At last!

After two years of hard work, long discussions & public engagement…….

The Greater Peterborough Area, including the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County and the 8 Townships & 2 First Nations communities, have APPROVED the Greater Peterborough Area Climate Change Action Plan (GPA CCAP)!!

The Community CCAP recommends specific #green actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in each community.

Here are 22 #Green Community Actions that the Community Climate Change Action plan recommends:

1. Retrofitting Existing Homes

Peterborough residents can help #green their homes by retrofitting their energy & water systems. For instance, upgrading energy star appliances and LED lighting are just some ways the community can make the #green switch! Homeowners can work with #green programs offered at Enbridge Gas and the Peterborough Distribution Inc.

2. Efficient New Homes

New homes in PTBO are getting a #green makeover – moving forward, homes will be built with more efficient systems and have a smaller environmental footprint. This includes things like designing and constructing homes that use energy, water and materials efficiently; have a reduced impact on the physical environment; promote healthy indoor living environments; use recycled material; and reduce water demand. Check out Endeavour Centre for more details on sustainable homes!

3. Reducing Waste

Communities can take a look at what they are throwing out – and make more of an effort to: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, compost food waste, and repurpose items to ensure we reduce waste going to landfill. A simple idea is to switch to reusable bags, reusable travel cups, and refuse items like excessive plastic.

4. Retrofit Buildings

Some buildings use more energy than is really needed because they were built long before energy technology improved. But now, we have new #green practices that can help buildings reduce both energy and water, such as replacing lighting or ventilation or adding insulation. Check them out at Enbridge Gas and the Peterborough Distribution Inc!

5. Build New #Green Buildings

This can include specific examples like obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which incorporates all aspects of building design, construction, operation, and maintenance. For instance, architects and engineers would #green all aspects of the building including taking advantage of renewable resources, like solar roofs, green roofs, rain gardens, and rainwater run off systems.

6. Business Operations

Can your organization develop some #RandomAcstsofGreen strategies work? What about talking with a sustainability expert at Random Acts of Green who can help you develop a co-worker carpooling program, a waste reduction strategy, or even a #green staff challenge? Businesses are in a great place to design #green business operations and practices that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions! You can also work with Peterborough Green Up Green Businesses Program and search for green business tools on the Sustainable Peterborough website.

7. Support Local PTBO

Shop at Downtown Peterborough Businesses, or learn about the Kawartha Loon Exchange. This helps keep money downtown and support our local economy, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. More local = less travel emissions!

8. Local Energy Security

The Community Action Plan emphasizes the importance of ensuring local residents have energy that is: affordable, reliable, and accessible!  Energy security will also incorporate new ways to power our buildings that respect our natural environment, such as  installing wind and solar options.

9. Support Active Transportation

Think twice before you hop in your car! Can you walk, bike, skateboard, scooter or roller blade? Various local organizations are working to have more bike lanes, more trails, and more incentives to participate in sustainable transportation. Check out Peterborough Moves for more details!

10. Carpooling

Need to take your car? Why not fill up the back seat when you travel? This helps reduce the amount of cars off the road and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

11. Public Transportation

The bus system in Peterborough is becoming more convenient. Changes are underway to make routes more accessible and efficient to get people where they need to go by using the bus!

12. Electric Vehicles

Making the switch to electric vehicles is getting easier and easier. Peterborough Utilities has just installed 9 Electric Vehicle charging stations and the technology is improving with these cars. Read more here.

13. Eat Local Food

Support the Farmer’s Markets and local food systems, such as the Food Forest restaurant. Not only is it delicious, but also affordable!

14. Grow Local Food

Many community gardens are popping up around the city and can be harvested right here in PTBO. Get Involved!! There are also many cool initiatives, like the Seasoned Spoon at Trent University that has a Root Cellar – which stores local food all year round!

15. Reduce Food Waste

Did you know how easy it is to compost? You can install a composting system at your home or workplace, or you can try to reduce your portion sizes to reduce the amount of spoiled food in your fridge.

16. Land Use

When planning activities in the city, land use policies are adhering to avoid potential consequences of climate change. For instance, land use policies address what type of activities take place in an area, the geographic location, the operation and maintenance and how each activity can reduce impacts to our natural environment.

17. Climate Change Risks

The community must start looking at the direct risk of climate change, such as industries that depend on natural resources like agriculture, fishing, forestry, health care, real estate and tourism. For instance, storms and flooding can damage buildings and infrastructures. Hot summers with less precipitation can cause crop failure – you get the idea! We need to be planning for these risks and be proactive about their potential impacts to help adapt to changes.

18. Green Space

Get outside more often! Appreciate, protect, and experience all the local trails and networks. For example, there are various trail maps that you can take advantage of! Check out the Rotary Green Trail or Jackson Park to connect to nature as often as you can.

19. Sustainable Farming 

The Community Action Plan encourages the production of food and other plant/animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, our communities, and animals, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

20. Health Impacts

Droughts and air pollution can lead to many health effects, like asthma, which children and the elderly can be more prone to.

21. Environmental Awareness

Follow along by tuning into Random Acts of Green on our social media channels to learn about more cool environmental initiatives, tips, tricks, products and services to help keep you informed and up to date about what you can do at home, work or play! We generate social media content to educate, entertain, engage, and empower YOU to make a difference. You can also check out GreenUp for more resources!

22. Get Involved!

Plenty of organizations locally are making big impacts. You can find a list of organizations here, or follow the Climate Change Action Plan or Random Acts of Green on our social media channels, check out GreenUp, Transition Town Peterborough and For Our Grandchildren!

Thanks for reading!