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    Eco Action Centre for Youth Nature Leadership Opens in August

    A land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it.” from “A Sand County Almanac  –   by Aldo Leopold

    The continuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could end up adding a
bit of growth to the U.S. economy as the huge cleanup efforts in
some ways outweigh negative factors  –  analysts at J.P. Morgan Chase

    Replace your high cost (it’s 8 to 10% of your utility bill) and Earth unfriendly clothes dryer with a zero emission clothesline and breathe in that fresh air scent.  Thornbury’s Home Hardware will be giving you one at cost through the new Eco Action Centre. Georgian Triangle Earth Day Celebrations and Elephant Thoughts’ August team of paid teens will put up your clothesline for no extra fee, and if you live in the immediate area, Home Hardware will deliver the package to your home or pick it up in Thornbury once you have obtained our Eco Action Certificate to do so.  The supply of clotheslines is limited so write to us soon at using the subject heading, “clotheslines”. If you are wondering if your bylaws permit clotheslines, a provincial statute has all municipalities grant home residents the right to put one up.
    Elephant Thoughts and Georgian Triangle Earth Day Celebration are still looking to fill three spaces out of ten in their August, Monday to Friday, Eco Action Centre program.  Teens will receive $15 an hour for 20 hours of work each week; as well, there are 15 hours of leadership education related to biodiversity and climate that prepares them to be eco-community ambassadors.  Each day will be different: bicycling over for hands-on work in the Collingwood Community Garden , river restoration work and fish monitoring with Nottawasaga Conservation Authority, helping to create and be part of a biodiversity action program to involve more adults through Free Spirit Tours, researching and publishing an article in the Collingwood Connection, reading selections from  Thomas Homer-Dixon’s insightful books and discussing them with him at our Kolapore Wilderness Eco Centre, reading and being inspired by (and meeting) EcoJustice lawyer, Albert Koehl’s thought-provoking ideas on  transportation alternatives to transform the climate destabilizing means of transport we have now, meeting close up with honey bees to learn how they interact among themselves and Nature, and act on drastically reducing our individual unethical 20 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to 3.5 tonnes (the average level of emissions if our fossil fuel activities were shared evenly between all 6.9 billion people) each year while encouraging peers and family to do the same. Importantly, this program moves beyond education by creating the actions that make it possible for constructive change to take place. This Centre and the new co-op biodiversity/climate high school program leave the 20th century consumer mentality behind and find solutions for a 21st century land ethic.

    Governments and some environmental groups speak in glowing terms about us becoming “green consumers”. They focus on the absurd strategy of buying our way out of human made climate destabilization and biodiversity loss crises through a hybrid car, ‘eco’ clothes or even a light bulb.  There is always some new technology or ‘green’ product that will save us from having to change our nasty over-consuming way of living. Living simply is not an option because economic growth is the only deity that is accepted for the green corporatist.  Pushing a lawn mower instead of using a gas or electric one and erasing 5% of Canada’s pollution might make us fit, breathe easier and conservation conscious, but it doesn’t hike up the Gross Domestic Product by buying 880 million gallons of gasoline to top up gas mowers across North America.  Having a basin in the kitchen sink when we wash vegetables, run the tap to get a cool glass of water or wash out coffee grounds doesn’t involve buying anything but will save an astonishing quantity of water for later use in your garden and lower your water bill. Most importantly, young people will see that adults care as well as witnessing how much water their family saves on a daily basis.  Getting Mom and Dad to cycle or walk to work or if need be, having them put their bicycles in the car and cycle part way to visit friends is a 21st century way to uncouple us from the 20th century Carbon Club. Youth under 20 years of age need to lead the way.

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