EnviroCentre Edition - Spring 2016
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Catherine Mageau-Walker (SustainLowertown Coordinator), Annie Mercier (LCRC Community Developper), Mathieu Fleury and Angela Palma Herriot at a Good Food Market in Lowertown.
Photo courtesy of SustainLowertown
Pedal to Plate with the Otesha Project
The Pedal to Plate tour is a nine-day cycling trek throughout the Ottawa region, with visits to 12 farms.
The Otesha Project has decided to focus these two tours on the concept of food security to tap into the "growing food conscious movement," says Harvey. The trips to various farms are designed to explore the role individuals play in determining their food supply. The Phenomenal Food Tour is a great success, with Harvey touting the tour's "excellent response." The Otesha Project has embarked on numerous cycling tours since the first journey in 2003, when founders Jocelyn Land-Murphy and Jessica Lax took a 164-day trip across the country. The duo formed the group scarcely a year earlier while studying in Kenya, naming the organization Otesha, which means "reason to dream" in Swahili. According to the Otesha website, the group grew out of the shock Land-Murphy and Lax experienced at seeing the disparity in lifestyles between North America and Africa, and seeing their fellow Canadians' ignorance about the effects of their lifestyle choices. Their cross-Canada journey set the tone for the organization.
The Otesha Project continues to use cycling tours as a learning tool to show Canadians how comparatively easy it is to make simple, environmentally conscious adjustments to their lives. "It's really grueling and shows that if someone can go on a two-month cycling tour, then changing some lifestyle choice is relatively easy," adds Harvey. The cycling tours have the added benefit of bringing the efforts of The Otesha Project into the public consciousness by interacting with various communities. "The tours help push the movement forward; they're a bridge to mainstream," says Harvey.
In addition to the cycling journeys, Otesha incorporates performance pieces into their environmental educational program. "The theatre is a great way to connect with people on an emotional and personal level," says Harvey. Both Land-Murphy and Lax have sought to break down complex environmental challenges into their most personal levels. The theatrical and workshop elements of the tours are intended to do just that and serve to educate participants on the potential impact their individual choices can have. "By focusing on our daily actions," says Harvey, "and thinking critically about the impact our choices have, we can make smarter lifestyle choices."
Marco Vigliotti is interested in environmental issues.
PERC thanks the above organizations for their support.
Thank you to Envirocentre for sponsoring the Spring 2016 edition of the PEN.