Thursday, September 9, 2010

Environmentalist loonies

I recently came across an environmental campaign that is so unique, so creative, and so effective, that it blew me away.

This is a Canadian one dollar coin, aka loonie*, featuring an image of a common loon, and also Gavia immer on the other side (sorry, Your Majesty! Couldn't resist that one).

This is the loonie I got in my change last week:

(it's a sticker, in case that's not obvious from the photo!)

WOW. Seriously nice work - what a striking, unambiguous combination of image and URL.

Of course I went straight to their website, where I signed the petition - Enbridge Inc wants to bring the first ever crude oil supertankers to Canada's Pacific north coast, and this group is asking Parliament to legislate a permanent ban on oil tankers in these waters.

I also found a solution to my dilemma. See, I love my modified loonie so much that I want to keep it, but I also understand that the whole point is to keep it circulating so others can see it and be inspired to sign the petition. So I've donated $10 in exchange for 42 decals that I can attach to other loonies and send out into the wild.

Seriously, the people behind this campaign are geniuses.


*two dollar coins are, of course, called toonies. When Mad Hatter visited last year she needed change for a $10 bill for her bus fare, and the waitress she asked replied "sure, are loonies and toonies OK?" Mad Hatter turned to me with a look of sheer uncomprehending panic that was absolutely hilarious!


  1. that is an excellent and in your face campaign.

  2. i want the loonies and toonies again ;)

    love the sticker!

  3. Isn't it illegal to deface currency like that?

    Not that I don't think it's an awesome idea - I'm just wondering.

  4. Alyssa, the sticker comes off (and goes back on again) really easily... it might technically not be very kosher, but I have no problem with it!

    Glad you all like it :)

  5. Actually, calling the Queen a common loon is probably a much more serious crime than defacing coins with stickers :)

  6. When the late great Spike Milligan said something rather below the salt about Prince Charles he followed up with "I suppose a knighthood's out of the question?"

  7. 42 stickers eh? That must be the answer to the problem I'm sure.
    Very cool though. I want a loonie like that too!
    We once had a euro, or a guilder, forgot when it was, with a sticker that was really cool and for a good cause too, but I forgot what it was. Getting old.

  8. Cromercrox, was that when he was on This is Your Life and responded to the reading of a congratulatory letter from Prince Charles with "the grovelling little bastard!"? Because that was brilliant.

    Nina, well, it's an answer to my problem of wanting to keep my loonie :p

    Maybe you're more sleep-deprived than old, eh?

  9. Alyssa - don't know if that counts as "defacing" currency, but it *is* illegal to photograph it. :)

    Cath - I always preferred the proposed term "doubloon" for the two-dollar coin, but it just didn't catch on. More's the pity.

    Finally - the Queen is not a Common Loon. She is an Exceptional Loon.

  10. Doubloon is indeed excellent. Toonie was already firmly established when I first visited Canada, so I never got to hear any of the alternatives!

  11. Thanks for your support Cath - and for spreading the word about NoTankers Loonies! So far we've put over 600,000 into circulation and people are definitely paying attention to the threat of oil tankers on BC's coast.

    Alyssa - since the decals are easily removed, we didn't feel they were defacing the coins. The Mint was a bit perturbed by our campaign though...but have since backed off!

    Kelsey - Dogwood Initiative


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