that my area of strength is how our food choices impact the ecosystem! I was astonished for example though at my ecofootprint of water - using less of it is definetely one of my "challenges for change".

I am looking forward to sharing alot of environmental info including alot of how-to's! Many interesting and relevant topics have already arisen - stay tuned for future posts about solar power, vermicomposting, sustainable fashion and more. Upcoming this Saturday, March 27th is EARTH HOUR from 8:30-9:30pm which is the international initiative to conserve energy, showing government and mother earth how much we need to care about changing on an individual and collective level. The centre is part of the event occuring this weekend in the downtown Spring Market Square. From 7pm-10pm it will feature a candlelit evening of speeches, local vendors and musicians. We will be there volunteering with an inter-active game that challenges people to choose an environmental initiative in their own lives or communities. The night will also include a completely off-the-grid concert aswell! Here are Dave and Emily working on our display for the earh hour day event that we are so exited for! Looking forward to celebrating with you on Satuday if you're in Kingston or anywhere doing something for energy conservation!

Do you go to Queen's? Queen's University's Sustainability Office is also offering earth hour fun so check it out on campus too! "Queen's will mark Earth Hour in an exciting and celestial way this year. Earth Hour Among the Stars will take place on Saturday, March 27, from 7:30 - 9:30 at the Queen's Observatory in Ellis Hall."

Find out even more about Earth Hour on CBC.ca!