Week of July 20 – July 26, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 33

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings – “When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.” - Alan Paton  literature.kzn.org.za/lit/22.xml Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


This Week in Co-op Circles

§      The Canadian Co-operative Association, in association with Pengembangan Aktivitas Sosial Ekonomi Aceh (PASKA), seeks a volunteer sustainable agriculture Technical Assistant to work with their Social and Economic Recovery in Aceh Programme (SERAP). The western coastal areas of Aceh were among the areas hardest-hit by the tsunami resulting from the Indian Ocean earthquake on December 26, 2004. While estimates vary, approximately 230,000 people were killed by the earthquake and tsunami in Aceh, and about 500,000 were left homeless. The objective of the SERAP is to assist families in Nagan Raya, Pidie and Bireuen districts to regain self-reliance and rebuild livelihoods through community-based institutions. The project is led by the Canadian Cooperative Association and PASKA and also includes partnerships with the Social Marketing Circle and the Polling Centre.  Application for this consulting position should be made to: Rodd Myers, Senior Programme Manager / International Agriculture Specialist, rodd.myers@coopscanada.coop Applications should be submitted no later than August 7, 2008.

§      As part of a five year commitment to a total of $5,000, Advance Savings Credit Union recently presented a cheque for $1,000 to the Jordan LifeCare Centre Foundation Inc., an independent foundation that supports the Jordan LifeCare Centre Inc. and its residents.  The donations are being used to help purchase much needed equipment for the residents of the Jordan LifeCare Centre, which is a 50 bed nursing home facility, located in River Glade, NB. For more information, visit www.advancesavings.ca or call 855-ASCU (855-2728).

§      Café Femenino Coffee Project is a social program for women coffee producers in rural communities around the world. More than 1,500 women in Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru are active in the project http://www.cafefemenino.com/about_us.htm The  Red Whale in Saint John NB is participating in this program http://www.redwhalecoffee.com/wordpress/  Cafe Femenino is making a difference and Red Whale believes in the efforts of self-empowerment through sustainability, not subsidies. Read more at Cafe Femenino. http://www.cafefemenino.com.


Trends - I haven’t jumped on the ‘ban the plastic bag’ trend. I see it as a somewhat confused issue that’s being driven by rhetoric. Many claims are made, but I don’t see a lot of facts presented. In my former journalist days, there were two dictums you pronounced when considering the facts presented to you for a story. One was ‘follow the money’, and the other was ‘consider the source’. I still refer to them today when trying to figure out what’s going on around me. We know there are trillions of bags produced each year. We know many of them end up in landfills each year – actually ‘clogging’ landfills and killing wildlife according to some sources. In my view, the problem isn’t so much the plastic bags, it’s the littering and our irresponsibility with the bags once we get them home from the store. If you look at plastic bags from a weight or volume standpoint, well, there are much bigger fish to fry if our goal is to keep plastic out of landfills. Take a look at one week’s worth of packaging next time you’re hauling the blue garbage bag to the curb – just about everything is sealed away in a plastic clamshell or container designed to keep our products unadulterated by others or difficult to shoplift, because, well, that’s what we as consumers and retailers want. My resistance to the ‘ban the plastic bag’ trend is also tempered by the fact that a big part of me thinks that’s what landfills are designed for: receiving and storing garbage – i.e. the stuff that’s non-compostable, non-recyclable and non-reusable – for the long term. That’s how garbage gets to the landfill: in plastic bags, a vehicle that does what it’s designed to do extremely well. The trend we should be developing, in my mind, is creating more recycling opportunities (some would say ‘diversion opportunities’) for all plastics, including the bags I get at the supermarket (which I divert as liners into our household trash cans). They exist in many parts of the country for glass and plastic bottles. We need to adapt that type of thinking to all plastics.– Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - Green Events – If you are planning an event this summer, from a family barbeque to a three-day festival, consider making your event a green as possible.  Follow this link to helpful tips such as reduction, working with vendors, and communications.  http://www.rrfb.com/pdfs/greenevent.pdf  Holding a green event is not just about recycling, there are many choices you can make about energy reduction and buying local, among many other things. – Bronwyn MacKinnon


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree The Building Co-operative Futures youth initiative marked its 6th forum last month. The conference has a different theme each year and has been held in a variety of places (from Saskatoon, SK to Manchester, England), but this year was extra special. The theme “Building Co-operative Futures in a Carbon Neutral World” not only focused on environmental issues in their conference proceedings, but they also used video conferencing and online forums rather than contributing to large fossil fuel emissions by flying people all around the world. Read more at www.learningcentre.coop/en/og/bcf2008  – Erin Hancock


Trading Fairly –The Autonomie Project http://www.autonomieproject.com  in Boston, MA, is a new Fair Trade fashion company with sweatshop-free & eco-friendly footwear, clothing and accessories. The project works exclusively with small, independent co-operatives and Fair Trade certified facilities located in developing areas of the world.  It uses organic cotton, all natural FSC rubber, and other eco-friendly materials whenever possible to lessen environmental impact.


Today I Learned Something New: International Development Through the Eyes of Students - During the year, as part of my work with the Canadian Co-operative Association, I visit schools and talk about co-operatives and communities in developing countries. I always appreciate the insights of the students, shared through comment sheets. This week: “I was surprised that in the Philippines the kids have to go to school in uniforms and sometimes classrooms have only ceilings, no walls. I liked the presentation on co-operatives and Canada’s role in making the world a better place. I learned that there are a lot of countries in Africa that are very poor.” – Ross, Grade 5, Marshview Middle School


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

§      August 10, 2008 – Credit Union Atlantic Lung Run, Pier 21, Halifax, NS. To register or fundraise and to learn more about the NS Lung Association and the Credit Union Atlantic Lung Run visit www.ns.lung.ca or call 1-888-566-8864.

§      Nov 13-15 – Canadian Worker Co-op Federation AGM and Conference, Winnipeg, MB

§      Nov 15, 2008 – CUSO’s Dance for the World event, Halifax, NS


Contest of the Week – Last week, Sally White from NB was our winner.  Good luck this week!!! Everyone who enters has their name placed in the contest can for the month end draw. The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca Last week’s contest: Figure out the word hinted at in Clue 1. Then rearrange those letters and add one more letter to figure out the word hinted at in Clue 2. Continue recycling letters and adding one more until you've built a seven-letter word as the answer to Clue 5. Clue 1A drink made with leaves
_ _ _Clue 2 Something that's sticky on one side _ _ _ _ Clue 3 A fold in a skirt or curtain _ _ _ _ _ Clue 4, Thing that a stapler dispenses _ _ _ _ _ _ Clue 5, Bodies in space _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Answer: The answers are tea, tape, pleat, staple, and planets. This week’s contest: In the equation below, replace each question mark with one of the four mathematical signs: +, -, ×, or ÷. Each sign can be used only once. Fill in the blanks to solve the equation. (Hint: the first sign is +.)  7? 5? 4? 7? 6 = 15


Co-op Cooking – Sometimes a 'cook once - eat twice' recipe comes in handy. Here's a grilled steak that is perfect served for dinner with a salad and veggies. Then the leftovers become lunch when they are brought back for an encore as a great tasting sandwich.   

Simply Glazed Steak

2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 1/2 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, 3/4 inch thick

Mix dressing, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pepper in shallow dish. Add steak; turn to evenly coat both sides. Let stand 15 min. to marinate, turning occasionally.
Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on rack of broiler pan.
Broil 6 inches from heat, 4 min. on each side or to medium doneness. Let stand 5 min. before cutting across the grain into thin slices to serve.

Italian Steak Melts

Place bottom halves of 2 split sandwich rolls on rack of broiler pan. Spread with 2 tbsp. mayonnaise. Top with leftover steak and 1/4 cup Italian style shredded cheese. Broil 2 min.; cover with tops of rolls. Makes 2 servings, one sandwich each. - Glenna Weagle


Our Readers Write - Tell us what you think. Send news, events and information for the Co-op Community Bulletin Board. Suggest features you think might be beneficial to people reading Co-op Circles. We want this electronic newsletter to serve you (be sure to include your e-mail and phone number). Send your item(s), comments and suggestions to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

§      “I just got in and was welcomed by the latest edition of Co-op circles. Thanks for the kick start to my day.”- DK, Manitoba

§      “Dan Meades writing from Indianapolis Indiana today. It has been a while since I sat to really enjoy the co-op circles news letter, but I did today and I wanted to say thanks for sending it out! Please give my best to Maureen! Also, the answer to the contest is "Planets" Thanks! Dan”


Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Collective’s commitment to the Co-op Principles of Co-op Education and Concern for Community. This electronic newsletter is published every week. It is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in co-operative and community development in Atlantic Canada and around the world. We will be happy to put you on our Co-op Circles mailing list. We are proud that co-operators from Canada, the U.S, England, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are part of our Circle. To subscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca or to unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca  Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at News1@nbnet.nb.ca

Thanks to the Marie Michael Library, Coady International Institute, for archiving Co-op Circles. http://www.coady.stfx.ca/library/coop_circles/index.htm 

Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, July 30, 2008