Innovation

Scrooge the Ticket: Residents in Ontario town to donate instead of paying parking fines

Traffic police in the Ontario town of Innisfil are inviting drivers to “scrooge the ticket” this holiday season by donating to a local food bank instead of paying off their parking tickets.

Last year, the first “Scrooge the Ticket” initiative was a huge success, collecting over USD 1,200 worth of toys, food and gift cards. This year, Innisfil is running it again: up till December 9, those who have been slapped with a parking ticket can opt to bring items of an equal or greater value than their fine to the town hall. Donations go to the Innisfil Community Church’s Christmas Outreach Program.

Innisfil isn’t the first to implement such an initiative. In America, cities in Colorado, Virginia and Kentucky have allowed parking violators to pay their fines with a donation to the food pantry.

The inventive idea makes a not-so-fun activity – paying a parking ticket fine – a gentle reminder that we can all do our part to contribute to the lives of those who are less fortunate. Residents who haven’t received a parking ticket are welcome to donate as well.

“No one likes to get a parking ticket, but this is a thoughtful way to have our residents give generously to a great cause leading into the holiday season,” Mayor Gord Wauchope said.

For the love of food!

A post on France's conversation with food waste and what we can all learn from it.

France is home to more than just the language of love and the Eiffel Tower; the country passed a law earlier on this year that requires major supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities. Since then, supermarkets with retail space of more than 400 square meters have signed contracts with charities to donate food that is approaching its best-before date.

The law passed unanimously after a similar but looser law a year ago failed to see the results the country wanted to achieve. Now, supermarkets caught throwing away food instead of donating it will receive a fine of up to 75,000 euros or two years in prison.

This is a welcome addition to the world’s fight against food waste and poverty. Sell-by dates are merely an estimate of when the food passes its peak taste and best appearance, and most food is perfectly safe to eat after this date. Reducing food waste means we can cut down on food manufacturing as a whole, a move that will also help curb climate change.

In a world where growing food waste raises alarm about climate change and millions go hungry everyday, it doesn’t seem right that France is the only country with a law like this. The good news is that Italy is in the process of passing a similar regulation, and hopefully this law in France – which began as a local grassroots campaign – will inspire the rest of the world to follow suit.

Image credits to @shawnyeo  , founder of @seedandsoilsg  - filled with beautiful reminders to mindfully appreciate what we take in from the earth and what we give back.

#France #FoodWaste #ClimateChange #GreenMonday