Take the






















There's a lot 
hanging on the line

Clean Energy Coalition is challenging the province 
to make a substantial move towards using
sustainable, renewable energy by 2010

  Patty Donovan,
  Climate Change Contest Coordinator
  April 2000


lotheslines are a part and parcel of the rural landscape in Newtowel Brunswick. 
Many consider it a time honoured form of women’s folk art. As people hang out their laundry, they are painting a mural across the sky for the visual pleasure of passerbys. Images of clothes blowing on the line evoke a strong sense of "home" in many of us.

The clothesline contest, recently launched by a coalition of thirty environmental groups, has touched off that spark of passion. The day after the contest was announced, Clean Energy Coalition’s phone was ringing off the hook. According to contestant Wendy White of Saint John, "I have to honestly say if anyone was going to take something from me I would not want it to be my clothesline. I take a lot of flack from friends and family because I can be seen hanging my clothes out even in the winter, instead of using my dryer, however, I don’t let that bother me and I continue to hang out my clothes…it’s great. Especially when I know I am reducing my own personal gas emissions."

(photo: Clean Energy Coalition)

The contest is part of a campaign which is calling on the Government of New Brunswick to set targets for action. Specifically, it must ensure that; 
· by the year 2005, 10% of the energy consumed in government buildings will come from sustainable, renewable resources 
· by the year 2010, 10% of energy produced in New Brunswick will be generated from sustainable, renewable resources

The Clothesline Campaign will encourage the 
New Brunswick public to reduce their own personal greenhouse gas emissions, by making a pledge to use their clothesline instead of a dryer. Through using their clothesline, people can reduce their energy consumption by approximately 900 kWh per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1008 kg of C02.

Clothesline contest participants can enter a photo or description of their clotheslines in one of six great categories to win fabulous prizes.

1. Grand prize: most innovative clothesline - a hand made quilt courtesy 
of the Covered Bridge Quiltery valued at 
over $500

2. unique location - a $200 gift certificate from Mountain Equipment Co-op

3. longest clothesline - a tree from Brunswick Nurseries valued at $200

4. children's clothesline - a bike from Alternatives Bike Shop, Saint John

5. most clothes hung on a line -
a beautiful, matted 16 by 20 watercolor by Donna Barry-Giroux

6. strangest article hung out to dry - two train tickets from anywhere in NB to
Halifax courtesy of Via Rail

So far there have been many entries in the six contest categories. One woman has never used a dryer in her life. Ms. "Determined" Wilson of Saint John tells a long tale of woe about her efforts to hang out one load of clothes on three successive clotheslines, all of which broke under the load. A number of entrants have sent in beautiful photos of various and extraordinary articles hung out to dry. Beth Douthwright of Riverview submitted a story of a group of ladies who played a trick on a friend’s clothesline. In addition, one disabled women writes of her unique clothesline consisting of the vines and rails of her veranda. As well as the contest, people can participate in the campaign by putting a sign in their window announcing their house as "clothesline friendly" and by sending a postcard to the province to help ensure that the government does their part.

In 1997, the Government of Canada made an international commitment at Kyoto to reduce emissions of green-house gases to six per cent below 1990 levels by the year 2012. However by the end of the year 2000, Canada will be approximately 15 per cent above the Kyoto target, according to a recent study published by the Pembina Institute. This is not acceptable. New Brunswick is the fourth highest producer of CO2 per kWh and NB Power is one of the top ten emitters of greenhouse gases in the country. New Brunswick must assist Canada in fulfilling our international obligations by reducing these emissions.

The David Suzuki Foundation has released a ground-breaking report that shows Canada has the ability to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 using current technology. This is an important target that scientists have identified as necessary for climate protection. Marco Morency, representing Terre a Terre/Down to Earth of Moncton, has stated that it is because of heavy lobbying of the Federal Government, on the part of fuel companies with inexhaustible financial resources, that Canada is even father away from acceptable standards. It is to the point where Canada may not even sign a ratification of their original commitment at Hague later in the year.

(photo: Clean Energy Coalition)

David Thompson, of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, states, "We must set a goal to achieve these targets through the use of renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar energy, bio-gas and micro-hydro. These, coupled with a strong energy conservation program, will enable us to phase out or reduce our use of coal, oil and nuclear energy."

Beth McLaughlin, of People against Nuclear Energy, echoes this sentiment and believes that society must shift their focus to a more sustainable lifestyle to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels that pollute our air.

Gordon Dalzell, of the Citizens Coalition for Clean Air, states, "Recent research and federal data shows that up to 16,000 Canadians die prematurely every year due to air pollution, and tens of thousands more lose work days and have to visit hospitals. This problem is getting worse in New Brunswick and the new Canada wide standards, currently being developed for ozone and particulate, are not stringent enough to protect human health."

We’re doing our part by making personal choices to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and now we are asking when government and other stakeholders will start?

To obtain postcards, to enter your clothesline in the contest, or for more information contact:
The Clean Energy Coalition, 167 Creek Road, Waterford, NB, E4E 4l7, Tel: (506)433-6101,
Fax (506) 433-6111

Click here for more information
on the campaign