December 2020 — We recorded episode 8 of Climate Action Muskoka’s Muskoka Drawdown—Green Houses just before Christmas.
Green Houses — Intro
What climate action enthusiast doesn’t fantasize about designing, building and living in an energy efficient, environmentally friendly house? In this episode we speak with Paul Ecclestone and Scott Young, two Muskoka residents who tell us about their innovative homes (each of which is a “mosaic of separate solutions”, built approximately 15 years ago); what they did, what they thought about doing but didn’t, what has worked out and what hasn’t. We’ll also get some tips, for those of you thinking of taking the plunge.
Interested in learning more? Scott Young shared this in a follow-up email.
Evolve Builders Group is an Ontario based green builder. Evolve was best I was able to find when we built our straw bale home in 2006, and I believe they are still the best in Ontario, probably the best in Canada. https://evolvebuilders.ca
Straw Bale Building, How to plan, design & build with straw by Chris Magwood & Peter Mack. This book was essential reading back in 2000 when I started seriously thinking about building an alternative home.
BUCKY WORKS: BUCKMINSTER FULLER’S IDEAS FOR TODAY by J. Baldwin. To live differently we must think differently, and reading anything by or about Buckminster Fuller changed my thinking, opening a world of possibilities.
Submit your exhibit ideas for the Muskoka Discovery Centre | Deadline July 8
Climate Action Muskoka supporters, let’s put our creative talents to work.
We have been invited to brainstorm ideas for compelling, provocative, hands-on exhibits that will educate visitors to the Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre in Gravenhurst by challenging visitors’ understanding of the threats of climate change and motivate them to participate in sustainable and regenerative actions.
The criteria for exhibit ideas includes:
Provocative, challenging the status quo, and envisioning a sustainable and regenerative future
Hands-on, interactive, engaging any or all age groups
Visitors leave challenged to make personal changes in their behaviour.
Visitors leave determined to demand and support climate action at all levels.
Professional designers will develop the exhibits. We have been asked to generate the ideas. The theme is structured around 50 Ways to Flatten the Climate Curve and Make Life Sustainable.
Some exhibit ideas already suggested:
Building and retrofitting for the future Choose from a selection of building materials to build your house and get an embodied carbon emission score for each material chosen.
Intersectionality and Climate Solutions A large sustainability web, like a spider’s web, displaying connections between social, environmental, economic, low carbon and infrastructure sustainability pieces. Remove or weaken one piece and see how it affects the others.
Pick a path to your holiday destination in Muskoka. What would it look like? Compare emissions from a current weekend in Muskoka to a new alternative with train/public transit, shuttle, non-motorized recreation such as canoeing, biking, hiking, skiing.
Climate Tipping Points: Where are we now? Large global map with push buttons to light up information on regions (Greenland, Antarctic, Arctic Amazon Rainforests etc.) Links to how this impacts Muskoka.
Make a difference by contributing your ideas.Please send your submission by July 8th, 2020. Email email@example.com. Please put ‘Discovery Centre Submission’ in the subject line.
This is an incredible opportunity to impact climate change behaviours in our community and beyond in transformative ways.
We are grateful to the Muskoka Discovery Centre and Rick Zytaruk for the invitation to collaborate on this important issue.
Read the latest column – Sept 24, 2020 A car-less dream for all of Muskoka. By Gordon Laxer – Here
We’re proud to announce that the first Building Back Better column launched today in the Muskoka Region online. Thanks to author and Climate Action Muskoka leader Sue McKenzie for kicking this off. This series of columns submitted by CAM supporters envisions a just, climate-sensitive, post-pandemic recovery. Look for it in Muskoka Region online every Thursday. ? Read the full column HERE. If you are interested in being a contributor, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Muskoka Region column from Climate Action Muskoka
We’re proud to announce that a regular column entitled Building Back Better will soon be premiering in Muskoka Region. This series, organized by Climate Action Muskoka, envisions a just, climate-sensitive, post-pandemic recovery, with a focus on Muskoka; but also exploring broader topics like the need for a living wage, the benefits of growing our own food, the importance of ensuring that our buildings are built sustainably, and more. The contributors are supporters of Climate Action Muskoka.
The photos above accompany a column from Melinda Zytaruk and Matthew Adams about sustainable buildings. These images feature a local straw bale home and highlight the wood, earth plaster, LED lighting and, at the back of the image on the right, a “truth window” revealing the straw with which this home was built. [Photo credit: Riley Snelling.]
We’ll also be sharing these columns on our website and social media. Please keep an eye out for them. And note that we’ve taken care to include links to the resources the writers draw from, so you can continue to read up. Kudos to the writers who have already contributed and to the ad hoc editorial board at Climate Action Muskoka for their hard work. And also, hats off to Muskoka Region for supporting this important grassroots initiative. ?