October 21, 2008

Canadians really are green

While grocery shopping I couldn't figure out the milk situation -- Danielle found out from school friends. Milk is sold in these large plastic bags (biodegradable of course) and there are three clear one-litre bags inside. You slip those in this pitcher and cut off a corner and voila (a backwards accent should appear on top of the "a" in voila but I can't figure out accents on my computer yet -- but I did confirm the spelling in my French dictionary) -- there's your environmentally-friendly milk!

On another environmental note...I was looking up information about our new home town -- Beaconsfield -- and ran across this article.  As you will read, the city has banned plastic water bottles from city functions! They have also banned pesticides on the lawn.

Beaconsfield hopes to eliminating disposable water bottles
The Gazette
Thursday, July 10, 2008

More than 300 families in Beaconsfield have taken the pledge to stop using disposable water bottles after the city launched a campaign asking residents to give up buying single-use plastic
water bottles for a year.
The program seems to have received positive feedback from residents, but the reaction wasn’t so positive from NestlĂ© Waters Canada, the country’s largest manufacturer and distributor of bottled water.
Company president Gail Cosman sent a letter to Beaconsfield Mayor Bob Benedetti expressing her concern with a ban on bottled water in the city.
“The possibility of a ban is particularly mystifying given that just last week, the government of Quebec and our industry announced that we were providing funding of $6 million over the next three years to boost recycling programs across the province in public places like streets, parks, restaurants and hotels,” Cosman wrote.
“A recently-completed pilot program in Quebec concluded that this program will significantly reduce litter in such areas of our community, while offsetting the cost of your current recycling program because of the value of the materials collected.”
Despite the letter, Benedetti said he was pleased with the participation by residents, although he was hoping about 500 families would take the Tap Water Pledge.
“What’s important is that it’s getting good buzz in the community,” he said. “People are talking about it and that’s a good thing. As long as we get people in the community talking sustainability and thinking about their footprint on the planet, we’ve succeeded.”
Last December, the city banned plastic water bottles from city functions, but Benedetti said the city wanted to do more. Beaconsfield estimated that 88 per cent of plastic water bottles are not recycled and one bottle can take from 500 to 1,000 years to break down in a landfill.
“We do have really good tap water in Beaconsfield and we should be using it more,” Benedetti said. “There is a real financial and environmental cost to using single-use plastic water bottles.”
With 317 families having taken the pledge, Benedetti figures that alone will significantly reduce the consumption of disposable water bottles.
“That’s a lot of water bottles,” he said. “And surveys have shown that when people sign a pledge like that, they take it seriously.”
Karin Essen, president of the Beaconsfield Citizens Association, thinks the campaign against water bottles is a good idea. She took the pledge and plans to keep it.
“I’m very against disposable water bottles,” she said. “I don’t believe in paying for water when we’ve got such great tap water. If people stick to their pledge, it will be really good. Maybe other cities should think of doing the same.”

P.S. -- are they playing AC/DC like crazy in the states or is it just here? We know they released a new album, but seriously, we have not heard this much of their music since 1983.

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