One aspect of moving towards living net zero is learning about the journeys of other people, and other communities who are collaborating to share information. On the excellent CBC podcast What on Earth, I learned about a group in Toronto called Pocket Change, a cleverly named group that is located in the Pocket, a neighbourhood in the east-Danforth area of Toronto. You can learn more about What on Earth here, and learn more about their activities to individually and collectively reduce their carbon through their website here.
I found their activities to be very inspiring, and subsequently decided to form a neighbourhood group myself. We have called ourselves the Highland Climate Action Group (Highland refers to our neighbourhood in Dundas).
When I think of the various projects we have been working on in our home to seal up our home envelope as well as investigate improved technology (e.g., heat pump, solar panels), I feel excited about the opportunity this contest has provided. Focussing our minds, time, energy, and resources on our home and lifestyle has been extremely interesting and enlightening. However, sharing that information with our communities and incorporating a variety of approaches for that communication is also critical.
Dundas, my hometown, has a lovely artist-run gallery called the Carnegie Gallery. With out-of-town family visiting last Sunday, we popped in for a visit: they always have beautiful pieces of art. We also (fortunately!) discovered the work of Rose Anne Prevec. Her beautiful scene of the Dundas Valley in autumn’s full regalia and its message of optimism led me to reach out to Rose Anne to see if I could use some of her very clever and witty cartoons. She agreed, and then subsequently created two cartoons about the home envelope. They are so lovely! My favourite is the Kool Aid character bursting into the moles’ den: the moles are blind, and therefore can only feel the draft (as we have for years in our drafty home). Also, how did the Kool Aid character get underground? Many thanks to Rose Anne for her humour and responsiveness, and also for creating another link in the Dundas climate action community.
I think it is also important to build a broader net zero movement. As part of this Live Net Zero contest, Steve and I have been introduced to Lightspark, an application that streamlines that process for reducing emissions. I am looking forward to seeing how it can support a broader group of Canadians in their own net zero journey.