The Peterborough Examiner
April 9, 2013
By: Kennedy Gordon

On the first Day of Green, you might walk to work, rather than drive. You could remember to turn off the lights in empty rooms. You may decide to hand-wash your dishes, or hang your laundry outside instead of using that hydro-hogging dryer.

“It could be something as simple as bringing your coffee to work in a washable cup, instead of a disposable one,” says Andrea Dicks, executive director of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough.

She’s describing Random Acts of Green, which kicks off the new 7 Days of Green initiative.

Running from April 16 to 22, it’s the foundation’s new city-wide co-operative celebration of all things environmental, and features a week of green activities and events.

Random Acts of Green, she explains, is just that — small, quiet moments everyone can do in order to promote environmentalism.

But not too quiet.

“The important thing is to tell people about it,” Dicks says.

“Share it. When we’ve gathered those stories, they’ll become part of a public art installation that will help spread the message.”

Spreading the message is a key point of all this, she explains, part of the mission of the foundation, a community-based endowed fund.

“One of the pillars of the Community Foundation is community leadership through philanthropy,” she says. “When we were looking at what we could do, the environment kept coming up as something people were interested in. So what we wanted to do was shine that spotlight of philanthropy on the environment.”

As spring approached, the foundation began to connect with other local agencies and 7 Days of Green began to sprout.

“When you come up with an idea for a new program, the first thing you do is ask (other groups) if they’re interested in being part of it,” Dicks says. “The response was overwhelming. Everyone wanted to be involved.”

This means annual events like the grand opening of the Ecology Park, the Rotary Super Spring Clean-Up, the Jackson Creek Clean-Up, open houses at the Canadian Canoe Museum, Camp Kawartha and the OFAH Mario Cortelluci Hunting and Fishing Centre and many more are now part of 7 Days of Green.

Dicks says 7 Days of Green may become an annual event. The foundation is looking at other ways to promote its philanthropic agenda beyond its annual Philanthropy Month in November.

“We’re coming up to our fourth Philanthropy Month this year,” she says. “And it grew from Philanthropy Day. There are a lot of new things we can do.”

kennedy.gordon@sunmedia.ca