Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Carbon Neutral Neighbourhood Project Launch in Toronto

Project Carbon Neutral Neighbourhood Launch Green 13 - The Junction, June 18, 2011, photos  by wobuilt.comPhotos: Project Neutral Neighbourhood Launch
Green 13 - The Junction, June 18, 2011
Annette Street Public Library
2011 @

@wobuilt: "Will attend #junctionTO GREEN 13 - Project Neutral Community Launch at 10am at Library at 145 Annette Street #toronto"
18 Jun via web from Toronto, Ontario
Last Saturday I attended the launch of Project Neutral ( in the Junction, one of the two neighbourhoods in Toronto, Riverdale is the second one, that are embarking on making the area carbon neutral. The initiative is spearheaded by Green 13 neighbourhood grassroots organization, who has brought Project Neutral to the Junction. The turnout was good, indicating that many residents in the area are interested in reducing their carbon footprint. Afterwards I saw that many signed up to be volunteers to canvas the neighbourhood to encourage participation for the survey for the green house gases baseline. Both MPP Cheri DiNovo and Councillor Sarah Doucette gave their congratulations to the successful launch.

What Is Carbon Neutrality?
Generally speaking carbon neutrality is a balance between carbon emission and carbon absorption. Living in Cities creates a great imbalance (we emit a lot more CO2 than we absorb, due in part to inefficient use of energy and lack of green spaces). Often we concentrate on making new buildings and developments the focus of energy effectiveness and environmental initiatives, but in Toronto the residential sector represents 25% of the green house gases emission. This sector represents a great opportunity for reduction in the carbon footprint and Project Neutral attempts to do that. This is a commendable ambition and one which deserves our support.

What the Project Is Trying to Achieve?
What the project is trying to achieve is the participation of as many households as they can, in both the survey to establish a baseline and the implementation to reduce the carbon footprint. In our opining what the projects are most likely going to achieve is a much larger awareness of what communities can do when they band together. The projects will encourage discussions of innovative ideas on financing and implementing the reduction measures, often the strongest stumbling blocks for home owners. Most of all, the project can achieve starting or providing the infrastructure for larger community initiatives such as large scale solar panel installations, central rain/ grey water collection or recycling points and other larger scale ideas.

Going Carbon Neutral
The two projects are not the first in Ontario or Canada, one of the pioneers is Eden Mills, Ontario. The village of 150 households was the first village in North America to tackle climate change. Apparently they were inspired by the example of Ashton Hayes, a village in England. As part of the launch Charles Simon and Linda Sword gave a brief outline of Eden Mills of their considerable success since their start in 2007. Other examples of carbon neutral cities can be found in Europe such as Germany and Sweden and in pockets throughout the world.

For a construction company dedicated to green building this kind of project is very exciting as it is potentially mind and attitude changing on a larger scale. The possibilities to instill green thinking in people are enormous and will push green construction further. The education part is key with workshops and information sessions in the Junction.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Wo-Built at the Home Show with Green Presentation

Being Green, Building Green Design and Construction Company

Going Green in the City: Building and Renovating with "Being Green" in Mind:
Part 1 - Eco-Friendly Home Improvements
Part 2 - Going Green Is Becoming Mainstream
Part 3 - Living Rooftops - An Environmental Alternative for "Green" Building

Eco Green Building: Wo-Built Inc's commitment on Being Green, Designing and Building Green and Sharing our Knowledge.

Project Neutral Neighbourhood Launch Green 13 - The Junction, June 18, 2011, photos  by wobuilt.comPhotos: Project Neutral Neighbourhood Launch
Green 13 - The Junction, June 18, 2011
Annette Street Public Library
2011 @

Green 13: Top 10 Environmental Tips
Greening Parkdale – High Park
  1. Walk, bike or carpool. If you do drive, make sure your vehicle is in good repair and remember, do not idle.
  2. Conserve energy. Turn off appliances and lights when not needed, power down, wash in cold water and switch your bulbs to florescent.
  3. Replace older household appliances with energy efficient ones. Select Energy Star ratings.
  4. Be Water Wise. Use a low flow aerator on your showerhead, get low flush / dual flush toilets. Collect rainwater. Reserve landscape watering.
  5. Recycle, Reuse, Reduce. Use the largest City of Toronto recyclable bin, challenge yourself to use the smallest garbage bin. Learn to donate unwanted items and try hosting an annual yard sale.
  6. Faithfully use the City of Toronto’s Green Composting system. Think of it as an investment toward future organic fertilizing. Try composting your own garden waste and start a Holistic Garden.
  7. Plan a tree for the future. The majority of the City of Toronto’s street lined trees and destined to perish at the same time. Start a home garden and grow your own produce. Plants are lungs of Society.
  8. Live Solar. Plan deciduous trees on the south of your home for summer shading and winter solar access. Plant evergreens to the north of your home to serve as protection from cold winds. Close window covering on a hot summer day, open them when you want bright warming rays. Dry your clothes outside.
  9. Make your home more efficient. Insulate, weatherstrip. Upgrade your heating and cooling systems.
  10. Shop Local. Balance out the carbon footprint by eliminating transportation costs, which affects fuel consumption and pollution creation. Support your Neighbour.
Credit: Green 13 is a volunteered environmental group originating from Ward 13, Toronto

No comments: