Young people give up (gasp!)iPods, food to raise money and awareness

Published December 17, 2007

Young Anglicans from the diocese of Huron recently spent a weekend learning how to use the least amount of energy – no iPods and cell phones, in particular – as part of “Off the Grid,” a new workshop in the youth initiative program of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) designed to raise ecological awareness.

Participants from the Essex deanery youth ministry camped out in tents, cooked their food over a campfire, and entertained themselves by telling stories and singing. They also calculated their Carbon Footprint to determine how much energy they use. (Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the level of greenhouse gases produced, which are calculated in units of carbon dioxide.)

One activity involved looking for firewood, and participants learned this was an everyday reality for many children in various parts of the world. “They realized how fortunate they are to not have to worry about this every day; they take heat and light for granted,” said Jane Cornett, who was among the organizers of the event.

Cheryl Curtis, executive director of PWRDF, said, “You begin to think differently about all the things we automatically do in our society where energy is abundant.” The workshop also included information on programs that PWRDF partners are involved in, including solar cooking, using solar energy for water purification, bio-fuel and bio-gas, she added.

Also, as part of the Off the Grid initiative, PWRDF is selling biodegradable corn-based plastic travel mugs at $10 each. The mugs can be purchased by contacting Heather Pearson at [email protected] or at (416) 924-9199 ext. 266.


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