If you aren’t sure what to do or where to go then any road will do. And that is indeed our challenge in taking community action.
This initiative engages the citizens of Collingwood & Southern Georgian Bay to work alongside government & businesses in reducing our collective GHG emissions. Challenging neighbourhoods in friendly competition and a sense of community, household carbon footprints will be measured, and action tools, workshops and community support applied to make progressive reductions in their own impact. A collective community report will increase visibility and continued support for ongoing improvements.
This project was initially started in 2020. During that period of time:
- a working relationship with partners was established- Town of Collingwood, Project Neutral, Carbon Conversations Toronto, The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay and regional climate actions teams including Owen Sound Climate Action, Grey Bruce Climate Action Network,. Town of Blue Mountain Climate Action Now
- we ran a facilitator training session for 12 individuals on how to deliver the Carbon Conversations workshops in a rural/small town setting. This included a pilot program where changes and improvements were made to reflect the needs of our region.
- a series of workshops and footprint calculations were undertaken in the fall of 2020 to ‘test drive’ our initial program with the public
In early 2021 we decided to expand the project concept further and engage the Collingwood citizen community more fully. The project begins in May 2021 with a pilot over the period from May – August and full launch to the community in August culminating in community results events in February 2022. This part of the project includes:
- use of the Project Neutral footprint calculator, building a carbon footprint measurement of individual households
- use of existing and enhanced local climate action tools and resources to support change
- use of Carbon Conversation workshops to increase opportunities to explore, consider and decide on household actions for reduction
- neighbourhood challenges to increase awareness, involvement and collective action;
- businesses, schools, community groups, and government challenges
- hold end of year event(s) where we come together as a community, understand our collective carbon footprint, what actions have been and will make a difference, and celebrate through cultural components that draw us closer
- expand beyond Collingwood to other municipalities and climate action groups in the Southern Georgian Bay region.
Our goal will be to retake our community carbon footprint in 2022 and beyond to see what progress we have been able to make and continue on the path of community carbon reduction for a healthy, resilient and sustainable future.