On Feb. 15 the Nanaimo chapter of the Sierra Club held their event “Phasing out Pipelines–Folding in Clean Energy” at the Painted Turtle Guesthouse. The event was part of Spotlight Earth, an inaugural provincial-wide festival created by Vancouver-based group, Global Activators. Spotlight Earth combines education, arts, action and fundraising to raise awareness around the issues of oil sands pipelines, tanker traffic, and climate change.

Since Oct. 2012, Carla Stein, Sierra Club Nanaimo organizer, and her daughter, Rachelle Stein-Wotten, have been creating “3D petitions” against pipeline and supertanker expansion by gluing origami cranes onto paintings donated by local artists, which depict B.C.’s coastline. Each crane folded is thoughtfully inscribed with a message of sustainability.

“People really respond to the artistic value of [Folding in Clean Energy],” Stein-Wotten says. “We wanted to bring people together so that they could then be a part of making a visual 3D petition rather than just writing a letter.”

“The count is adding up and we are certainly looking for more people to get involved either by folding cranes or contributing artwork,” Stein says. She explains that in Japanese tradition, origami cranes represent a wish or intention for health and well-being. Stein likens the province’s dependence on fossil fuels to a disease, “we want to create a wish to say let’s get well—let’s get healthy.”

Stein-Wotten explains that once they reach their goal of 1000 cranes, the visual petition will be presented to Nanaimo City Council and the Regional Distinct of Nanaimo.

On Feb. 24, Sierra Club Nanaimo is partnering with Raincoast Conservation Foundation to screen the Raincoast-produced films Reflections and Groundswell, which explore issues surrounding Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. Brian Falconer, Raincoast’s marine operation program coordinator, will be in attendance to answer questions about the Northern Gateway project as well as Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The event starts at 1:30 p.m. at VIU’s Nanaimo campus, bldg. 200, rm. 203.

Stein adds that the Sierra Club Nanaimo is currently looking for individuals who are interested in forming a steering committee for the relatively recent chapter. She and Stein-Wotten founded the Nanaimo chapter after attending a lecture given by Falconer, in April 2012. “We were so impacted by his message that we wanted to share it to a larger audience,” Stein concludes.

For more information on the Sierra Club Nanaimo, please visit <www.sierraclub.bc.ca/nanaimo>.