Project Neutral - Year 3
Last fall, for the 3rd year in a row, Green 13 was engaged in Project Neutral’s Household Carbon Footprint Survey Campaign in the Junction, Ward 13 and beyond. Thank you again, each and every one of you. You play a key role in this pilot project, as we figure out how to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and attain carbon neutrality. This is what is required of us.
According to many, it was the best year ever. That is, if the journey counts as a measure of success and not merely the quantitative results. There has been a great deal of community building, partnership development and maintenance, with local schools, supportive green, sustainable, local, businesses, BIAs, ventures, institutions, constituency offices of all 3 government levels, community groups, moms networks…
From October 1st to December 1st, PN and G13 volunteers braved the weather, interacted with folks at various events around the ward and beyond (farmers markets, movie screenings, libraries, BIA’s happenings, Eco Fairs), walking the streets with and without polar bears, knocking on people’s doors … all in an effort to educate and engage as many residents as possible to embark on the road of carbon neutrality by starting possible in 3 easy steps:
1) take the survey
2) know your footprint, and
3) commit to reducing it using the Household Challenge tool – this year’s interactive novelty.
It was a year of some challenges as well, the main one being technical issues with the survey, which prevented many participants from completing it. If there were other barriers, we would like to hear about them. Your feedback is appreciated. Good news from PN director Karen Nasmith: ”We are going to be upgrading our web based tools significantly so that next year the interface is much more exciting and user-friendly, with instantaneous feedback provided.”
As for the numbers, the graphics show a breakdown by neighbourhood as well as the results of the school and group contests. Congratulations to Riverdale for winning the neighbourhood challenge!
The rules of the school competition were slightly different this year, with a prize being offered to one school in each ward. In our neighbourhood, kudos and warm thanks go to Humberside CI’s environmental team HEAT and their committed mentor Tina McPhee,and Natalie Platonov, for engaging the most participants among the schools from Ward 13 and getting the reward of $500 for the second consecutive year.
A new category in this year’s campaign was a community group contest, showing great engagement potential. This competition was Toronto wide and thus the success of the winner – Humbercrest United Church - from our ward more significant. The honorable mention goes to Vegetarians of High Park, the group leading until the very last minute and finishing a close second.
Support from all participating residents, schools, community groups and their leaders has been greatly appreciated.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who made the Ward 13 campaign possible, for their enthusiasm and commitment in all kinds of weather, times of week and day, for sharing all the fun, frustrations and joy: Annabel, Annalise, Boris, Hanh, Helen, Holly, Johanna, Justin, Marco, Natasha, Rita, Stefan, Whelena, Zvonimir.
Special thanks to Project Neutral’s Karen Nasmith and Devon Stanbury for all their guidance and support with this initiative, and to Ronn Stevenson, an unusual rivaling neighbourhood’s leader, who offered his help on every occasion.
Thank you to Councillor Doucette and her office, our MP Peggy Nash and MPP Cheri DiNovo and their offices., Lisa Rainford and The Villager, Junction BIA, Baby Point BIA, Sweet Potato, Crème Fraîche, Humble Beginnings, Above Ground, Toronto Public Library – Annette, Jane/Dundas and Runnymede Branch.
For more pictures of the survey campaign in action, head over to the Project Neutral facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ProjectNeutral/photos_albums.