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Posted by: Jim Elve 8/7/2007 8:12 AM

By Janet Fraser

On this beautiful warm August afternoon, I am immensely enjoying this summery weather in the shade of my backyard and a welcome breeze. I know it’s hot in the sun…the kind of day children run through sprinklers, and play in backyard pools, and campers enjoy the many fabulous lakes and rivers which are so abundant in Ontario. There’s no air conditioning on in the house, and the windows are wide open. The temperature inside is only 26 degrees. In fact we have only used the air conditioning three times this summer…on those days when the humidex was high and it felt like 40 degrees. Energy is a precious resource and we have to use it wisely. It is not a hardship, but a responsibility.

We are ordinary folk and we know our ecological footprint is still larger than it should be. We are trying to change habits…do our part…reuse bags, use CFL lightbulbs, drive an efficient car, use no pesticides. These changes are easy and many people are also doing their part.

But I know that elsewhere, in our malls, and offices, restaurants and donut shops, air conditioners are running full tilt…even on this beautiful day. Lights are on even in vacant rooms. People in their workplaces are wearing sweaters to keep off the chill of the air conditioning. It’s the way so many buildings are designed today….windows that do not open, rooms without windows at all. I recall a day when many stores would open their doors wide as customers came and went and everyone enjoyed the fresh air of summer! Many people prefer to sit out on the outdoor patios of restaurants rather than experience the ‘cold’ inside. Something is wrong with this picture! We have an energy crisis….yes the government says ‘we need to keep the lights on’…but do we really need to leave on so many? When will conservation be taken seriously as an alternative to expensive mega-projects such as Nuclear Power Plants? If California can save 12,000 megawatts of power through conservation measures, so can Ontario. That’s as much power as is produced by two or three Nuclear Power plants.

Conservation may not create jobs..but it certainly saves money for governments ( that is taxpayers) business, schools, hospitals, individuals and reduces the huge environmental costs of large energy projects.

Posted by Janet Fraser

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Re: Conservation ...more needs to be done    By JimBobby on 8/7/2007 9:54 AM
Whooee! You ain't just whistlin' Dixie, JanetGal. A lotta ordinary folks is doin' what we can fer ol' Mother Earth. Back in January, I posted up a boog story braggin' about all the green stuff I do and I invited some o' my thousands an' thousands o' readers to tell me 'bout their green efforts.

Yer right as rain regardin' the bigass offices, shoppin' malls an' stores. This year, the Ontariariario gummint's been runnin' ads tellin' everybuddy to set the AC thermostat to 26 degrees Celsius. Good idea. Why ain't the big places doin' it? I still gotta freeze my rear end off when I go inta the Foodland.

I been pushin' fer energy audits fer each an' every building owned by or financed by the Ginty gummint. Here's some questions I sent to Toby Barrett. I suggested he raise these questions in Question Period. His office wrote back sayin' Toby wouldn't read my email unless I provided him with my street address. I didn't do that so I reckon my ideas fell on deaf ears.

Here's what I wrote to my MPP.

What is the Ontario government doing to reduce it's own carbon footprint?


1.) The government purchases hundreds of vehicles for various ministry operations, policing, etc. Does the government have a procurement policy that requires public funds be spent on fuel efficient and/or hybrid vehicles?

2.) Buildings are one of the biggest contributors to GHG emissions. Has the government embarked on an energy audit program for all Ontario's publicly owned buildings?

3.) Ontario collects a hefty 8% sales tax. What is Ontario doing by way of tax incentives to encourage reduced energy use?

4.) Government properties like the grounds of public buildings and parks require lawn-cutting and landscape maintenance. What measures have been taken to ensure that eco-friendly methods are employed with regard to gasoline powered equipment, weed and pest control, planting of native species, etc.?

Keep up the good fight, Janet. Ol' Mother Earth needs all the help we can give her.


Re: Conservation ...more needs to be done    By Janet Fraser on 8/7/2007 2:47 PM
Great comments and ideas JimBobby. I hope the candidates who will be running in the provincial election read some of these comments! Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed your 'Boog Story' too!
With the provincial election coming in just two months we have lots of good questions to ask the candidates.
Have you checked out the website ?

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