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General News · 2nd July 2008
Friends of Cortes Island
June 30, 2008

Friends of Cortes Island is very pleased to announce a few developments out of the Island Climate Action Network (I-CAN) initiative.

THE GREEN RIDER decal. As part of the Sustainability Home Show, we held a World Cafe session, with 3 round tables on Shelter, Transportation and Food.

One of the ideas discussed at the Transportation table was the “Green Rider” initiative. The purpose would be to encourage people to ask for and to offer rides to and from the Island on the ferries. People regularly do this anyway, but it was thought that if there was a decal in the window of a vehicle as sign of “ask- me-for-a-ride” then more people would feel comfortable asking and we could reduce more carbon emissions as well as ferry traffic!

Those willing could display a Green Rider decal in their cars as a sign that they are open to being asked for a ride. This way, when someone needs to catch a ride, say coming back from Campbell River on foot, they know who to ask for the ride across Quadra. The driver will be happy to help if possible, because she/he knows their passenger chooses not to use their own vehicle, thereby freeing up another available space on the ferry.

We just ordered the first bunch of Green Rider decals, using the Green Thumb design that was displayed at the Home Show. The original design of the Green Thumb is by Kristen Ross. The decals will be available pretty soon at the FOCI office, at cost.

As part of this campaign, you will also see a few signs with the same Green Thumb design around the island.

The Climate Action Fund program. We are also pleased to announce a new LOCAL program to help with reducing our carbon emissions.

We are in the process of opening a Community Climate Action Fund (CCAF) account at Quadra Credit Union, where any member of the community can make deposits. The idea is to use this Fund towards projects that will actually help us in reducing our carbon emissions. For instance, acquire a hybrid van for public transportation, or install solar panels at Manson Hall?
We can begin using this account by depositing a portion of the Climate Action Dividend $100 cheque we just received. We want to suggest sharing this $100 cheques with other LOCAL initiatives of your choice, there are so many worthy causes.

A further use of this Fund would be for local carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are pollution equivalents that can be purchased, thereby resulting in the reduction of C02 emissions. For example, if you were to purchase 5 tons of carbon offsets, the idea is that a project (renewable energy, public transportation, etc.) will eventually be implemented that will result in 5 less tons of carbon dioxide from being produced or take 5 tons of carbon dioxide out of the air.

There are many carbon offset programs available, when you go to a Travel Agency to book a flight, they will offer to buy offsets to compensate your flying carbon emissions. The outcome projects from many of these programs will implement renewable energy systems in poor countries. Our CCAF will provide the opportunity to purchase offsets and invest this money in local programs.

FOCI recognizes that the best way to actually reduce our carbon emissions is by engaging in activities that will reduce carbon emissions.

Overall, the Climate Action Fund will provide us with the opportunity to invest any money we want, towards climate change work in our community. Every dollar we deposit in this account represents a future reduction of carbon emissions.

This will be a community fund, FOCI is only facilitating to start this program. We suggest forming a small Action Group of volunteers, 2 or 3 key individuals, to manage this program, doing research for the best way to use the Funds, monitoring and report progress, etc. Who wants to participate?

We will announce when the account is ready for use and more details are available.

The Youth movies. We have four copies available of the very inspiring Cortes Island Youth Project movies, as shown during the Sustainability Home Show. You can borrow the DVD from our FOCI office. Office is open 1-4pm on Fridays. Materials can be returned to the public library drop box.

The I-CAN ideas paper. We are finishing a document with all the community ideas from the Film Fest discussion nights and the World Café round tables. These ideas are organized by theme, the main ones are Food, Shelter and Transportation, with a few more on Energy, Community Resources, Education, Local Economy and Waste and Water.

You will find in this document lots of feasible things to do via small groups, willing to take action. There are many others that will require further investigation, research and resources. FOCI is pleased to help be a catalyst for change and to offer educational support to individuals wishing to come forward and take action on these different projects.

We will post this document at the tideline when it is finished. The document will also be available at the FOCI office. Please look for further details on these projects, at the tideline, at the FOCI office and at the FOCI board, inside Manson’s Hall.

Drop by our office to share your ideas!

thank you,