Celebrating the Sap

Wow! As this winter matures, it really wants to leave a lasting impression. You know what? It has. We just followed the biggest snow of the season with the coldest night and then a sunrise that would thrill the gods. Our driveway is lined with banks reminiscent of those that we and our children used to turn into igloos in the early eighties. Every day after school we bundled up in coveralls and snowsuits to tunnel into the banks left by the tractor, make rooms with skylights and play “king of the castle” before coming inside to mugs of steaming hot chocolate. But enough of winter. It has always been my contention that spring is in the heart and the step and the sap; and the sap is flowing. So move over winter. It’s been great to know you but that sweetest season of all has arrived, making this a time for celebration.

Celebrations are plentiful during the next few weeks beginning with the first Easter Eco-Fair and Family Fun Day at Gamiing centre for sustainable lakeshore living on Saturday afternoon, March 22. That’s this Saturday. Activities run from noon until 5 P.M. This event coincides with World Water Day and features displays by companies creating environmentally friendly products, beautiful hiking trails, an Easter eco-egg hunt and local organic food. It promises to be a fun way to celebrate Easter, recognize World Water Day and learn about environmentally friendly living. To find Gamiing, follow Pigeon Lake Road east from Lindsay or south from Bobcaygeon.

Eco-friendly lifestyle aren’t just idle words. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe are all effected by the way in which we live. Fresh, local, organically grown food is a great place to start creating an eco-friendly lifestyle. It keeps our money working to serve the community, guarantees a pesticide free product and cuts our transportation carbon footprint. Best of all, food that we grow ourselves provides the added bonus of allowing us to participate in life’s endless cycles of renewal. Easter is a great time to commit to our children’s future through the food we put on the table. Visit the Toward Balance display at the Easter Eco-Fair to pick up some ideas about our community gardens.

With Easter almost here, most families will be buying chocolate Easter eggs. Until recently, I was unaware of chocolate’s position as one of the most heavily sprayed food products in the world. The Fair Trade chocolate label guarantees a pesticide free product and a product that supports the human rights of the cocoa bean farmers. Bonus. Safer for your family, fairer for the growers, sustainable into the future and top quality. If you haven’t yet tried it, believe me, guilt free chocolate is worth the effort. These products are available, but unless you know where to look you will need to ask at the store. If stores don’t currently stock it, they soon will once people start asking for it. Free enterprise works, but only if we make it work.

My last plug of the day is Earth Hour, 8-9 P.M. March 29. As I write this, 93,000 homes and 6,ooo businesses have now registered for the event. That number has almost doubled over the last two weeks. Cobourg and Port Hope have already started a friendly competition to see who can save the most electricity. By flicking the switch during Earth Hour, we all win. Candle light is romantic. It’s fun; it’s intimate. And we save on our electrical bills.

We really won’t need candles anyway at that time of year if we go out for evening walks to meet the neighbours. It promises to be a beautiful evening for a stroll. Whatever we do with our hour, a flick of the switch sets us free. It is the beginning of breaking free of “Time crunch” and the toll it takes on our lives.

Climate change isn’t public enemy number one, it is time crunch. The demands of a lifestyle that values money and power over all are insatiable, leaving neither time nor energy for the truly important things in life, family, food, friends and the real world around us. Everyone who flicks the switch on March 29, who supports Fair Trade products, who takes pride in growing and serving safe, healthy food, who carries reusable bags or bins into stores or who takes the time to learn about eco-friendly products, makes a pledge of faith to the future. Our children need us to act in a positive way so they can have dreams of raising their children in a sustainable world. And small steps bring big results. See you next time.

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