• Home Improvement

Our Next Steps

By The Reid Household

As there are only a couple of days left in the Live Net Zero contest, it seems like a good time to share our next steps.

  1. In the house, we will continue to improve our home envelope. We did a great deal: thorough caulking, insulating in the basement and attic, new windows… the list goes on. We notice the difference in the comfort of our home…. And we also notice and plan for what we still would like to do, starting with new energy efficient windows on the second floor, items we don’t have the money for at the moment.
  2. An element of solving the climate crisis that I find extremely intriguing is the concept of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, particularly through the planting of trees. One big next step for us is to plant a mini-forest in our front yard.

What is a mini-forest, you might ask?

A mini-forest is a tight clustering of native trees and shrubs planted together in a developed area. Because the trees are a variety of heights and planted close together, and compete for sunlight, they grow ten times faster and are thirty times more dense. Called the Miyawaki method, after the Japanese botanist who pioneered the method, carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere at a much quicker rate than a traditional forest or tree on its own.

You can learn more about the Miyawaki Method here. There is also a recent episode on CBC’s What on Earth podcast that discusses mini-forests (from February 18th, called Tiny Forests Everywhere).  Through the Highland Climate Action group (the community group we formed to network with neighbours about fighting climate change), we met our neighbour Mike who has a new mini-forest in his backyard. 

Fortunately, we have a fantastic resource and potential grant information through Green Ventures in Hamilton. Investigating this program and applying for a grant to plant a mini-forest in our yard is one of our next steps.

We are going to continue to share our learning with our neighbourhood group, and host local events such as our walking tour to share information about ways we can live net zero. I am hoping to organize a block party, and Steve has been in conversation with Action 13 (a Dundas climate change group) to plan an event at a local brewery.

I also am going to continue my work with ETFO Halton’s Climate Justice and Sustainability Committee, and ETFO’s provincial Environmental Standing Committee. Both groups are submitting Resolutions for discussion at the annual meeting that propose member education campaigns, developing a framework for food at ETFO events, and a biennial conference.

Written by The Reid Household

Read more of their stories as they vie with the other seven households to reduce their carbon footprint.

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