This article discusses partnerships within a community in energy conservation and environmental awareness efforts.
Rising energy costs have cast a new prospective on where and how our energy is produced and at what costs – to businesses, consumers, and to our environment. The movement to ‘go green’ has been ongoing, and is propelled by partnerships within the community to help individuals, families and businesses conserve energy and save money – and to extend other environmental courtesies. We all play a role, and have a responsibility, to support and promote energy conservation – and in environmental consciousness.
Government Responsibility and Roles in Energy Conservation
Ontario’s Green Energy Act was instituted in 2009, and focuses on key areas where Ontario’s Environment Ministry plans to implement the use of renewable, environmentally- kind energy sources, thereby encouraging a changed prospective on energy conservation. The plan identifies approaches to using new and renewable energy sources, and an effort to eliminate outdated practices, and implement more current regulations regarding energy sources and (re)use.
Further information is found on the Ontario Environment Ministry’s website, concerning government incentives for energy conservation within Ontario’s Corporations, and their efforts to ‘Go (and stay) Green.’ These include incentives for eco-friendly use of energy sources, and energy conservation.
And many environmental and energy conservation efforts can be sought and practiced within our own communities. As with many concerns – the effort to make things better, and then to propel the effort – starts with one or a few people, and so often, close to home.
Community Initiatives to Support and Promote Energy Conservation and Responsible (Re)Use of Resources
The Region of Waterloo hosts a Workplace Waste Reduction and Recycling Directory to let people know how they can have certain items – for example chemicals, electronics, large appliances and other items – safely disposed of, either by delivering their items to a specific location, or by a planned pick up.
REEP Waterloo Region is another strong and rooted community partnership to promote energy conservation, in their efforts “to empower our community towards healthier homes and sustainable living.”(as printed on REEP’s website.) REEP’s mission involves assessing the use and efficiency of a home’s energy, and the possibilities available for homes to convert to, and learn how to make their fullest use of solar energy. Among other projects, REEP has been a participating partner in the ‘ENERGUIDE’ Program. For a more information on their environmental and energy conservation efforts, please navigate REEP’s website.
There are also recycled equipment programs available to make re-use of, or dispose of in a practical and environmentally agreeable way, thereby promoting environmental and energy conservation – even not-for-profit organizations like the March of Dimes ‘MOD Mobility’ Recycled Equipment Program. And there are others, such as the Kidney Car Program, which recycles voluntarily donated vehicles (benefitting the organization, the environment, individuals and communities) – to monetarily support individuals with kidney concerns – to include kidney research, support programs and equipment needs. The Kidney Foundation, and The Kidney Car Program has an Ontario Branch, and it branches across Canada.
And a number of our community’s schools have been certified environmentally friendly – requiring such things as mandatory litter-less lunches and snacks, the absence of lead pencils, and no harsh cleaning chemical usage – among other school-wide initiatives to promote energy conservation.
An Individual Approach to Energy Conservation and Environmental Awareness
Opportunities exist for individuals to recycle building, compost and other materials as well, and at designated locations throughout our Region. Navigate The Region of Waterloo Website for specific locations and times.
There are also ‘waste transfer stations’ for use by individual residents of the region. These stations house things such as left over paints and reusable building materials, reusable gardening compost, and other materials.
And there are everyday things we’ve learned and recall from our grade-school environmental and energy conservation teachings of ’reduce reuse, and recycle.’ Energy conservation, and extending an environmental handshake to our planet is critical. Simple things, like consistent recycling and wastes disposal habits, and reducing auto emissions, and even a simple clothing donation, contribute to energy conservation, hence, a greener planet.
Partner with your community for energy conservation, and the continuity of care for the planet. The future of our planet will be what we make – and are able to preserve of it.
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