The "Share the Gold" campaign is inviting people to offset the carbon emissions generated by travel related to the 2010 Olympics. And specifically to do that by donating to local initiatives within Vancouver that reduce carbon emissions and promote renewable energy. Rev Ric Matthews (Minister at First United Church - and spokesperson for Share the Gold) explains: "This is an invitation both to those who have come to the Games and to those who are leaving to escape the Games - and it is an invitation to offset their carbon footprint by making a difference right in the centre of the city"
Share the Gold is an initiative that recognises that whether we support or oppose the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Games show us what we are capable of achieving. It is a campaign designed to build off the creativity, energy and commitment directed at the Olympics so that we can equally address the Olympian challenge of homelessness, poverty, addiction and mental illness. www.sharethegold.org
Contributions to offset personal footprints related to the Games will be used to support initiatives in Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside that are providing urban farms and are working towards establishing "Transition Town" neighbourhoods.
Urban farms (growing and distributing food in the neighbourhood) that would benefit within the Downtown Eastside include the "Sole Food Urban Farm", situated on half an acre at the corner of Hawks and Hastings Streets. It is jointly led by two established local organisations: United We Can and Building Opportunities with Business. Brian Smith (from Building Opportunities with Business) points out that "Urban agriculture helps to avoid carbon emissions related to transporting food from afar, helps to generate oxygen, helps to create jobs, and helps to ensure food security".
Visitors to and from Vancouver who would like to offset their carbon emissions can contribute to a special fund that will forward all contributions directly and in full to local farms and transition town initiatives. The average amount per person required to offset emissions for a return flight from Europe is $67, to offset accommodation and travel within the Olympic cities during the games is $69, and to offset attendance by a visitor or a local resident at 2 events is $68 (as calculated at the Games’ official carbon offset supplier, www.offsetter.ca). Contributions can be made to the "First United Church Carbon Offset Fund" by cheque sent to 320 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1P4, or via the CanadaHelps link at www.firstunited.ca. First United Church is a registered charity: 118919406 RR 0001. Tax receipts will be issued. Further information may be obtained by calling 604-681-8365 ext 117.