Thinking About Environment Week June 3-9, 2012 “I wanna help!”

I know I’m early but what the heck! When it comes to the environment, it needs to be all year long, starting NOW!

Carbonear and Dragoon's Sister Karla

Carbonear and Dragoon’s Sister Karla (Photo credit:

After receiving this pamphlet from Newfoundland Power, along with a huge bill, I decided to let you in on all their bright ideas and some of mine(get the jist?). Who do they get to come up with these ideas, which have been around at least thirty years or longer? They are proud to say they partner with the government, Tree Canada, Atlantic Salmon Federation, MMSB and Tidy Towns.  There are other icons on this sheet as well: hydro,, youtube, t, and f. Do they get money for placing all of these on their writing?  I’m not sure. I know, I know.  It’s all good!

The ways you can help protect the environment, as listed in the newsletter, are: by organizing a cleanup, planting a tree, starting a recycling program or(not and/or) walking or biking to work/school. Now tell me you haven’t heard each of these a thousand times before.

The ideas are good but in my humble opinion they can be improved.  Don’t get me wrong. I am not criticizing, because anything that helps the environment is great with me. However, I think nowadays ideas have to stand out and get the young people onboard. I know the intended audience for this newsletter is the customer. But customers are parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and young people(new homeowners and children as well who live in these homes), too.   They have to translate immediately into the language that youth understand and get them thinking, moving and acting. Right now the words barely get me thinking! What about you? I know I’m getting older and more sluggish, but I still have to move. Right?

No, I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!  And no one hit me over the head with my coffee mug!  Nah, no Igor to flood my basement or wash out my road! So who put the bug in my hat or ear? It was the opening of my light bill and that flash of green that got me going.  No, it wasn’t the old twenty dollar bill or old dollar bill that is no longer in the banks. It was the newsletter for customers.

The newsletter does point you to events in your area and a schedule. It even suggests you visit their website ( or But after that list of suggestions to protect the environment, I’m not so sure that anyone is going to go any further. Do you? I hope they will come up with their own list, and follow through. We do have many individuals in our province and country who care about our environment.

Since I’m working to help this planet, I’m going to list the cleanup schedules and hope that no one minds. It doesn’t list these as cleanup times, but I’m making the assumption that they are, but you might check with your town council or even with Newfoundland Power, if you want to participate. Or just show up ready to go to work!

Area                   Date                 Time                  Location

St. John’s       June 5              6-8 p.m.             Elizabeth Park Elem., Paradise

Carbonear     May 31              6:30-8:30 p.m. Holy Redeemer Elem., Spaniard’s Bay

Clarenville     June 8              9a.m.-2p.m.      Anthony Paddon Elem., Musgravetown

Corner Brook June 8             11a.m.-2p.m.      St. Gerard’s Elem.

Gander           May 24              1-3 p.m.             Gander Academy

Grand Falls/

Windsor         May 31              9a.m.-noon        Millcrest Academy

Stephenville   June 7             11a.m.-2p.m.       Blanche Brook Park

If you know of a clean up time for your community, let me know and I’ll list it here as well.  The more people we enlist, the better for everyone.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone in this piece.  It’s just that I see the newsletter as an attractive well set out piece of work, but it doesn’t get one’s heart beating fast or pump you up much. It barely gets a yawn, although I do know that every little bit helps.

Did you check your light bill today? Perhaps you can see something positive that I’ve missed. Remember these are the opinions of the blogger and she is entitled to them.  You may agree or disagree and feel free to voice them in the comment section.  My goal is to get you thinking, and to get you coming up with your own ideas. That’s up to you, of course!

Yawn! Yawn!  There’s my Newfie humour coming to the forefront again!

Here are some of my ideas, and again please feel free to add to these.

  • Stop the shopping, will ya? That dress you wore to your son’s wedding can be dyed or cut off to wear to your friend’s wedding. There is more to life than shopping and running up those credit cards.
  • If you have to buy a dress, go to a thrift store and find one there. For each one you  buy, give one or more, to a needy friend or to the Association of New Canadians or a charity of your choice.
  • Have your comfortable shoes kept like new at the Shoe Hospital. Have repairs to footware and handbags done there.
  • Borrow jewelry for special occasions, and discourage the use of blood diamonds by not buying more diamond jewelry.  Or use your own old stuff.  It all seems to come back in style again. Clean it up and it looks new!
  • Make your own cleaning products.  You will save so much money each year, and your home will be sparkling. Remember that we don’t want to be too clean, as we need some bacteria to build up our immunity to germs.


  • Don’t waste money on new furniture all the time. There is a comfort in revamping old furniture and having antiques done by an expert-you! If you can afford an expert, by all means find one!


  • Bring your recyclables to a depot. Save the money for a family vacation. Get the family in on the picking up bottles and cans to add to the cleaner environment and the Going Travelling Fund!


  • Make your own gifts. Children’s art for family members can be coveted for years. Homemade nutritious cookies or cakes can be enjoyed for a week! They can help with their good health, as well.
  • For goodness sakes, drink your tap water!  Stop bringing home dozens and dozens of plastic bottles filled with someone else’s water. Buy a filter systems or one of the bottles that you can buy your own filters for. There are too many commercials showing homes filling up with plastic. We give up buying plastic, only to replace our plastic with water bottles. We all get stuck sometimes and have to buy a bottle of water, but do we have to do it for every drop we drink?  I’ve been  drinking tap water way over fifty years and I think that’s what will kill me in the end.


  • Rather than going downtown and spending $200 on a Friday or Saturday night, plan a barbecue in your own yard. Come up with some neat treats and games, to make all guests feel energized and welcome! Rather than going to M & Ms or Dominion for fast finger foods, enlist your children in making two or three easy recipes.


  • Forget the paper towels and paper napkins. Save some trees.  Offer cloth napkins which can be used again and again.


  • Use a Kobo or other reader, or exchange paper books with friends. Buy used books at thrift stores or flea market. Recycle or share any books you no longer want/need.
  • Spend more time on the trails, walking or biking.  Bring along your children and friends.  Frequent trails close to home so that you can walk or bike to get there. Don’t leave any garbage along the way.  In fact, you can take along some bags to collect cans and other garbage, so that your trail is better for you having been there! Make it a daily endeavour, not a once a year pick up! Children learn by doing.  I think that is the 4-H motto, but it suits everyday life to a T.

Happy Canada Day


About Newfoundland Traveller

I'm a Newfoundlander with a love of reading, writing and travelling. I've travelled around our province and lived in four provinces of Canada. I love a good book and a good blog. My family means the world to me, and some day I hope to travel to many countries of the world with my husband and sons' families.
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