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I think the Town’s Beautification week is a fantastic initiative. It’s a great opportunity to gather up the riches in discarded bottles, as well as less-profitable trash, throughout the town.

When I first got off the plane last fall I was taken aback by the beauty of the landscape, the sense of being surrounded by a forest and raging river and the freshness of the air. I realize now just how much work that is to maintain, so encouraging non-profits to collect garbage around town for a payment is a great idea. It would be nice if the territory or federal government could kick in some cash to make it a larger payout, however.

If you non-profit is participating in the Zone Clean-up Contest, drop me a line at inuvikdrum@nnsl.com and we can set up a photo if you wish.

Along with the contest, the town is definitely to be commended for the stops it’s pulling out to encourage residents to get their spring cleaning on. Free pick-ups of large items, waiving tipping fees at the landfill and the free store to encourage the second of the three ‘R’s are all fantastic initiatives to help make Inuvik look cleaner and breathe greener.

To that end, I recently had a conversation with a resident who had made the suggestion of a youth-lead information campaign to show people the importance of not idling their vehicles when it’s not freezing cold outside.

I think this is also a great idea and I hope Climate Action Inuvik is working on it. One observation I made was the town could implement an anti-idling bylaw and issue a small fine to discourage the practice during the summertime.

It was suggested to me that would be difficult to enforce, though personally I think it should be easier for a bylaw officer to catch a vehicle running while parked for five-to-ten minutes during a nice day than, say, catching somebody spitting on the streets by random chance, which the town now has a financial penalty for.

Obviously a bylaw should not apply when the mercury drops to dangerous levels. When it’s below -40C out, keeping your vehicle warm can almost become a matter of life and death. Similarly, should we ever have to deal with a heat wave up here, a vehicle’s air conditioning could become a life-safer and that requires an engine to run.

But in the last week I’ve noticed a lot of people leaving their vehicles running, sometimes waiting for people to go inside to run an errand, sometimes just leaving the vehicle to run on its own. Meanwhile, people are wearing shorts and flip flops outside.

I do my best to be mindful of turning my engine off if I’m sitting in my vehicle, though I’m sure even I slip from time to time. But we all have to do better.

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Eric Bowling

A lover of knowledge and adventure, Eric Bowling jumped at the opportunity to write for the Inuvik Drum and to see the world from a totally different vantage point. He has covered just about everything...

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