Climate Action Showdown
Recently the City of Terrace teamed up with the BC Sustainable Energy Association to start offering workshops on climate change in the classroom. The Climate Change Showdown encourages team work within the classroom and at home. Students work collaboratively with their families to reduce energy use while learning about positive and negative environmental consequences that result from individual and societal actions and behaviours. VIEW the 2011/2012 results from the Climate Action Showdown in Terrace here.
There are many actions that can be taken everyday to help move us towards energy use reductions and achieve the community targets. Start with the information below to get you thinking of solutions that will work best for you at home, at work and at school.
Energy Efficiency and Energy Savings in the Home
Home Energy Audit
If you own your home, the best place to start saving energy might be to have a home energy audit conducted. For a limited time, the City of Terrace will continue to provide incentives to help homeowners initiate the Home Energy Audit process.
VIEW program information here and FAQ here
Please note this program will likely not be taking place in Fall 2012.
Feeling Drafty? Drafts from improperly sealed windows and doors make your home less comfortable and cost money! Caulking and weather stripping are low cost and simple steps in making your home more air tight and reduce heat loss.
VIEW how by watching BC Hydro's instructional video here.
Kill Phantom Power Drain
Many electronic devices continue to use power even when they are not being used. Devices, such as printers, scanners, modems, televisions, set-top cable boxes and DVD players use power even when in "standby mode." VIEW here for more info.
Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
When buying new appliances, look for the Energy Star label to ensure you're purchasing energy efficient models. VIEW here.
Join BC Hydro Team PowerSmart
Commit to reduce your electricity use by 10% (over the course of one year) and enjoy exclusive Team Power Smart offers and rewards. VIEW here to sign up.
Sustainability in the Home
Healthy homes = healthy communities. There are many things we can do insided the home to make our livings spaces more comfortable and healthier. An easy place to start is with the cleaning products we use every day. Conventional cleaners can be switched to non-toxic alternatives with minimal effort and similar results. They are often made from basic ingredients found around the home so you might even save money! See the following list of examples:
Green all-purpose cleaner
• Mix vinegar and salt for a good surface cleaner.
• Pour some baking soda and vinegar on a damp sponge. It will clean and deodorize all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
• Place partially filled saucers of vinegar around the room.
• Boil 1 tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water to eliminate unpleasant cooking odours.
• Baking soda is excellent for absorbing odours.
Removing crayon marks
• Crayon marks on the floor or table can be removed by rubbing them with some toothpaste on a damp cloth. Don't use this on wallpaper or porous surfaces.
Removing grease spots
• Immediately pour salt on grease spots to absorb and prevent staining.
• Mix equal parts of lemon juice and vegetable oil, and rub against scratches with a soft cloth until they disappear.
• Dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 2 cups of cold water. Place in a spray bottle. Shake well before using. Make sure to label this so you don't use it for cleaning.
Greener oven cleaner
• While the oven is still warm, pour some salt on grimy areas. If the areas are dry, dampen with water before applying the salt. When the oven cools down, scrape the grime off and wash clean.
• Spray grimy areas with water or vinegar-water and apply a layer of baking soda. Rub gently with fine steel wool and wipe off. Rinse with water and wipe dry.
Natural toilet bowl cleaner
• Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, then drizzle with vinegar and scour with a toilet brush. This combination both cleans and deodorizes. (Note: DO NOT mix the combination with store-bought toilet cleaners. The combination will create toxic fumes.)
• Mix equal amounts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Wipe the glass with newspaper for a streak-free shine.
Green Home Upgrades
We can also increase the efficiency and health of our homes at the point of renovation. Numerous websites have tips and advice on how to update our homes in a way that is healthy for the inhabitants and the environment. See the following to get started:
- Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation “A Better way to Renovate”
- Natural Resources Canada
- BC Hydro “Green your Home”
Watershed Protection and Water Conservation
With such large amounts of fresh water surrounding us we might not consider water management as a high priority in our region. However, the many groups and individuals working hard to conserve, manage and protect this resource perhaps speak best to the plethora of reasons to be good stewards our region’s waters.
There is so much we can do to reduce the amount of water we use. Check out Living Water Smart for ideas you may have not considered and start helping to conserve water today. Living Water Smart is the provincial government’s plan to keep our water healthy and secure for the future. This site also includes information on the modernization of the Water Act in BC.
See these Additional Resources:
Skeena Wild Conservation Trust - SkeenaWild Conservation Trust is a regionally based organization dedicated to making the Skeena River Watershed a global model of human-salmon coexistence.
BC Ministry of Environment’s Environmental Protection Division, Water Quality - This site provides information about water quality in BC, including water quality guidelines, water quality objectives reports, water and sediment quality monitoring reports, area-specific studies and links to other relevant
In 2009 the City of Terrace launched an idling campaign focused on public facilities and businesses. Currently, the City of Terrace has an idling policy for all city vehicles and for all vehicles visiting public facilities. VIEW the policy here. However, idling remains a serious issue in our community, especially at community “hot spots” such as the Old Bridge and at schools within our community.
Beyond the air quality impacts, idling is also hard on our vehicles. For a quick read on why idling simply does not make sense VIEW our idling backgrounder here.
Decreasing idling in our community will require everyone to be on board. If you are interested in started an idling campaign in your workplace, your school, or even in your household there are plenty of great resources available to help. See the following link to help get started on decreasing idling and increasing Terrace’s air quality.
Natural Resources Canada Idle Free Zone has created this on-line resource to provide information on idling reduction, including ready to use graphic materials, guides, newsletters, and other resources. For more information visit Idle Free BC.
Woodstove Exchange Program
The City of Terrace participates in the woodstove exchange program and provides incentives in addition to the rebates provided by the Province. VIEW here for full program details and view our related Wood Burning Appliance Bylaw here. Please contact email@example.com to check if the City of Terrace is offering this program for fall 2012.
Additional sections coming soon…
- Waste reduction
- Active Transportation
- Sustainable Food Systems