Elora Award, Mandatory Ratings, Potato Tower – GCNews #679

679: 3 May 2010 –  Published by Green Communities Canada.

BOARD NEWS. Congratulations to Terry McNeil (Conservation Corps), Paula Steele  (City Green), Ellen Mortfield (EcoSuperior) and Pete Wobschall (Green Venture) who were elected to the Green Communities Canada Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting Friday 30 April 2010. Special appreciation to Brent Kopperson, Chair, who steps down after five years of dedicated service and Brian Charlton after two years.

AFFORDABLE ENERGY. Kate Taylor is Green Communities Canada’s new Affordable Energy Network Coordinator. The position is funded by the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. You can reach Kate at the Green Communities office at 705-745-7479, x. 153.

MANDATORY RATINGS. “Ontario needs to implement the provision in the Green Energy Act for mandatory energy ratings of all homes, new and existing, at point of sale,” said Clifford Maynes, Executive Director, Green Communities Canada. Mandatory ratings will give buyers valuable information and advice about the efficiency of homes before they buy, and help to create value for efficiency in the home market … A Ontario government consultative meeting last week indicated generally high levels of support for mandatory ratings, including industry associations. Mandatory ratings will help maintain progress in home energy efficiency despite the federal government withdrawal from retrofit incentives, Maynes said.

RIPPLE EFFECT.  “We do know that the incentives lead to deeper retrofits. They act as a catalyst for homeowners to increase the level of energy efficiency upgrades over their original plans,” says Mary Jane Patterson, executive director of Waterloo Green Solutions in this article about the cancellation on the federal ecoEnergy program.

EAST COAST ENERGY. Nova Scotia released a plan designed to increase renewable electricity supply, improve energy security, stabilize long-term prices and create opportunities for jobs and investment, charting a course to be a global leader in green energy by 2020.

AWARD FOR ELORA. Elora Environment Centre received an Environmental Excellence Award from the Wellington Chamber of Commerce. Board chair Randall Howard thanked a "very committed" staff and volunteer group who are working together "all trying to improve our environmental footprint." EEC celebrated its 16th birthday with a party on 24 April.

RURAL STWEARDSHIP. Scugog Connections has been hosting Rural Landowner Stewardship workshops to provide landowners with an opportunity to learn about sustainable property care, help to assess their current property and create an action plan based on their interests and concerns. Durham Sustain Ability leads the project, along with Kawartha Conservation, Durham Land Stewardship Council and the Scugog Lake Stewards.

EARTH DAY EVENTS. Clean Nova Scotia took part in series of special events that included walks, bike rides and a Potato Tower-Building workshop … Supported by EcoSuperior, Thunder Bay students launched a no-idling program at school … Green Venture participated in a 1000-tree planting event in Hamilton …  Éco-quartier Peter-McGill, a Montreal-based organization of community action and environmental accountability led by GCC board member Paul-Antoine Troxler, planted 30 trees in a hot urban island … See Elora Environment Centre Urban Tree guide.  

PESTI-POISON. Earth Day marked the first anniversary of Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticide Ban. Ontario Cosmetic Use Pesticide Research and Innovation Program has invested $500,000 over the past year into the development of alternative products and practices. See Canadian Environmental Law Association‘s Banning Cosmetic Pesticide Use resources … See video Give Earth a Hand.

TELECOMMUTING. Article outlines factors to be considered in implementing telecommuting. Formal agreements recommended.

WALKING KIDS. April 2010 edition of FASTthinkers newsletter includes: child engagement in Coquitlam elementary & middle schools, PROMPT-ing safety for crosswalkers, Creative Community Planning resource, Secondary School TDM Inventory revisited … Safe Kids campaign Got Wheels? Get a Helmet! takes place 31 May- 5 June.

DE-GROWTH. UK Author Tim Jackson talks on Prosperity Without Growth. Toronto, 11 May …  The third annual International De-Growth Conference in Vancouver examined “how to downscale the economy, without increasing poverty and unemployment, in order to reduce the burden on the environment and our citizens.”

CLIMATE ECONOMY. “Once you filter out the noise generated by special-interest groups, you discover that there is widespread agreement among environmental economists that a market-based program to deal with the threat of climate change – one that limits carbon emissions by putting a price on them – can achieve large results at modest, though not trivial, cost,” writes a New York Times columnist.

HIT PRINT. Domtar is fighting back against “simplistic messages” urging restraint in printing documents. CEO John Williams says “think before your print” messages are “just bull” and has launched a campaign called Put it On Paper. Domtar wants to work with environment groups to alleviate “printer guilt.”

JOBS.   Toronto Environmental Alliance, Fundraiser. Due 17 May … Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, Executive Director, Moncton NB, due 11 May … University of Alberta, Campus Community Garden Coordinator. Due 5 May. 

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