Sustainable Transportation Edition

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May, 2012

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biking is free

DonateRiding on Hope
The Otesha Project's Monthly Journal
Sustainable Transportation Edition

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“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.”

H.G. Wells


Bike to Work MonthDid you know?

Each year the average cycling commuter saves 54 gallons of fuel. If the 627 000 Ottawans that drive to work biked instead, it would save an average of 33 million gallons of fuel, 54 Olympic sized swimming pools worth of oil, and 270 000 tons of CO2. Just one of many fascinating facts in this video on Bike to Work Month by the EnviroCentre.

According to a Danish study, one mile on a bike is a 42 cent economic gain to society, while one mile driving is a 20 cent loss. Read the article here.


Thank You


Thank YouAs we gear up to ride through our 2012 season of cycling and performing tours, we want to thank you for your response to our appeal to sustain another 10 years of action-inspiring programming. We are humbled by your support. The Otesha Project exists and grows thanks to the generosity and support of thousands of supporters like you. Every donation is a statement from you showing the importance of the work we do; that you want Otesha to not only continue our work, but to expand. Thank you for being a part of the Otesha community and for joining our movement. Thank you for all this and more; we are thrilled to be a part of the positive future we are building together.

***If you would still like to contribute to our 10 (more) Years of Change campaign, you can do so here.

Bike tubes and gratitude,

Shirley, Elly, Matt, Kira & Tricia




Rising Tide Tour Starts Today!training week

The first group of hopeful change-makers meets in Fredericton today to begin 9 days of intensive preparation – learning the Otesha play, practising bike maintenance and repair, and experimenting with the skills they´ll need to operate as a mobile sustainable community for the next 2 months. Sign up for their Notes from the Road to keep up to date on their shenanigans.

Get ready for the Wild OAT!!organic affair

Otesha's Annual Wild OAT is coming up! The Organic Affair - Toronto, is just around the corner and this year, our one-hour tea-party will be as inspirational as ever. The June event brings together the Otesha community to celebrate what we've accomplished and to imagine a sustainable and hopeful future together. If you are interested in hosting a table, volunteering, or supporting Otesha at the event, please get in touch with our Wild OAT Coordinators: Natalie ( and Jes (

Otesha goes to MEC Bikefest and the 3i Summit3i Summit

If you are in the Ottawa area this May, join Otesha at the 3i Summit – Innovate Interact Initiate. Otesha and 3i are partnering to sponsor 6 O-lumni to attend the event May 4th and 5th, and you can still apply! Contact if you're interested.

MEC Bikefest

On Mother's Day, look for Otesha spreading Bike Love at Lebreton Flats for MEC Bikefest!



Earth Day Every Day

On April 22nd, Otesha was lucky enough to sit alongside politicians, elders, and organizations like the Council of Canadians and the Sierra Club at an Earth Day Everyday celebration on Petrie Island. Tricia Enns, the fabulous tour coordinator for the Rising Tide Tour (beginning today!!), had the spotlight to share with attendees the transformational impact Otesha has had on her life. The chilly weather didn’t dampen the feeling of warmth and community shared that day!


Bluesfest Success! 

Otesha at Bluesfest Party
The evening of Tuesday April 24th found the Ottawa Play Team performing "Otesha - The Musical" at the Bluesfest Line-Up Party. Charged with empowerment juice and song and dance, the Play Team rocked the stage as Bluesfest announced the line-up for this year's electro-fied festival! Thanks go out to the Bluesfest committee for supporting Otesha as one of the beneficiaries for the event.

canbike trainingOh yes, Otesha CAN-Bike.

This April, Friendleagues and O-lumni in the Ottawa area spruced up our rides for a weekend of on the road safety training with CAN-Bike. After 2.5 days, we left confident and empowered with greater knowledge of our rights and responsibilities while sharing the road.

Walking the Talk
Otesha is an advocate of using daily actions to create the kind of world we’d like to live in…so what actions are we up to these days?


RIP big mammaPrinter Woes

It was with great sadness that Otesha HeadQuarters confronted the loss of Big Mamma, our beloved colour printer. Selected specifically for her outrageously expensive but more environmentally responsible ink, she served us well for years.
Big Mamma’s passing brought denial, then frustration, then panic. What would we do without a colour printer? Lengthy discussions were had over the environmental and economic implications of finding a replacement, be it new or used. At some moment, we paused to ask we really need a colour printer? How can we get by without? Can we be more creative in the way we craft up posters and thank you cards? Turns out that with a little more creativity, and a little more sharing with our neighbours, we haven’t needed to run out and buy something after all!

Volunteer Opportunities


Join The Otesha Project's Board of Directors

 The Otesha Project’s Board of Directors are looking for two energetic, dedicated, and passionate individuals to join the crew! If you are interested, or know of an individual who you think would do a great job, please see the BOD Application_2012
Deadline is June 1, 2012.

O-lumnus Spotlight
Each month we like to show off the accomplishments one or more alumni of Otesha's tours, affectionately known as "O-lumni"


Nourishing more than just our bodies

Hannah SobelThe year following the 2011 Phenomenal Food Tour has been a busy one for O-lumna Hanna Sobel. Back in Toronto after tour, Hannah began scheming up ways to channel her vault of passion, insight and knowledge surrounding food and the ways it is produced, prepared and enjoyed. Her eloquence and wit found a welcoming home in the blog-o-sphere, where Hannah maintains the The Heart is a Lonely Hunger, a charmingly written collection of recipes, thoughts and stories on the beauty of cooking for one. As Hannah puts it:
What this whole thing comes down to is food. How we nourish ourselves when we're on our own. How joyful, healthful, and economical it can be to cook, eat, and simply be's about time we start cooking and eating for ourselves as if we were cooking for company.
What's more, this September Hannah will be taking her intellectual prowess, interest in sustainability and social justice issues, and her food advocacy work to Boston, where she will begin her 3-year dual degree of an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy/Planning and an MS in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition at Tufts University.
Otesha really gave me the kick in the pants to take my future into my own hands. To take action on what I care about the most and to stop being complacent when I hadn't been achieving those goals. On my Otesha tour, I realized the difference I could make in the world around me simply by doing what I genuinely enjoyed, says Hannah.
We think we speak for a lot of people when we say the world is a better place for Hannah having followed her passion. No pairs of pants were harmed in the kicking process she mentioned.

You'll be missed on this side of the border, Hannah!

Website of the Month

Grist News

Looking for independent, green news? Otesha is a big fan of Grist – Refreshingly frank news, advice and commentary on food, climate and energy, cities, living, and business and technology.

Wish List

We do lots of crafting here at Otesha and we need glue! If you’ve got a surplus of white liquid glue or glue sticks, we will put them to good use.
No sketchy mathematics for us, calculators wanted!
Ever find yourself with too many thumbtacks? If so...send them our way...our cork boards are ready for a makeover!
Used cameras – to have photo and video documentation of Otesha shenanigans.
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