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January 27, 2010

Winner of interactive game on climate change

The Canadian Charger

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While it's very common in Canada to find young people with a passion for sports, fashion, music and movies, it's not so common to find young people who have a passion for preserving the environment.

Kashif ShaikhPerhaps this is why Kashif Shaikh of Toronto – winner of the Canadian Charger's pioneering interactive game on climate change and alternative energy – stands out.

Currently a business and IT student at Ryerson University, Mr. Shaikh has been a peace and environmental activist, volunteering for organizations such as Coalitions Against War, Amnesty International, and Sierra Club Canada.

Sierra Club Canada is a member-based organization that empowers people to protect, restore and enjoy a healthy and safe planet. Sierra Club Canada has active chapters in every region of Canada, with offices in Ottawa, Victoria, Sydney, Corner Brook, Halifax, Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto.

About five years ago, Mr. Shaikh founded an Islamic - based environmental group and he began making presentations at mosques and Islamic schools.

Mr. Shaikh was also invited to work with Faith & the Common Good (FCG) where, along with making InterFaith Ecology presentations, he outreached to faith communities to start green teams, implement recycling programs, hold green events, and even subsidize energy audits.

He is still volunteering with FCG, and hopes to soon apply for grants to implement projects at iEnviro beyond just presentations.

Faith and the Common Good (FCG) and Green Communities Canada (GCC)  - two non-profit organizations dedicated to environmental concerns - recently met with representatives from various faith communities to plan the creation of a “single service package deal” that can ensure large scale energy reductions within the year.

“By combining our strengths, we can ensure that the 6,000 religious buildings in Ontario become shining examples of how to cut down on usage of electricity and fossil fuels,” said Ted Reeve, FCG executive director.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shaikh is working at Direct Energy - the largest competitive retailer of energy and related services in North America - where he is studying to become an energy auditor.

Mr. Shaikh recalls developing an interest in environmental issues many years ago.

“It became quite evident to me years ago that Third World regions are increasingly bearing most of the effects of climate change in terms of human lives lost and health deterioration due to water shortages, heat waves, floods, tsunamis, and toxic pollution.”

He added that although his current environmental activities are locally based, he has always had a global perspective about environmental issues.

You and your entire family can, like Shaikh test your knowledge-base on climate change and alternative energy:

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M. Elmasry

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