We’re gonna go green
To keep the Earth clean.
These lyrics could be heard echoing throughout the St. James United Church this summer, as MCM’s environmental day camp, Camp Cosmos, got into full swing. The lively group of Cosmos campers and staff, who collectively spoke over a dozen different languages, took “going green” to a whole new level this summer.
While initial plans for on-site urban gardens were frustrated by renovation projects at St. James United Church, our nature-loving bunch turned this obstacle into an excuse for community-building: partnering with Santropol Roulant, Camp Cosmos planted its garden in camper-decorated containers on the nearby McGill University campus. Thanks go to Éco-quartier St-Jacques and CRAPAUD (Collectif de recherche en aménagement paysager etagriculture urbaine durable) for providing us with beautiful community-generated compost for our gardening! We look forward to more planting next year using compost that we started this summer with our neighbours, CRAPAUD, at UQAM.
While composting won’t make you sick, it sure is contagious! Camp Cosmos’ zest for composting spread up to the office of the Montreal City Mission this past year, as office staff adopted earth worms to help turn lunch scraps into rich compost to feed plants. Here’s to reducing waste sent to landfills, one apple core at a time!
Last summer I often found myself thinking about the connection between the social justice work of Montreal City Mission and the environmental responsibility that was my personal mission. I experienced a moment of clarity one day at Projet Refuge while feeding and tending our new compost. A resident from Iraq helped me turn the compost and while we worked we had a conversation about why we were composting. I explained that in Canada we use more resources and produce more waste than we need to and that by composting we use our own table scraps to produce compost which we can then use on our community garden. The resident then turned to the backyard gardens all around us and remarked that these gardens and our compost were signs of peace. No one in Iraq has time to think of these things. So the answer to my wonderings struck me. Being at peace gives Canadians the liberty to put energy into living better, into reducing waste, conserving energy, and changing transportation choices. The issues of social justice and the environment are connected because at the base of the both streams of activism is the recognition that it is not humane to live at the expense of others lives.
Claire, Green Church Project summer intern
Montreal City Mission
By mail : 1435, City Councillors Street, Montreal Qc, H3A 2E4
In person : the office of MCM is at 1440, St-Alexandre Street, on the 3rd floor - entrance in the parking lot of St. James' Church.