Rachel Garber

I’ve noticed cute little cloth bags proliferating lately. The aim is to use them to buy foodstuffs in bulk, thereby reducing the use of single-use plastics. Oh they are so cute… and so expensive. How do we manage to turn every new environmental initiative into a money grab?

A few weeks ago, I got my very own Eco-Kit, a collaboration of the FondsEco IGA and the Jour de la Terre. For it, I paid $30 and gave 15 minutes of attention to a nice young man speaking about the importance of reducing the glut of plastics surrounding our unfortunate globe.

The kit is said to be worth $75. It contained 14 items:
Four small net fruit/vegetable bags, zippered and labeled “100% Polyster [sic] Made in China.”

Two silicone food “stashers,” one sandwich-sized, the other snack-sized, designed in California, made in China. Good for dishwasher (how good is that for the environment?); good for microwave, stovetop or oven; good for fridge or freezer. Reusable. Little problem: The opening is too small to fit a real sandwich into it.

Three Abeego reusable beeswax food wraps, one for Papa Bear, one for Mama Bear, one for Baby Bear. They breathe, like a lemon peel. They mold tightly to a bowl top or foodstuff, like a peel. You can wash them in cold water. Reusable, but no microwaving or heat. Wax melts, after all. “Lasts one year or longer!” says the box. Made in Canada.

Four stainless steel drinking straws, fashionably bent, and one straw-sized brush for washing them. Reusable, for sure. Distributed by Danesco in Montreal. No idea where they were made. Now, Danesco, a good trick would be to make a brush capable of slithering through the bend in the straws, no?

IGA, Jour de la Terre, folks: All the items in the Eco-Kit are cute, and so is the initiative. But we can do better. How about, IGA, you tell your suppliers you require them to stop using single-use plastic wrapping? How about, we customers, we tell IGA we require this, too?
Now that would be really cute.

Old Fashioned Day at the Eaton Corner Museum is a chance to fling up your heels and celebrate the Museum’s 60th Anniversary. Yes, in 1959, the women of the Compton County Women’s Institute undertook to leave a tangible legacy for future generations. They founded the Compton County Historical Society, and turned the former Congregationalist Church in Eaton Corner into a regional museum.

The Museum is still telling the story of the past, its own and ours in the region. Old Fashioned Day will feature heritage crafts, antique machinery, “old time” music, and of course, an old fashioned tea service with delicious homemade scones and jam. It’s this Sunday, August 11, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission (including the tea service) is $10. The proceeds help support the Museum’s historic buildings and the conservation and display of its artefacts.

Devoted volunteers work hard to carry on the vision of the pioneering Women’s Institutes, and the Museum’s board invites members of the public to help by becoming members and participating in the fundraising events.
The Eaton Corner Museum summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday. Info: Serena Wintle at 819-875-5210 or the Museum at 819-875-5256, or

DARK SKY, 9th & 20th
We have just two more chances for a front-row seat in the Dark Sky Reserve at the “largest show in the world,” offered by the Astrolab in collaboration with the MRC. One observation evening is planned for August 9 at 8:30 p.m. in Lingwick, in the municipal park. Another is to be on August 20 at 8 p.m., in Cookshire at the Parc des Braves. Dress warmly, bring binoculars or telescope, and only a headlamp with a red light. Cancelled in case of rain. Info: 819-560-8400 x 2118,

A Brass Quintet is featured in the next picnic concert on Sunday, August 18, at 11:30 a.m., in the gazebo of the Parc des Braves in the heart of Cookshire. The musicians are Jean-Philippe Dutil (tuba), Gabriel Gauthier-Beaudoin (horn), Bruno Laurence-Joyal (trombone), and Robin Doyon and Stéphane Beaulac (trumpets). Bring your chairs and lunch. In case of rain, the concert will move into the Victoria Hall. Organized by the Cookshire-Eaton Art Gallery, 25 Principale W., Cookshire.

Heads up: The next Valoris consultation is planned for Wednesday, August 28, at 6:45 p.m., regarding the proposed expansion of the engineered landfill site. It will focus on economic aspects of the project, communications and community contributions. The location of the meeting is to be determined. In September will be a final public meeting and feedback. To register for the events, or for more info: 819-560-8403 x 2916, email, or visit the website

The artist Morton Rosengarten will be at the John Henry Pope Cultural Centre, 25 Principale W. in Cookshire, on Sunday, September 1st, from 2 to 4 p.m. His special visit is in the context of his exhibit, “The Portrait, A Forgotten Art: Drawings and sculptures.” Rosengarten will be there to speak about his works and answer questions. The Art Gallery is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Anglican. The 10:30 a.m. Sunday services are at St. Peter’s church in Cookshire on August 11, and at the St. John’s Church in Brookbury on August 18. Info: 819-887-6802.
United. Sunday services at 10:30 a.m. are at the Trinity United in Cookshire on August 11, and at the Sawyerville United on August 18. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message).
Baptist. In Sawyerville, the Sunday worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. Info: 819-239-8818.

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by August 12 for publication August 21 and by August 26 for September 4.

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