2000 Planning — Co-winner 3
ecoPerth: A Community-based Demonstration of Greenhouse Gas Reduction
The Town of Perth, Ontario, has become a model community in its response to the issue of climate change. Its ecoPerth program is truly community-based in its approach and its various projects encompass all spheres of town life: at home, work and play.
In 1998, Perth's population of 6000 embraced the ecoPerth initiative. Residents agreed that the threat of climate change is a concern both globally and locally and will remain a concern well into the future. A dedicated group approached organizations in Perth to gauge their level of interest in climate change. The response was positive: most organizations agreed they were ready to do something to help reduce greenhouse gases. The group designed and implemented aggressive, innovative projects that assist the town in its transition towards sustainability. The ecoPerth project addresses environmental quality while promoting economic efficiency and community health.
The ecoPerth project has had multiple community benefits, including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, community beautification, a growth in public environmental awareness, more community interaction and increased activity in the local economy.
- Truckload Tree Sale: Perth residents purchased more than 8,200 trees in the spring of 2000. Perth will subsequently reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by about 70 tonnes a year. The sale will be repeated in the spring of 2001.
- Local Food Production: Some of the local produce growers report a 400 per cent increase in sales within the community.
- Christmas Light Timers: The timers reduced carbon dioxide emissions by about 4.5 tonnes in the first year and paid for themselves within the first month of installation.
- The Community-Wide Retrofit: Carbon dioxide emissions should decrease by an estimated 21,000 tonnes per year from 1997 levels once all buildings have been retrofitted.
Critical to the success of the project was community involvement in planning and implementing the programs.