Margaret Atwood's Year of the Flood Tour: This Ain't Your Usual Book Launch

margaret atwood st james cathedral book launch photo

Lloyd Alter

Waaay up there on the podium of Saint James Cathedral in Toronto, pretty in pink, is Margaret Atwood, who filled the house for what is called a book launch, but is really a performance piece. The book is turned into drama, with Atwood as the narrator; a choir sings. The place is packed with acolytes.

At every stop of the Year of the Flood tour, admission and fundraising goes to local green charities; tonight is to Nature Canada. In the States, it will go to Farm Forward, the American Bird Conservancy, Oceana and WildEarth Guardians.

Of course, this is the woman who complained about the carbon footprint of book tours, and famously invented the Long Pen so she wouldn't have to do this any more. But this is so much more than a book launch, and she works hard to make it as green as possible (besides supporting so many good charities):

Book tours take energy, and not just that of the author. Airplanes, trains, taxis; hotels, meals, the powering of lights and heat for events and appearances - all consume.

In an effort to keep this tour as green as possible, all those involved have agreed to make the following choices wherever possible.

  • To make the events as local as possible, by using not only local talent but also local food, organic if available.
  • The author is taking the VegiVows for the duration of the trip, with the exception of non-avian and non-mammalian bioforms once a week. Like the Gardeners, however, she will permit eggs, viewed as a sort of nut.
  • To carbon-neutralize the travel, with the help of the calculations of ZeroFootprint ; to go by train when possible.
  • To choose hotels and other sleeping places that have environmental policies, whenever available.
  • To choose paper that is Ancient Forest Friendly and approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, with the help of Canopy
  • To choose CD covers that are environmentally friendly, and organic cotton only for the items in our Café Press store
  • To request the event venues to serve only shade-grown, organic, fair trade coffee, which is bird-friendly - unlike sun-grown and pesticide-sprayed, a huge destroyer of songbirds.

Love the VegiVows. More at Year of the Flood

Related Content on