Pioneers, Car Alternatives, Bitter Offsets – GC News #662

662: 4 January 2010 Published by Green Communities Canada.

CAR ALTERNATIVES. Tools of Change case study webinars showcase approaches for promoting telework, walking, cycling and public transit: TDM for Youth, 2 February; Slugging in DC, 9 February;Active and Safe Routes to School with Jacky Kennedy, Director of Canada Walks, 23 February; Smarter Travel, 2 March, and Maryland and Virginia Telework, 19 March.

SUSTAINABLE HOLIDAYS. Clean Nova Scotia made Green Santa’s list for exchanging inefficient lightbulbs and Christmas lights with efficient new ones, creating 105 green jobs for six months. Working with large retailers in 169 stores across the province, Clean Nova Scotia put in nearly 400,000 bulbs, saving enough energy to power 35,000 homes for a year … Someone organized a zero-waste Christmas in Durham, Ontario … See examples of greenwash.

PIONEERS. Conservation conscious Energy Savers Peterborough was 25 years ahead of the Copenhagen accord, says ex Peterborough MPP Peter Adams. "EPS promoted energy conservation events and activities that were the seeds of attitudes and programs that are built into our daily life today." Green Communities Canada executive director Clifford Maynes is mentioned as one of the "enthusiastic amateurs" from those days.

AU REVOIR. Communications Officer Michele Locke leaves Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) after eight years. Executive Director Keith Sherman and biologist Michelle Hudolin are filling in the position temporarily… SSEA provides reasonably priced native tree seedlings for planting in early spring 2010. Order trees before 29 January.

PROGRESS. Green Communities Canada awarded the town of Uxbridge ten sets of urban walking polesfor its initiative to get people outdoors, says Mandy  Johnson, consultant  for Canada Walks.  "Of the 64 communities participating in the Ontarians Walking Now project, we have determined that Uxbridge has demonstrated the best implementation of action steps at the three-month mark."  OWN is a two-year project to encourage active communities while providing exciting, interesting walking resources.

WATER. See Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s humourous  Water Quality Animations: Robocow, The Hydrologic Cycle, and Farm Surface Water Management … BC’s Living Water Smart blog encourages dialogue on options for legislative change in modernizing B.C.’s Water Act  which turns 101 in 2010.

YES WE CAN. Vancouver’s GHG emissions have been reduced to 1990 levels and are on track for a further 6% reduction by 2012 or sooner, says City of Vancouver Sustainability Group.  The drop is concurrent with a 27% population increase since 1990 and an 18% growth in employment since 1991. Vancouver action plan includes retrofits for all buildings, active transportation, fuel-efficient driver training and anti-idling … Helsinki public utility’s data center recycles heat from servers to warm commercial buildings and residences. 

URBAN PLANTING. 2010 Symposium on Sustainable Horticulture features Gardening for Resilience: Climate Change and Horticulture through Mid-Century conference. Burlington, ON, 16-19 February.

BOOKS. The Tao of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation, from Mark Hathaway of Greening Sacred Spaces, looks at spirit-filled ways to seek a sustainable future …  Scaling back is our best hope, argues founder of in his new book eaarth.

BITTER OFFSETS. "Is the $100 billion industry of carbon credit trading one of the potential solutions to climate change?" asks CBC documentary Carbon Hunters …  People with some of the world’s smallest carbon footprints are being displaced so their forests can become offsets for SUVs.

COPENHAGEN DEBRIEFING. "The two-degree Celsius line was drawn in the sand. But the action doesn’t measure up to the goal," says Windfall Ecology Centre executive director Brent. Kopperson, who was in Copenhagen. "It was a gargantuan failure with a flimsy agreement. The pressure is on and everyone knows it" … "What are the results of the conference?" asks a cartoonist … In 2006, 77% of Americans saw "solid evidence" for global warming; by 2009, only 57% did, according to US Pew Research Center …  See climate change skeptic tank main actors.

JOBS. GreenHere, Davenport West Backyard Tree Project Coordinator. Toronto, due 12January … City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Waste Diversion Education Program Co-ordinator. Due 14 February.

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