The District of Saanich is inviting residents to take action to make their lives more environmentally friendly and help the municipality reach its climate goals with a new, step-by-step climate action workbook.
The Resident’s Climate Action Guidebook accompanies the District’s 2020 Climate Plan: 100 per cent Renewable and Resilient Saanich and outlines how residents can take actionable steps to reduce their impact on the planet.
Mayor Fred Haynes explained the goal of the Climate Action Guidebook is to educate residents and invite the community to join the municipality’s efforts to build a climate-friendly future.
Saanich declared a climate emergency in March 2019, adopted climate targets in August 2019 and approved a climate plan in January. The 131-step plan seeks to reduce the risks associated with climate change locally and globally, cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, move to net-zero emissions by 2050 and transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.
The 20-page residents’ guidebook introduces climate change and its projected effects on the region, outlines Saanich’s climate plan and targets, and invites readers to create their own climate plan in six steps.
The first step asks participants to measure their greenhouse gas emissions using Saanich’s online Carbon Calculator – which tracks the estimated carbon emissions from vehicles, home-heating, food consumption, household garbage and other things residents can control.
Next, the guidebook suggests choosing a “climate-friendly” mode of transportation such as walking, biking or taking a bus. Step three looks at finding ways to make Saanich homes and buildings more sustainable by replacing heating and water systems with more energy-efficient options – many of which come with monetary incentives.
In step four, climate-friendly foods and materials are explored.
The guidebook suggests reducing waste, choosing lower-carbon foods and trying out the zero-waste lifestyle. Next, the guidebook asks participants to look at ways to improve the resilience of the community and local ecosystems by creating an emergency plan, supporting local farmers, controlling invasive plants and taking steps to help pollinators to thrive.
The final step asks residents to make a commitment to climate action by crafting a three-step plan for individual action and an idea for community action.
As a bonus, after completing the guidebook, residents can enter a draw to win a $500 gift card to a local bike shop by filling out an online survey before Sept. 30.