Gray skies could not keep attendees away from the recent Greening Sacred Spaces event entitled Water – A Sacred Trust. The event held this past Thursday at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto drew over 50 attendees from a variety of congregations and faith groups. The goal of the seminar was to rekindle our connection towards the sanctity of water, provide proactive tips that faith groups can use to increase awareness within their congregations and to optimize the overall water efficiency within our homes and institutions.
Speakers at the event included Adrian O’Driscoll, Supervisor of Stewardship & Outreach Education at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Stan Gibson, Executive Director of Ecologos and Muaz Nasir, Program Officer from Toronto Water.
The seminar opened with a screening of the documentary One Water. This movie explores the value different cultures place on this resource, celebrates our relationship and analyzes some of the impending water issues. The film contrasts areas of the world where water is in abundance to regions where it is dangerously low and presents the issue of water quality. This was followed by an interactive discussion facilitated by Stan Gibson who encouraged the attendees to consider their personal relationship with water and the meaning of water to humanity.
Adrian then followed with a presentation covering the components of a watershed and why it is important to protect it. His demonstration on how much water is actually available to us compared to the volume of water on the planet resonated with the audience who were quick to point out that we are losing freshwater from the melting icecaps to the saltwater of the oceans. He also addressed stormwater runoff, sources of pollution that enter the natural system, and some of the community outreach programs available to residents and community groups.
The final presentation was from Toronto Water and provided proactive tips that congregations and homeowners could implement to improve water efficiency. He also provided resources that could be used as educational aids within their institutions and described some water conservation examples that faith groups could incorporate into their religious practices.
The seminar was well received with many more tuning in to watch a live stream of the event.
If you missed the seminar, you can watch a taping of the webinar and download the water efficiency slides at: