New Challenges

Learn about Planetary Boundaries

Planetary boundaries illustrations, 2009, 2015, 2023: Stockholm Resilience Centre

I will learn more about planetary boundaries. FACT: For the first time, an international team of scientists can provide a detailed outline of planetary limits for all nine boundary processes that define a safe operating space for humanitySource:  Stockholm Resilience Centre  

In 2009, scientists proposed nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can safely operate. At that time they did not identify exact limits nor offer solutions to achieving them.

In 2012, an Oxfam report by Kate Raworth combined the concept of planetary boundaries with the complementary concept of social boundaries. Between these boundaries lies a doughnut-shaped space that is both ecologically safe and socially just.

In 2023, scientists quantified all nine planetary boundaries for the first time establishing an ecological ceiling. They concluded that six of the boundaries have already been crossed.

We can pull back from the boundaries crossed. The boundary for ozone depletion was exceeded in the 1990s but we reversed that. To mitigate global warming, we can cut emissions and begin to draw down CO2. To save a functional biosphere for future generations, we can preserve existing wildlife habitat and begin to restore what has been lost. There is so much we can do…

Learn more

Individual Climate Action Matters: Use your influence

I will learn more, share my experience and advocate for solutions to the Climate Crisis.  QUOTE: “Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” – The Dalai Lama     Source

How you power your home, how you travel and what you eat can have a huge impact on your personal carbon emissions. Amplify that action through advocacy.

Learn more!
Beware of green washing. Many companies make unsubstantiated claims to deceive consumers into believing that their products are environmentally friendly.
Take another look at our previous challenges and the resource links provided.
Many websites have lists of what you can do. A few are cited below.

Share what you learn.
You can talk to friends and family about climate change in ways experts can’t and you are more likely to have an impact. Talk about what you have learned and what you have done to reduce your personal emissions. Share your experiences.

Citizens like you, willing to work with progressive local government leaders, can make a huge difference. And yes, Provincial and Federal Government policy can also be influenced by collective action.
Your District and Area Municipal Governments – Here
Your Provincial and Federal Representatives – Here


The concentric circles of individual climate action | Project Drawdown
New Challenges – Climate Action Muskoka
Drawdown Solutions Library | Project Drawdown
Top 10 things you can do about climate change green washing (
Work with your local government on climate action – David Suzuki Foundation

Heat pumps are the most efficient heating technology ever invented.

Make your next furnace/AC a heat pump

Heat pump intake

I will work towards electrifying everything. FACT: Current heat pump models are 3‐5 times more energy efficient than gas furnaces. SourceInternational Energy Agency

Energy efficiency is a key part of the electrification journey. Replacing technologies or processes that use fossil fuels with more efficient electrically powered equivalents reduces greenhouse gas emissions and uses less energy to do the same job.  

Electric transport and heat pumps provide the greatest emissions reductions. Electric vehicles use about three times less energy than gas vehicles to get the same amount of movement.  

Heat pumps are even more efficient. They offer three, four to even five times more heat than a fossil fuel furnace using the same amount of energy. A heat pump also works in reverse to cool your living space on hot days.  

25% of global energy is used to heat buildings (62% in Canada). Heat pumps have played a key role in the reduction of carbon emissions in Scandinavian countries where the uptake of heat pumps has been greatest.


Scientists understood the physics of climate change in the 1800s

I will make every effort to stop burning stuff. FACT: In 1856, Eunice Newton Foote became the first person to discover that altering the proportion of carbon dioxide (then called “carbonic acid gas”) in the atmosphere would change its temperature. Source: First Paper to Link CO2 and Global Warming


Eunice Foote’s brief scientific paper was the first to describe the extraordinary power of carbon dioxide gas to absorb heat – the driving force of global warming.
Our CO2 emissions are the result of burning stuff, mainly fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas..) and wood fuels (firewood, charcoal, pellets..)


A few years later, the well-known Irish scientist John Tyndall also measured the heat absorption of carbon dioxide and was so surprised that something “so transparent to light” could so strongly absorb heat that he “made several hundred experiments with this single substance.”
Tyndall also recognized the possible effects on the climate, saying “every variation” of water vapor or carbon dioxide “must produce a change of climate.” He also noted the contribution other hydrocarbon gases, such as methane, could make to climate change, writing that “an almost inappreciable addition” of gases like methane would have “great effects on climate.”


Monday, July 3:  17.01 Celsius (62.6 degrees Fahrenheit), Earth’s highest ever average global temperature.
Tuesday, July 4:  17.18 Celsius, breaking the previous record set Monday!
Wednesday, July 5:  17.18 Celsius, remaining at the record high set the day before.
Update – Thursday, July 6:  Global temperatures reached a new high of 17.23 Celsius,  noted AP.


Scientists understood physics of climate change in the 1800s – thanks to a woman named Eunice Foote (
First Paper to Link CO2 and Global Warming, by Eunice Foote (1856) – The Public Domain Review
Earth’s average temperature stays at record high | CTV News
We Can See Clearly Now – by Bill McKibben (

A new challenge will appear in our weekly newsletter every few weeks

Here’s a list of all previous New Challenges:

  1. Learn about Planetary Boundaries
  2. Individual Climate Action Matters: Use your influence
  3. Heat pumps are the most efficient heating technology ever invented.
  4. Scientists understood the physics of climate change in the 1800s
  5. Nature Nurtures
  6. Fossil Fuels, Petrochemicals and Plastic
  7. Say No To Peat
  8. Re-examine your fossil fuel-free transportation options
  9. Food and Farmland
  10. Imagine a fossil fuel free future
  11. Preserve Biodiversity – Nurture ‘Everyday Awe’
  12. Community Carbon Challenge – 2023
  13. Municipal Election
  14. Preserve Your Own Food
  15. Nature-based Solutions
  16. Grow your own food | Buy locally grown |
    Eat in season.
  17. “Silent Spring“ –  2022
  18. Efficiency without sufficiency is lost
  19. Get Outside — Spring Edition
  20. Talk To Your Kids About the Climate Crisis
  21. Yes, heat pumps work in winter in Canada!
  22. Think Globally – Act Locally
  23. Winter Recreation – Get Outside
  24. Repair Everything II
  25. New Year’s 2022 — CO2, A Direct Result of Consumption
  26. A Climate Christmas Carol
  27. I will work to further reduce my Carbon Footprint
  28. Get Creative to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint This Holiday Season
  29. A Stitch In Time – Mend Your Clothes
  30. Break the Idling Habit
  31. Don’t Upgrade Your Phone (Yet)
  32. Going On a Picnic…
  33. Support the Circular Economy
  34. A Call to Action at Every Level
  35. Choose People-Powered Recreational Vehicles
  36. Restore the Dark Sky
  37. Active Transportation in Muskoka
  38. Carbon Drawdown – Rewilding
  39. The Carbon Footprint of Your Refrigerator
  40. The Carbon Footprint of Your Next Vehicle
  41. The Carbon Footprint of Food – Bonus “Quick N Delish”
  42. Grow Your Own Vegetables
  43. Shop Local – Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
  44. Repair Everything
  45. The Carbon Footprint of Getting Dressed
  46. The Footprint of Food Packaging
  47. Energy Vampires
  48. The Impact of Tires on Your Carbon Footprint and Your Health

Return to the Community Carbon Challenge – here

Community Carbon Challenge is now on Instagram