Collingwood’s Climate Action Team (CCAT) is issuing a challenge to residents to take a close look at their footprints.
The Community Carbon Footprint Challenge launched this week, encouraging people to team up with family, friends, neighbours and co-workers to measure their carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it.
Cathrerine Daw, a CCAT member, hopes the challenge will build awareness, educate, and help measure the community’s carbon footprint.
“If we don’t know where we are, how do we know where we are going?” she said. “And how do we set a goal for where we want to be a couple of years down the road, and five years down the road, and by 2030?”
CCAT is working with Project Neutral for the challenge, and has been running a pilot with seven town staff volunteers over the summer. The staff used the Project Neutral online tool to measure their individual carbon footprints, then took part in lunch-hour workshops with CCAT to go over ways to reduce their footprints.
“The workshops covered understanding your footprint, then looking at four main elements: energy, transportation, food, and consumption and waste,” said Daw.
CCAT was formed in the fall of 2019 with the goal of actively working toward reducing the carbon footprint of the local community.
“We feel it’s important for everyone to become engaged in reducing our carbon footprint,” said Daw. “We can’t just leave it to government and business.”
That’s where the challenge fits in.
CCAT will be encouraging people to participate in teams of five or more.
“We will encourage the teams to work together on how to make changes, individual and team plans for one to eight years,” said Daw. “You can’t do everything at once, it takes time.”
Project Neutral will keep the data confidential and will collate it to provide community averages to CCAT for future use.
CCAT’s goal is to have 400 households participating in the group challenge and to have used the Project Neutral tool to measure their carbon footprints by January.
Those participating in the challenge will also have the option to participate in workshops around carbon footprints and will receive suggestions for actions that will reduce individual footprints.