Solstice Sunrise, Oak Ridges Moraine/Greenbelt
Dear Friends,

2020 has been a year like no other yet Covid19 has brought some positive changes with direct benefits for us all. Many more residents are out walking & enjoying our green spaces, parks & forests. People are encouraged to shop locally & organic CSA farmers have had sold out farm shares even as markets were closed until they were deemed essential services. Many others have not done so well but it is inspiring to see what innovation can do to sustain our resilience.

If you follow us on Facebook, you will know that well before the scathing auditor general’s report outlining the shortfalls of provincial policies (or lack thereof), YREA & many other NGOs have been deploring Ontario’s MZOs, attacks on Conservation Authorities, the Oak Ridges Moraine & Greenbelt. I vow to be up for another protest & arrest if development in wetlands such as this goes ahead.

YREA was scheduled to present SHOP LIKE THE PLANET’S WATCHING at Richmond Hill’s Central library before things shut down. We now plan to create webinars for a number of our workshops, the most recent being Pesticide & GMO Truths. They will be made available free of charge not only to schools & educators but also to libraries, health & community centres for their virtual programming as well as to the general public.

YREA appreciates the positive comments to our newsletters. We will continue to inform & inspire on many topics to show what we can do on our sustainability path. As YREA Executive Director, it is important that I walk the talk. One way I have reduced my carbon footprint is by signing on to Bullfrog Power green energy. So far I have saved 48.15 tonnes of CO2e. We can all do our part - whether it is a home energy audit, reducing plastic use or choosing sustainable seafood - it all helps.

The darkest night will soon give way to the light of longer days. Let's embrace this Winter Solstice as an opportunity for new beginnings. All of use at YREA - Abdullah, Donna, Liz, Susan, Sylvia & Gloria send our very best wishes & hopes for a greener, healthier 2021 recovery. We must continue to work & collaborate for the betterment of this Earth. We just have to keep at it and never give up.

Onward & upward!
Gloria Marsh, Executive Director
HOLIDAY GIFTING IDEAS
Our annual green giving tips are a bit different this year because of Covid19 but we still encourage you to think of options that are less likely to end up in a landfill. Don't let icy winter conditions stop you from walking. Outfit your family's boots with ice cleats or yaktrax & enjoy safe hiking. Provide someone with a local job by buying a service like home maintenance, car tuneup, accupunture, a haircut or virtual yoga & exercise classes; support a local farmer by gifting an organic farm share veggie box; memberships in naturalists & hiking clubs ; a subscription to a digital newspaper; seeds for the garden or bird feeder; if you know of someone living alone who might appreciate a pet, consider a cat or a dog adoption (check first to make sure gift would be well received); books, as people read more; consumables - Canadian cheese, Ontario wine & honey; for the cook - organic vanilla, saffron & spices; gourmet treats, home made cookies.
Try and think outside the big box by supporting small businesses.
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A very special thank you to all our wonderful supporters, especially those who have stood with us over the years.
We couldn't have done it without.
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