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This article was published 22/4/2009 (4129 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Picking up trash, dropping off e-waste and putting down roots -- or at least prepping them for when the ground thaws.
The 39th Earth Day featured Winnipeggers taking to the street to clean up the downtown, walking to support clean water access and recycling their old electronics.
That's not to mention some eco-themed announcements from the province and head-shaking from environmentalists over a report card that gave Manitoba a failing green grade.
Here's a look at how Winnipeg spent April 22 -- Earth Day:
HUNDREDS of office workers abandoned their computers for trash tongs Wednesday in a BIZ-run cleanup.
"It's our community. It's our backyard," said Gavin McCaffrey, a member of the Fairmont Hotel's green team, participating in the spring cleanup.
Project co-ordinator Stephanie Voyce said 200 people took part, including businesses and community groups.
CAA Manitoba collected at least 35 car batteries, 500 alkalines and a handful of rechargeables at a free battery roundup, but spokeswoman Samantha Charran said one man stole the show when he dropped off around 11,000 lithium batteries.
"He showed up with 10 boxes," said Charran. She expected the battery count to go up later in the day, but said people who miss the window can drop off batteries year-round at CAA's 220 Dawson Rd. location.
At the Urbanmine e-waste recycling depot on Rothwell Road and the Investors Group depot on Waverley Street, Winnipeggers took advantage of a one-day chance to drop off e-waste for free.
"It's unbelievable, the amount that's coming in," said Urbanmine president Mark Chisick, who counted 20 vehicles still lined up by late afternoon.
THEY had to make do with an Earth Day mock-planting, but three American elms will take root at The Forks when the ground is soft enough.
A Tree Canada board meeting at The Forks resulted in a partnership between the organizations, and plans for tree-planting at the site every year on Earth Day, said Forks spokeswoman Clare MacKay.
"They're impressed with the initiatives we have in place," she said.
FOR Eric Bibeau, the Earth Day commute meant climbing into a kayak and navigating the Red River to the University of Manitoba -- something he does most every day, weather permitting.
"Going to university is an hour, coming back it's 20 minutes," said the mechanical engineering assistant professor and alternative energy specialist.
AN estimated 250 people from 15 salons in Manitoba took part in the five-kilometre Walk for Water, raising funds for WaterCan, a non-profit group that works for clean water access, better sanitation and hygiene education in developing countries.
EARTH Day pride in Manitoba got taken down a notch after a countrywide report card handed the province an 'F' for its environmental performance.
Toronto-based magazine Corporate Knights compiled the report based on dozens of existing surveys from federal departments. Manitoba scored ninth out of 13 jurisdictions in a survey of 10 categories, including energy, biodiversity, air and transportation.
"In all cases, we tried to use the most credible body with the best type of comprehensive Canada-wide information," said primary analyst Melissa Felder.
Manitoba ranked low in most areas, particularly waste and recycling, organic food consumption and "toxics," a category focused on industrial emissions. The full report is available online (www.corporateknights.ca).
Premier Gary Doer questioned the report's credibility. "I don't even know who these people are," he said Wednesday, pointing out hydro-rich Quebec and Manitoba were both outperformed by Ontario on energy, despite that province's coal dependence.
The report did not include large-scale hydro as renewable energy, said Felder.
The report reached some surprising conclusions, with Alberta scoring higher than both Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. The island province earned an F, despite its strong recycling and composting programs.
Resource Conservation Manitoba's Josh Brandon said Manitoba's low ranking should give pause, but said he saw some problems with the report's methodology. That included using the GDP for some calculations, which he said can skew the numbers toward wealthier provinces.
"There's an inherent bias in this kind of report, because you're only picking a certain number of indicators," he said.
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