Community Carbon Challenge

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Let’s Take Action Together

Create Your Personal Action Plan

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

How Does It Work?

1. Join other members of the community who have made a commitment to reduce their carbon footprint.
Add your name → as an Individual/Family or as a Business/Group

See who has already made a commitment Indivdual/Family List
Find more about the Business Challenge.

2. Choose from the actions below. You can always return to select additional actions. A *New* challenge will appear in our newsletter every few weeks. Invite your children to choose an action.

Including additional information and resource links.

3. Invite your friends to join the challenge too.

How You Power Your Home

  • Yes, Heat Pumps Work in Winter In Canada!I will consider a heat pump when I upgrade my home heating and cooling systemFACT: Cut your electrical heating bill by up to 60% and cool for 30% less with an ENERGY STAR certified ductless heating and cooling system. Source | More
  • Restore the Dark Sky I will reduce my use of artificial light to help restore the “Dark Sky.” When it is necessary I will use energy efficient lighting. FACT: ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs, using light-emitting diode (LED) technology use up to 90% less energy, and last 15 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Source | More
  • The Footprint of Refrigerators – I will do what I can to reduce the energy consumption of my refrigerator and replace it if necessary.  FACT: A typical refrigerator draws about 500 kWh per year. Compare that to the total annual power consumption of the average person in Nigeria (135 kWh), or Ghana (299 kWh), or Bangladesh (274 kWh)Source | More
  • Energy Vampires – I will unplug electronic devices when they are not being used. FACT: The average Canadian home has 25 or more electronic devices that use phantom power, producing about 157 kg CO2 e, costing about $150 a year.  Source  | More
  • I will turn down my thermostat 1-2⁰C. FACT: 1⁰C can reduce your energy consumption by 8%. For an average household gas bill of 12,500kWh  save 184 kg CO2 each year. Source
  • I will wash laundry in cold water. FACT: 90% of the energy used to wash clothes is from heating the water. Save an average of 250 kg CO2 a year. Source
  • I will hang the washing outside to dry and in winter air-dry laundry on racks in a spare room. FACT: Based on 150 cycles a year.  Save about 153 kg CO2 Source
  • I will take shorter showers. FACT: Spending 1 minute less in the shower can save 23 kg CO2  a year (based on one shower a day and a 9kW shower). Source
  • I will reduce my cell phone use one hour per day. FACT: One hour of cell phone use a day for 1 year emits more than 1 tonne CO2e per year – the equivalent of flying from London to New York, one way, in economy class. Source
  • I will turn off lights every time I leave a room. FACT:  If you are out of the room more than 23 seconds, it’s still going to save you money and energy. Source

How You Travel

  • Active Transportation – I will advocate locally, for better active transportation infrastructure.  Quote: “Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities”.  Source | More
  • Big Ticket-Big Impact – I will buy “electric” when I replace my current vehicle.  FACTA typical gas-powered passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.  Source | More
  • The Impact of Tires on Carbon Footprint I will check my tire pressure at least once a month.  FACT: Driving your vehicle with just one tire underinflated by 56 kPa (8 psi) will increase your fuel consumption by 4%, costing you money and releasing extra emissions into the atmosphere.   Source | More
  • I will reduce my vehicle trips to town. Doing 9 trips instead of 10 means you have lowered your footprint by 10%! FACT: Every litre of gas burned creates 3 kg of CO2. Source
  • I will drive at or below 100 km/hr. FACT: Driving at 100 km/hr creates 20% less CO2e and uses 20% less fuel than driving at 120 km/hr and saves you money. Source
  • I will carpool, walk or bike when I can. FACT: Automobiles and light trucks account for about 11 per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Source

What You Eat

Need a recipe, find our new “Quick N Delish” feature here.

  • Preserve Your Own FoodI will learn about preserving perishable foods for winter. FACT: It’s environmentally friendly to use seasonally grown and locally sourced fresh produce. Re-using preserving jars eliminates food packaging. Learn More
  • The Carbon Footprint of Food – I will think more about the carbon footprint of the food I eat.  FACT: 70% of the deforestation of the Amazon is to provide land for cattle ranches.  Source } More
  • Grow Your Own I will grow as much of my own food as I possibly can – a great way to save money, get fit, and reduce my carbon footprint. FACT: The average meal travels 1,200 kilometres from the farm to plateSource | More
  • The “Foodprint” of Food Packaging.  I will buy foods with less packaging when I grocery shop. FACT: The carbon footprint of plastic (LDPE or PET, polyethylene) is about 6 kg CO2 per kg of plastic. Source | More
  • I will drink tap water. FACT: Bottled water uses 2,000 times more energy than tap water. Source
  • I will buy locally grown food whenever possible. Does that apple come from your backyard, Ontario, BC or New Zealand? FACT: Long-distance, large-scale transportation of food consumes large quantities of fossil fuels. It is estimated that we currently put almost 10 kcal of fossil fuel energy into our food system for every 1 kcal of energy we get as food. Source
  • I will shift to a plant-based meal once a week. Over a year this will keep 42 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. FACT: CO2e created per kg of beef 27 kg, lamb 39.2 kg, pork 12.1 kg, chicken 6.9 kg. Source
  • I will pack only what I will eat in my lunch kit. FACT: Food waste generates 3.3 billions tons of carbon dioxide, which accelerates global climate change. Source
  • I will send no food waste to the landfill at least one day a week. FACT: If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world, behind China and the United States. Source

The Other 20%

  • Support the Circular Economy –  I will buy products that are made to last, are repairable, and at the end of their life, are recyclable. FACT: 90% of the raw materials used in manufacturing become waste before the product leaves the factory while 80% of products made get thrown away within the first six months of their life.  Source  | More
  • Choose People-Power  I will choose people-powered recreation vehicles this summer. Hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking… FACTPeople power is as close to zero emissions as you can get. Learn more
  • Rewilding- Carbon Drawdown I will restore natural vegetation where-ever I can, to provide wildlife habitat and assist natures drawdown of CO2 from the atmosphere. QUOTE: “To restore stability to our planet we must restore its biodiversity, the very thing that we’ve removed… We must rewild the world.”- Sir David Attenborough. Learn more
  • Repair Everything –  I will repair whenever possible rather than throw away and replace.  FACT: 2020 was the year in which the weight of “human-made mass”—all the stuff we’ve built and accumulated—exceeded the weight of biomass on the planet.   Source ] More
  • Shop Local –I will whenever possible buy the goods and services I need from a local business.  FACT: We all like to buy stuff online but Amazon alone generated 465 million pounds of fossil based plastic packaging waste in 2019 enough to circle the Earth 500 times (in the form of plastic air pillows)  Source | More
  • The Carbon Footprint of Getting Dressed I will buy fewer new clothes, repair what I have, and look for good used clothing. FACT:  Buying a used garment extends its life on average by 2.2 years, reducing its carbon, waste and water footprint by 73 percent.  Source | More

Find our latest challenges, with additional information and resource links – here.

Find a complete list of New additionshere

Add Your Ideas To The List

We invite you to help grow and develop this project.
Click the link below and fill out a short form to add your ideas.

Grow the Challenge Ideas List

Thank you!

If you are interested in tracking your footprint. Fill out the Carbon Calculator (15 minutes once you have gathered your household data on this sheet). Thank you to the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve for creating this important resource. (Record your results for comparison with your footprint a year from now.)
Bonus: your anonymous data will be included in the District of Muskoka’s ongoing community GHG inventory.

Understanding and Calculating Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions Webinar

This informative webinar is not necessary for completing the Carbon calculator but is well worth your time commitment.

Join GBBR’s Benjamin John, Climate Change & Energy Specialist, and grow your climate literacy as he discusses everything you need to know about greenhouse gases (GHGs) and your carbon footprint. You’ll also learn how to calculate your personal greenhouse gas emissions using GBBR’s carbon calculator and what your results mean. (50 minutes)